York says Refugees Welcome Here

There have been a number of very negative comments in the York Press, following an article about York's plans to accept 60 Syrians. Sally Bourton, Chair of RAY's Board of Trustees has written to the York Press

'Refugee Action York (RAY) has been supporting children, young people and families who are asylum seekers and refugees in York since 2002. We are proud to be part of the 'York says Refugees Welcome Here' group, and of the planning led by the City of York Council, working with other organisations, Faith Groups and individuals, to welcome the small number of Syrian families who will come to York.  RAY has been overwhelmed by the generosity of many, who have supported us through fundraising and volunteering.

The events in Paris were terrible, beyond words. They have led to many negative comments about refugees, Syrians and York's intentions to welcome a small number of Syrian families. Part of ISIS tactics is to create fear.  Syrians are fleeing the total destruction of their homes, their families, their whole lives and they too are also victims of ISIS.   We must not let the fear arising from the appalling attacks in Paris prevent us from doing what York has always done well - which is, to be an open, welcoming city.  We need to continue  to demonstrate our welcome and support asylum seekers and refugees from whichever country they come.'