More than 30 Syrian families met together at Wiltshire Scouts Centre in Potterne on 8 July at an event organised jointly by Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Over the last three years more than 120 refugees from Syria have been helped to resettle in Wiltshire as part of the Government funded Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS). The families are distributed across the county, so this event proved a great opportunity for them to meet up with other families and share experiences.
The families received information from Wiltshire Council’s Health Trainers, a pharmacist, a local GP, the ‘Out of Hours’ service, a diabetes specialist and a representative from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust. Simultaneous interpretation and some translated materials were provided to ensure all messages could be understood. A crèche on site for 20 children ensured families could attend knowing their children would be looked after.
Tim Burns, Commissioning Manager for Wiltshire CCG said: “It’s been a really great day and the feedback from the families has been extremely positive. The families have explained that they have found the event a very useful way of receiving important information about health and social care, in a safe and sociable setting. We’re very grateful to members from the Wiltshire ‘Link’ schemes that provided transport to and from Potterne and all the contributors who made the day so informative and successful.”
Each family, all participants and staff brought their own food to share and demonstrated some exceptional culinary skills as well as the important cultural aspect of sharing food. The families also met some of the first refugees to settle in Wiltshire, including one of the first cohort of refugees who is now a health trainer himself.
Maysun Butros, Senior Corporate Support Officer from Wiltshire Council said: “Today’s collaborative event has brought together VPRS families from across Wiltshire for a Interim Deputy Chief Executive (Wiltshire): Linda Prosser | Chair: Dr Richard Sandford-Hill NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group | Southgate House | Pans Lane| Devizes | SN10 5EQ The right healthcare, for you, with you, near you
health and wellbeing information sharing day. It was also an excellent social opportunity and the feedback we’ve had from participants has been positive and lays down the foundation for further work of this nature.”