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To: Wycombe District Council

Refugees Welcome in High Wycombe

Offer to home 50 refugee families

Why is this important?

**We have submitted our petition to the Council and have asked for a follow-up meeting before they give us a formal response.**

Dear Councillors

Welcoming the stranger: Council meeting agenda on 5 October 2015

You must be as appalled as we are by the suffering of so many refugees. With this letter, we shall be presenting a petition asking the Council to invite 50 refugee families to the Wycombe area. Your immediate reaction, as responsible councillors, is likely to be concern as to how you could look after these people.

We wish to assure you that you will have our support in doing so:
- 120 members of the group “High Wycombe – Donations for Refugees” have offered to act as mentors/befrienders to new arrivals, helping them to settle in, to navigate in unfamiliar surroundings and to integrate into the local community.
- Some of the High Wycombe - Donations for Refugees group have experience as teachers of English as a second or foreign language and would help with English tuition.
- We are in the process of compiling a list of private landlords who would be happy to let accommodation to refugees. There are also private individuals willing to share their homes with refugees, but we understand that this runs counter to Government policy.
Wycombe 38 Degrees have expressed support for this cause; they too would be keen to engage with you to find ways of providing practical assistance and public support for refugees who may be settled in the Wycombe area.
Some people have expressed concern about accepting refugees as a purely economic cost and burden on already stretched public services. These would undoubtedly be factors to consider in determining how many people we could take. On the other hand, many commentators have expressed the view that many of the refugees currently reaching Europe are educated, experienced and economically very motivated people. Rather than seeing refugees as always a burden, we think that, quite apart from the urgent need to stand up for compassionate British values, there could be long-term economic benefits to our local community in accepting refugees.
The precept “Do as you would be done by” is common to Christianity and Islam: we have only to imagine ourselves living in a refugee camp to know the decent, moral course of action for us to take now. Whether or not we follow a religion, we are all called to be human(e) beings: this crisis is truly a test of British humanity.
We very much hope for a positive, compassionate response at the Council meeting on 5 October and look forward to hearing from you after that.
Yours sincerely

Stephanie Rybak (Dr)
On behalf of High Wycombe – Donations for Refugees

How it will be delivered

To be presented to the Council meeting on 5 October 2015 by
Dr Stephanie Rybak

[email protected]

High Wycombe

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2015-09-06 22:08:18 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-09-06 18:31:39 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-09-05 12:10:13 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-09-05 07:24:08 +0100

10 signatures reached