Refugees in Cumbria

The UK government has pledged to bring 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to the UK by 2020.

In July 2017, the government widened the scope of the scheme to include refugees who do not have Syrian nationality, thus including refugees from the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Cumbria is playing its part by welcoming just under 300 refugees to the county over the next three years from 2017-2020.

This pledge is being delivered via a national  Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme. This means the Home Office are currently working with councils across the UK to help provide places of safety for refugees.

Cumbria has responded with a collective county-wide multi-agency approach. Cumbria County Council is the lead authority acting on behalf of the Cumbria Leaders Board. This was  agreed at the County Council  Cabinet meeting on 15th December 2016.

Cumbria County Council also agreed to offer support to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), as part of the Government's National Transfer Scheme. This has been established to help resettle children seeking asylum in areas such as Kent and unaccompanied asylum seeking children leaving Calais or other European Countries.

Cumbria has a long established history of successfully supporting refugees and if you wish to make an offer of support, below are just some of the ways you can do this.

Supporting refugees in Cumbria

Offers of support are very welcome. Visit the Government's website which is regularly updated, for more information about how you can help.

Local support

As part of the support provided to refugees, offers of help from members of the public, organisations and private businesses are very welcome as these will help with the resettlement of refugees.  Offers of support will be co-ordinated centrally to ensure they are used as effectively as possible and can include a wide range of things such as children's toys and books, clothes, befriending and a variety of goods and services.

We know that community groups and local volunteers are keen to offer support, many have already. We have all of this information and as the refugees settle in the county they will be informed about what is on offer in their communities and introductions will be made to local groups if refugees want to access this support. If additional support is required we will request this via this website.

If you would like to support the refugees, please email information about your offer of support to refugee.support@cumbria.gov.uk.

Make a donation

Make a donation to the Cumbria Welcome Fund, set-up by the Cumbria Community Foundation. The focus of the fund for 2017-20 will be on supporting Syrian refugee families integration within Cumbria. The Cumbria Welcome Fund will:


1. Provide grants to address hardship in support of refugees placed in Cumbria
2. Provide grants in support of the integration of the refugee community in Cumbria
3. Enable people who choose to, to donate money to support refugees

View the Criteria Form (PDF 160k) for the fund.

Visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/cumbriawelcomefund for more information.

You can also make a donation to a humanitarian organisation or charity that provides support to refugees. Here are some of the national organisations you can donate to:

 British Red Cross Appeal
 Oxfam
 Save the Children's Child Refugee Crisis Appeal
 Refugee Council Crisis Appeal
 UNHCR's Emergency Appeal
 UNICEF
 The World Food Programme
 Refugee Action

Support for children and young people in need

Young, unaccompanied refugees are vulnerable and may be traumatised following their experience. Some may need a foster place in a loving home as they start to rebuild their lives.
For more information about how you could support children and young people in need, visit our Fostering website.

Please note that not all children who need a foster place will be refugees.

The Local Government Association Guidance provides information for councils on refugee resettlement and the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme.