Afghan refugee family rehomed in Hackney

A young boy pulls a suitcase as refugees arrive from Afghanistan

A young boy pulls a suitcase as refugees arrived from Afghanistan at Heathrow Airport - Credit: PA

A family who fled Afghanistan after the return of Taliban rule last year have been rehomed in Hackney. 

The family of seven, who have not been identified for their privacy and safety, have become the first to be housed by the council as part of its pledge to support refugees fleeing the crisis in Afghanistan. 

The crisis unfolded in August last year after American troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan. The controversial and highly criticised move led to the Taliban returning to power after 20 years of insurgency. 

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said: “I’m very proud that, as we promised last year, our borough has welcomed the families of those who have had to flee their home because of their service to our country. 

“This is the best of Hackney, and in the great longstanding values of our borough to give support to those in need, celebrate tolerance and diversity and welcome refugees."

A couple and their five children moved into their council home this week.

Their rehoming is part of a resettlement scheme set up to give sanctuary to Afghans who assisted British forces in the region since 2003. 

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The safety of those that assisted British forces was at risk if they remained in the country.

The family is the first of five households to be rehomed in Hackney. 

The council commitment will span around two years. Families will be helped to settle into the borough and will be supported by a dedicated caseworker as well as local volunteers and community groups. 

Charity Groundwork East London has been funded to provide support to the five families, following a competitive grant process.

Cllr Carole Williams, portfolio holder for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, said: “It makes me proud to live in Hackney when I see the huge support and energy from our community to support refugees fleeing violence, and there are many ways local residents can get involved."

Hackney residents can support local, national and international efforts on the refugee crisis by volunteering with Volunteer Centre Hackney. For more information, visit hackney.gov.uk/refugees