Syrian refugees in Aberdeen have been busy in the kitchen providing meals for the elderly and homeless to say thanks to their new home.
Aberdeen’s Syrian Refugees’ Women’s Group said they and their families have been made to feel so welcome in their new home that they had to give something back to the city.
Working with Aberdeen City Council’s Refugee Project Team, food charity CFINE and the Cyrenians, the women dished up some traditional Syrian rice and chicken, pastry and cake dishes for sharing with church members, the homeless and care homes for the elderly.
Councillor Yvonne Allan, convener of the communities, housing and infrastructure committee, said: “It was great to meet our Syrian ladies and I was deeply moved by the stories they had to tell.
“I was also heartened by their good humour and by their affection for their adoptive home of Aberdeen.
“It’s fantastic that they have all been made to feel so welcome here that they wanted to give something back to say thanks to the community.”
In 2016, the local authority committed to taking in a total of 100 Syrian refugees over a five-year period, with them already meeting their target as of this month.
The first 10 families arrived in the city in March 2016 with more arriving that summer.
As part of the resettlement scheme, Aberdeen will take a 5% share of the estimated 20,000 refugees coming to Scotland over the next few years, which is based on the city’s population.
Cllr Allan added: “I know that their fantastic cooking has been enjoyed by our homeless and elderly this weekend and everyone has given their efforts a massive thumbs-up.
“I’d like to thank them, our Refugee Project Team along with our partners CFINE and the Cyrenians for all their hard work in making such a wonderful gesture a reality.”
The food was prepared in CFINE’s community kitchen before being delivered by the group to the Cyrenians, Jesus House in Torry and to sheltered housing accommodation for the elderly.
The women chatted to the sheltered housing tenants and have promised to return again in the future.