As we reach the end of Refugee Week, I would like to update readers on progress on the resettling of 50 Syrian refugees here in the borough of Kingston.

You may recall that Councillor Kevin Davis pledged to offer sanctuary to these UNaccredited refugees last October, as reported in the Surrey Comet.

Since then, I have been working with the council, Citizens UK (the campaigning group behind this initiative), faith groups, community activists and Refugee Action Kingston (RAK) to make this happen.

The funding is in place from the EU, the Home Office is ready to give the United Nations Commission for Refugees the go-ahead, the local health and education services are notified and RAK is prepared to offer settling-in services.

Yet, this is not enough.

These 14 or so vulnerable families need places to live, but because there is such pressure on homes in the borough, with over 6,000 households on the waiting list for a council property, we are unable to invite them here.

So, if you are a landlord of a home in Kingston borough, and would like to let it to a family of desperate refugees currently languishing in a camp in the Middle East, or just want to know more, please get in touch with me via

Alternatively, if you are not a landlord, but still want to take action, join Citizens UK leaders, faith leaders, recent refugees from Syria and people who came to the UK on the Kindertransport (the British programme that saved 10,000 Jewish children from the Nazis) on Wednesday, June 24, at 9am at the Kindertransport Statue at Liverpool Street station.

From here, we will walk to Parliament to lobby MPs prior to Prime Minister’s Questions.

We will hand over details of all the communities, organisations and councils across the UK who are willing to welcome such refugees.

So far, through the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, the UK has only taken about 180 of the 750 people it promised to help back in January 2014. This is less than a drop in the ocean.

Kingston Liberal Synagogue