UK Resettlement Scheme

How SHBC is helping support families through the Government's UK resettlement scheme.

The UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS)

In 2016, the government set up the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS), following the Syrian civil war, to help those in the greatest need in the refugee camps, by giving them protection and support in the UK. Priority is given to women and children at risk, people requiring urgent medical attention and survivors of torture and violence.

To deliver this scheme, the government asked local councils, in partnership with their communities, to lead on this work.

SHBC, along with other Surrey authorities, agreed to help in this humanitarian effort in 2017, and has welcomed a number of Syrian guests to Surrey Heath since then.

In 2020 the SVPRS was replaced by the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS).


The work the Council does is funded by a grant from central government.

We also work with local people, community organisations and businesses to support families.

As part of their Humanitarian Protection visas, family members who have arrived through this scheme are able to claim benefits until they can find work. Part of the support provided is to help those able to work to learn English and develop employment skills needed to get a job.

Community support

In Surrey Heath we want to deliver a coordinated response that gives maximum support to the families we welcome.

We would like to hear from you if you, your organisation or business would like to help through donations or practical actions. You can do this by completing the supporting refugee families online form.

Once registered, we will keep you up to date with our work, and contact you when we have requests for help to share.

If you would like any further information about the Council’s work on this scheme please email (link sends email).

Volunteering opportunities

We are looking for committed volunteers to help with the integration of refugee families in the Borough.

Moving to the UK has been a huge adjustment for the families and they have faced various challenges settling into Surrey. Volunteer support will help them become more independent and to integrate into the community.

Find out more about how to become a volunteer on a resettlement scheme.

Feedback from our refugee families

"All respect and thanks to the UK, thank you for standing next to me and my family. Because of you we are able to live a normal and safe life after years of unsettlement and fear in my country. It's because of you I am able to see the world with a new happy, safe, prosperous perspective. Thank you for providing a safety and peace to me and my family."

“Every Family Support Coordinator who worked with our family, has left an unforgettable mark on our lives, for the continuous emotional support. You facilitated all our appointments for us and worked hard with our family beyond your regular working hours. The support you gave us, has been unparalleled in any country we lived in as refugees. Most important of all, you made us feel human and valued again. Thank you."