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Afghan Refugees Move Into Wearside



Following the rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in August, Sunderland City Council immediately volunteered itself to participate in a resettlement program led by the government to assist the families of those fleeing the war torn country. The refugees started to arrive in Wearside last month, with numbers rising throughout November, but not everyone has been met with a warm welcome.

The community however have responded to this news with a mixed reaction. Whilst some residents have been supportive and concerned for the wellbeing of the family, others have been less pleased. Currently no incidents have been reported and let’s hope it stays this way. Residents of the city are being subsequently encouraged to welcome and support the refugees with open arms and compassion, as opposed to venting fear and unwelcoming sentiments.

This follows refugees settling in Redcar and Cleveland after fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan last month. Under the existing refugee resettlement scheme, two families who worked for the British in Afghanistan have been placed in the borough.

According to ITV News, Councillor Steve Kay, Redcar and Cleveland Council Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare, said the council has a ‘proud record of supporting those fleeing conflict and seeking sanctuary’. He added: “We have been part of the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme for a number of years and many families have successfully settled in our borough under that programme. We have already started to help Afghans resettle in this borough and will continue to meet our humanitarian commitment in line with central government guidance.”

The council have now announced further plans to accept more refugees under the newest government scheme. Redcar and Cleveland council are among many who have pledged to welcome and support families fleeing conflict in Afghanistan.

North East councils including Newcastle, Northumberland, Sunderland and Durham have all announced their plans on how they will contribute to the rehoming of Afghan citizens.

A spokesman for Gateshead council said: “We have a team of people in Gateshead dedicated to supporting and integrating refugees. We work with the North East Migration Partnership to help deliver the Government’s Resettlement programmes here in the region. Via this partnership Gateshead has been communicating with the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office to respond to the crisis in Afghanistan. In the past month we have welcomed a number of families and individuals from Afghanistan and going forward we will support more people.”

In September, the UK Home Office announced a scheme for Afghans that aims ‘to resettle around 5000 Afghan nationals at risk in 2021 and up to 20,000 in the longer term’ with priority issued to ‘women, girls and religious and other minorities’.

UK charities have also pushed the government to create safe routes into the UK for Afghans to claim asylum.

Last year, Redcar and Cleveland housed over 200 Syrian refugees under the governments Syrian resettlement scheme.

What do you make of refugees moving in to your local area? Let us know!


Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.


It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..


“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”


Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.


What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.


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Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living



A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue



The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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