CARDIGAN is getting ready to welcome its first refugee family from war-torn Syria ‘within the next couple of weeks'.

The refugee charity Croeso Teifi has been working tirelessly for the past 12 months to make its dream a reality and all that effort looks set to pay off.

Now, with all the permissions in place from both the Home Office and Ceredigion County Council, the money raised, a home waiting, the family of two adults, two children and a baby will soon be living in the town.

Vicky Moller, project director at Croeso Teifi, said: At times it felt like it would never happen and we were wading through teacle with all the paperwork. It has been very challenging

But we have finally got their and we are all hoping it will be successful. A lot of people have worked so hard to make this happen and we cannot thank them enough fir their support.“

An interpreter – himself a refugee - has been living in the town since July ahead of the family's arrival, attending Coleg Ceredigion and working as a volunteer translator in the neighbouring town of Narberth, who are already hosting an extended family.

Vicky hopes that once the family is settled, the charity can look to bring in more refugees.

She said: We are looking for a second home so that we can progress an application for a second family once we have learned any lessons from the first.“

Croeso Teifi is one of a number of Croeso towns in Wales who are trail blazing a new way to take care of refugee families under ‘community sponsorship’.

Welsh towns are leading the UK in this area and in recognition of their pioneering work they have received a national prize from Citizens UK.

Vicky received the UK prize on behalf of the Croeso teams in Wales at a ceremony in London last month. Two hundred representatives of schools, synagogues, churches, mosques and non-religious civic institutions attended the award ceremony. The government of Canada also received a prize.

Teresa May (who was not there in person) received the third prize as she introduced Community Sponsorship to the UK.

Children of the first community sponsored refugee family handed out the awards. Vicky listed the Croeso towns throughout Wales who are queuing up to receive families under the scheme.

Vicky said: "These are not the richest towns in the UK, often the opposite, but they are among the most generous. I am in touch with friends, refugees who are hanging on to hope by a thread which is in danger of snapping.

"Speaking personally this prize belongs to the refugees who provide my inspiration and motivation in terrible circumstances."

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