Syrian refugees will be helped to resettle in Kingston by a new group, which was officially launched at All Saints Church.

The Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship organisation will allow community groups to support the rehousing of refugees directly in the area, working with the council, charities, local businesses and faith groups.

Kingston's new mayor, Councillor Thay Thayalan was at the launch.

He said: “I would like to congratulate all the churches and faith groups for coming together to launch this excellent Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship initiative. The Deputy Mayor and I wish them success for this important venture and are happy to support the work of the community in raising much needed funds for this very worthy cause.”

The scheme is different from the already existing Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, because community groups themselves will come up with the money and plans to help the refugees.

Two new Syrian families are coming to Kingston in June, and one landlord, Tony, spoke to Surrey Comet about the importance of the project.

He said: "I’ve been following the terrible situation in Syria very closely. The scale of the suffering is hard to comprehend. I’ve been moved at a very personal level and wanted to do something to help – even if it’s just a small gesture.

"The people fleeing the war zone are looking for peace, stability and the chance to start again. That’s where I can contribute. I was moving overseas for work and so had the opportunity to rent out my small two-bed flat in Kingston.

"I think we all have a responsibility to help people fleeing war zones. This scheme helps do that. Without volunteers in this scheme it would be more difficult for these vulnerable people to re-build their lives."

Anyone who wants more information about how to house Syrian refugees in their own property should search on for more information.

Tony said: "I’ve been hugely impressed by the support from Kingston Council. People don’t always have a good experience dealing with local councils, but in this case there is a dedicated officer who is brilliant – very responsive and helpful.

"The process for joining the scheme was easy with lots of support along the way. I would encourage anyone else to join if they can."