The Gateway Protection Programme is the UK's contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) global resettlement programme. The majority of the world's refugees who are fleeing persecution, violence and conflict are unable to travel far beyond the borders of their home country. They often live in refugee camps for years; many children have lived their entire lives in such camps. One of the ways in which the UNHCR seeks to assist these refugees is to offer resettlement to another country. Resettlement allows refugees the opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety and security. Currently around 80,000 refugees are resettled worldwide each year.
Candidates for resettlement to the UK will have been classified by UNHCR field offices as refugees and selected on the basis that they have pressing humanitarian or security needs, are not able to return to their countries of origin and cannot integrate locally. The Home Office then makes the decision on who to accept under the UK programme, currently set at 750 people per year.
Our work with the Resettlement Programme:
Sheffield was the first city in the UK to welcome refugees through the Gateway Protection Programme with a group of Liberians arriving in 2004. Since then, the Refugee Council has continued to play a leading role in providing specialist support to refugees who are resettled across the Yorkshire & Humberside region, in Sheffield and Hull. Refugee Action and Horton Housing provide similar specialist support in the Northwest and Bradford respectively. The Gateway Protection programme is funded by the Home Office and the European Refugee Fund (ERF).
Since 2004 Refugee Council has supported refugees from Liberia, Burma, Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Bhutan.
Groups of resettled refugees are supported for 12 months by a team of staff which includes project workers, community development workers and volunteer co-ordinators. Refugee Council works in partnership with Sheffield and Hull City Councils to provide a full support service including:
- orientation on arrival
- housing and tenancy support help finding employment
- access to health services
- volunteering opportunities
- education and ESOL
- banking services
- welfare benefits
- help accessing other mainstream services.
- community development
For more information-please visit the following websites: