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Manchester parish prepares to take in Syrian refugees

Syrian refugee child Ali from Aleppo, works at a clothing workshop in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey (AP)

A parish in Greater Manchester is preparing to look after Syrian refugees as part of a Home Office scheme.

The Community Sponsorship scheme allows groups, such as churches, to help integrate refugees into Britain.

One of the first communities expected to welcome refugees is St Monica’s in Flixton. The Diocese of Salford is acting as lead sponsor and will support the parish in implementing the programme.

So far, the parish has raised the funds required to cover the living expenses for a two-year sponsorship of one refugee family. The local authority will decide at the end of July to determine whether the family can stay in the area.

The selected refugees will be entitled to a five-year humanitarian visa and will be permitted to work in Britain immediately upon arrival.

The sponsoring groups welcome the refugees to their neighbourhood by meeting them at the airport, helping them settle into their home and teaching them how to pay bills.

Sponsoring communities must also provide funds of £4,500 per adult refugee which will be passed on to the local authority in order to contribute towards expenses.