Refugee resettlement

UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS)

The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) was launched in January 2014 and closed to new arrivals on 25 February 2021. VPRS provided sanctuary to those fleeing the Syrian conflict in neighbouring countries in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.

The UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) started in March 2021. Its purpose is to settle vulnerable refugees in need of protection from regions affected by conflict and instability across the globe.

The scheme is run in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR). The UK supports the UNHCR’s global effort to relieve the humanitarian crisis through the provision of resettlement opportunities for vulnerable people who have registered with the UNHCR and where resettlement is considered necessary.  Read more about UNHCR.

In Cherwell

We welcomed our first family in July 2017. Since then we have supported 13 families to resettle in Cherwell District and have committed to settling 18 families in total.

We secure accommodation within the private rented sector. We work in partnership with a range of different council departments and both statutory and voluntary agencies for the benefit of families’ support.

Connection Support are the lead agency providing resettlement support to families for the first two years of a family arriving.


Landlords wanted

We are looking for private landlords with two, three or four bed properties to let for a minimum of 12 months.

Any offers of accommodation should be made to our VPRS Project Officer by email to syrianrefugee.resettlement@cherwell-dc.gov.uk or by telephing 01295 753766.

Our offer to landlords is:

  • Assistance with letting your property
  • 12 months’ rent paid in advance
  • A non-returnable finder’s fee of £1,000
  • A deposit bond equivalent to 10 weeks’ rent
  • An opportunity to apply for home improvement grants from the council to improve or refurbish the property
  • Ongoing advice and assistance on a range of issues including managing the tenancy, landlord’s rights and responsibilities, energy efficiency, etc.
  • Tenants will receive a dedicated package of support for a minimum of 12 months

View our UKRS guide for landlords


Volunteering - can you help?

Volunteers play a vital role in the resettlement of refugee families. There are a variety of ways volunteers can help in the delivery of support; from helping families get to know their local area to supporting English conversation. Anyone who would like to get involved in supporting refugee families is invited to contact Connection Support on 01865 711267 or email volunteers@connectionsupport.org.uk

For the latest information about the scheme in Cherwell please see our latest Community newsletter.


Support services within Oxfordshire

There are many services available throughout Oxfordshire.

English learning (ESOL) in Cherwell:

Activate Learning offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at different levels. Your level will be assessed to check which class would be the best for you to join. You will study all aspects of the English Language, including speaking and listening, reading and writing, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.  Telephone: 0800 612 6008.

​​​​​​EMBS College offer classes for everyone who wants to learn English as an additional language. Classes run in the day and evening. They have classes for complete beginners to advanced. The classes will help develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The classes also support the need to carry out everyday tasks like buying bus tickets and attending doctors’ appointments. Telephone: 01865 776041.


Refugee Support:

  • Asylum Welcome offers support to asylum seekers, refugees and detainees who have fled persecution and danger in their own countries and seek refuge in Oxford and Oxfordshire. 
    Telephone: 01865 722082.
  • Refugee Resource provides psychological, social and practical support for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants to help them heal from trauma and suffering, and to build new lives as part of Oxfordshire’s diverse community.  
    Telephone 01865 403280 or 0845 458 0055.
  • British Red Cross have a long tradition of providing practical and emotional assistance to vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees.
    Telephone 0300 333 5393 or email: tvrefugeesupport@redcross.org.uk

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