Sheffield council workers are calling for a better welcome to be given to refugees following the demolition of the Calais refugee camp.
A Sheffield social worker described the ‘traumatised’ state of child refugees from ‘The Jungle’ camp.
Michelle Kingan volunteered in the camp in Calais before it was dismantled by the French authorities. She described the tragic ordeal the children there face, even after fleeing their war-torn homelands.
Ms Kingan said “All the children from the camp are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of what they’ve had to deal with.
“Children should be thinking about getting to school, not worrying about where they’re going to get their next meal from.”
So far, the UK has taken in around 300 children from ‘The Jungle’. Sheffield has accepted “fewer than five” of these children, according to a council spokeswoman.
Ms Kingan, who works for Sheffield council as a social work consultant, stressed the importance of refugees being made to feel welcome as “valued citizens” by Sheffield residents due to the traumatic experiences most had undergone.
She said: “If you’ve already had this horrible journey to get here, you should feel you’re in a place of sanctuary. We want people here to welcome them, chat with them and give them that human element people have lost.”
In conversation with the same newspaper, Councillor Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, declared that Sheffield residents would “do our bit” to welcome the refugees in “possibly the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II”.
She also called for the British Government to “fulfil their responsibilities and give Sheffield the funding which will enable us to give children the support they need.”