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“Food for Life” event celebrating community support for refugees in Gedling

Date Posted: 10:21 AM on Thu, 27 October 2022

Gedling Borough Council, Gedling Seniors Council and The Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire held a “Food for Life” community celebration this week.

Around 100 guests attended, including refugees who have resettled in the borough, host families and community groups. Attendees joined together to thank the Gedling community for embracing and supporting so many refugees from Syria, and more recently Ukraine.

Local Syrian families and the Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire, Yasmin House, prepared a traditional meal for attendees and craft activities for all ages were provided by Gedling Play Forum.

The event was hosted by the Mayor of Gedling, Councillor Peter Barnes, who was joined by Councillor Kathryn Fox, Portfolio Holder for Diverse Communities and Life Chances at the Richard Herrod Centre in Carlton.  

In 2015, the Government announced that around 20,000 Syrian refugees would be settling In the UK, including a number of refugees who relocated to Gedling Borough after host families came forwards to offer housing.

In March this year, in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Gedling Councillors approved a motion to support families fleeing the war, launching a webpage to promote ways residents could help refugees, including offering accommodation and donating food and goods. Over 80 households came forward to offer their help to home the refugees.

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said;

I’m incredibly proud that we’ve helped organise this event to bring so many people together, who’ve come to the borough at what must have been an unimaginably heart breaking time.

Our fantastic residents have opened their homes to refugees from both Syria and Ukraine, becoming a real lifeline to many, and this event today highlights how much that means and champions community work.

I’d like to thank all our residents who have taken in refugees, and to the Local Syrian families and the Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire for their generosity preparing and providing the food for this event.

Councillor Kathryn Fox, Portfolio Holder for Diverse Communities and Life Chances said;

Supporting refugees and the resettlement programme is something the council is passionate in supporting and a key part of my portfolio.

Seeing the way our communities have come together, helping some of those most in need is nothing short of astonishing. It’s great to be a part of events like this and seeing people show their support for one another. All the groups involved have done a great job at organising this event, which I’m sure will be something everyone will enjoy.

Ali Awad from The Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire said;

“We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Gedling Borough Council to put together this event and help bring together so many incredible people. Syrian, Ukrainian, or British we are all human in one community.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this event happen, it promises to be a truly special day.”