Somerset

Website places Syrian refugees with families

Website screengrab
Image caption Richard Moore is now considering whether to pass the website on to a charity

A man was so moved by the plight of refugees he encountered during a summer holiday on a Greek island he set up a website to help.

Richard Moore, from Somerset, came up with the idea for a website to place Syrian refugees with UK families.

"This is something I could do, so I did it," the 47-year-old said.

The site has been running for four months, with one family a day signing up to offer accommodation. Seven Syrian refugees have been placed so far.

Rooms have been offered across the country including London, Leicester, and on a croft in the Shetlands.

Networks like these run on trust, with no reported incidents of exploitation by hosts or refugees.

Image caption Mr Moore said he had been overwhelmed with the number of people offering to help

The first person to offer a bedroom, Jessica, from London, said: "It feels like a small thing to do, to give Ghassan the use of our tiny spare room.

"I think back to after the Second World War. It was just a given, if you had space you would give up a little corner of it to people in need."

Ghassan said: "I hope that I can show people a nice image of the Syrian people. And I hope I can pay back some of this warmth and tenderness."

Image copyright Family video
Image caption Jessica from London said offering her spare room "felt like a very small thing to do" to help

The refugees have residents' permits, with leave to remain and the right to work.

Mr Moore, a former digital project manager, has so far not taken in any of the 20,000 Syrians identified under the government's resettlement programme, but acknowledges his service could be a useful "stop-gap" if needed.

He is also now considering whether the site - homesforsyrians.uk - should be passed to a charity to run.

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