North Lanarkshire Council’s Syrian Resettlement Project Team scooped the ‘Team of the Year’ for excellence in housing, by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
This prestigious award, makes the team the top in Scotland and comes exactly a year after the council welcomed its first Syrian families to North Lanarkshire.
The award also recognised the continuing support provided to all families allowing them to fulfil their aspirations within the local communities.
The first families arrived in North Lanarkshire last November and to date the council has successfully resettled 80 Syrian Refugees across the area.
To prepare for their arrival, a Syrian Resettlement Project Team was established involving housing, social work and other council services, together with NHS Lanarkshire, local voluntary organisations, local housing associations, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Members of the resettlement team were assigned individual families to support and key areas of concern included the wellbeing of each family for tenancy matters, children and families services and the physical and emotional needs being supported by health visitors.
The team also had responsibility for signposting and referring to other more specialist services. For example, some people may have suffered from violence and torture and require additional help from specialist services.
Senior officials from the Home Office attended an ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages’ (ESOL) class in Airdrie and praised North Lanarkshire as an example of best practice across the UK.
“Councillor Pat O’Rourke, Chair of the council’s Syrian Resettlement Programme said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the dedication and commitment to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in North Lanarkshire has been recognised at this level.
“The aim of integrating the refugees into our communities has been embraced wholeheartedly by all members of the team, with all tasks being approached with integrity, energy and determination to ensure the refugees have every opportunity of creating a future in North Lanarkshire. I’m very proud of this project and delighted the Chartered Institute of Housing has recognised the excellent work of the staff by granting such a prestigious award.”