Blunkett moots ‘buddy scheme’

Refugee organisations have welcomed the news
that home secretary David Blunkett is considering a “buddy scheme”
for refugees to help them integrate into British life.

Blunkett said he would look at the initiative
that teams up British citizens with refugees to help them adapt to
life here after he heard about the success of a similar scheme in

Refugee Council chief executive Nick Hardwick
said the idea was “worth exploring”, and could build on existing
schemes that helped refugees “better integrate into society and
rebuild their lives”.

A Refugee Action spokesperson said the scheme
would give British people a better understanding of refugees’
experiences, and could help refugees improve their language and
employment opportunities.

But he warned that if the government went
ahead with the initiative it had to address the needs of refugees
first, while Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants chief
executive Habib Rahman said it was important for any buddy scheme
to be voluntary and not force or coerce refugees into

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