Today marks the start of Refugee Week.

Refugee Week (18 – 24 June) celebrates the positive difference refugees and migrants make to their communities.

West Sussex County Council says they are looking forward to welcoming more Syrian families.

The week also thanks local people for helping refugees integrate.

The local authority say communities across the county have welcomed a number of Syrian families.

The integration is part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement programme.

With the help of local people, the County Council say these families are successfully adapting to their new lives.

A volunteer from the Horsham Refugees support group has been working with two refugee families.

Jo explains:

“Over the last two years I have seen such a development in all members of the two families.

“Their language skills and confidence at navigating the community have grown.

“They are making friends in their local areas and joining in with community groups and activities.

“Throughout every visit they are always so grateful for the refuge and the welcome they have received in West Sussex and always ask me to pass this on to the general public for their kind donations, smiles and words.”

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“Thank you to the individuals, groups and organisations which have come together to welcome refugees and migrants into their communities.

“I feel so proud to live in a county which has made such an effort to support these vulnerable families.

“It is also important to take this opportunity to celebrate the benefits these families bring to West Sussex.”

Residents in West Sussex are being asked to consider what they can do to support refugees and migrants.

As part of this, residents are encouraged to complete ’20 Simple Acts,’.

The simple acts include recording a 20 second long message of welcome to refugees, and posting the video to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SimpleActs.

The full list of suggestions is available by clicking here.