Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS)
COVID-19 advice for refugee families & volunteers
The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) aims to help the most vulnerable survivors of torture, people with serious medical conditions, and women with children. As a result of the Syrian conflict these people have been displaced from their homes. They are identified by the United Nations (UN) then screened by the Home Office before being resettled in the UK.
What we are doing in Wiltshire
Since the decision made by full council on 29 September 2015 to participate in VPRS, Wiltshire has welcomed 150 individuals into the county across 11 community areas including 17 new-born additions. We have also supported two local groups under Community Sponsorship to each welcome and support a family directly in their local communities.
The VPRS relies heavily on the contributions of our committed volunteers. Under this scheme more than 60 individuals currently provide volunteer support to refugee families across Wiltshire with over 250 involved since 2015.
During this past year, many under Wiltshire's VPRS have worked hard to give back to their local community during these challenging times. This includes volunteering for local community organisations working to deliver prescriptions to the vulnerable, as well as making and providing scrubs uniforms to support the NHS.
Many individuals have successfully found work in Wiltshire since being resettled. This includes a tailor who was offered a training job which developed into successful employment, a painter and decorator, as well as others looking to start their own businesses and another working for Wiltshire Council.
Many have also been successfully improving their English and Maths skills, have moved up through college classes, and are undertaking citizenship classes and ESOL fast track classes. Numerous individuals also volunteer at local Mothers and Toddler Groups, in the community hubs, and in charity shops. A vast majority have passed their driving tests, including 3 women. One boy even plays football for their local under 11s team.
New Global Resettlement Scheme
Due to COVID-19, resettlements to the UK were put on hold in March 2020 and have since began to resume nationally. Remaining VPRS cases that were due to be resettled are expected to arrive in early 2021.
The Government have recently reaffirmed its intention to launch a new 'UK Resettlement Scheme' after the completion of the Syrian scheme.
The new UKRS will aim to broaden the geographical focus beyond the Middle East and North Africa, however it has not yet been confirmed how the scheme will amalgamate continuing schemes and existing resettlement models.
What you can do to help
To provide housing for refugees or to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hear from Volunteer Coordinator, Michael.
- Current VPRS volunteering opportunities
- Other volunteering opportunities with Wiltshire Council