You should provide an Information Folder and Welcome Pack for the family, with important information about their new community.
What information should I include?
Families are likely to be overwhelmed by information when they first arrive, and a lot of information will be learnt over time. However, it is helpful to have some information written down for reference. You may want to include (this is not a prescriptive list):
- Photos, a welcome message and contact details of your group
- Your group charter
- A brief introduction to the neighbourhood
- Instructions for the house (e.g. when to put bins out, how to change heating, who to contact for repairs, etc.)
- Emergency Services
- Maps of the local area (with key amenities, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, parks, etc.)
- Transport timetables
- Complaints Form and Procedures.
What goods should we provide?
You may want to provide some initial groceries and amenities for when the family arrives. Here are some things to consider:
- £200-300. This is a mandatory requirement of the Home Office. It is to support the family while they are waiting for their first benefits payments. We recommend providing this in the same increments they would receive benefits, rather than one lump sum, to help them to budget and manage expectations.
- Enough copies of house keys for each adult
- Pre-Paid Travel Card
- Sim Card (people will be keen to contact their family as soon as they arrive in the UK, to let them know they are safe)
- Groceries and Toiletries for first two weeks (Download a list of typical Syrian groceries, with Arabic translation)
- Warm clothes if arriving in winter, and/or vouchers to buy their own
- A laptop or tablet. This would help to keep in touch with family, to apply for benefits, to search for jobs, and to access online English modules, etc. (A tablet may be easier for the family to use at first, as they can more easily switch between an Arabic and Roman alphabet).