A family of Syrian refugees who arrived at Blackburn Train Station days before Christmas were supported by volunteers and well-wishers.

The parents with four children arrived at the station and had nowhere to go. Members of the Darwen Asylum Refugee Enterprise (DARE) were called and headed to a platform at the railway station to meet them.

The family, who had been staying in a refugee camp, had flown from Jordan to Luton and then taken the train to Blackburn. The father, who used to live in Darwen, got leave to remain in September.

A message from DARE read: “They were all very exhausted. Being at a loss what to do. we contacted Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Housing Needs and they made their way to the Town Hall. 

“BBWDBC couldn't do anything at the time as the family needed the correct documentation for them to be able to source accommodation

“The family travelled by train to Hull and collected their Biometric Residence Permits.

“All of the family had to go to ensure that the permits were a match. 

"They then met with BWDBC housing needs and meeting its statutory housing duty,  were granted residence at a hotel in Blackburn ”

The council is said to be facing 'unprecedented pressures on housing' and this is affecting many thousands with some level of housing need.

The most vulnerable and those in priority band one and threat of being homeless are most affected with a high demand for housing with little availability of suitable housing.  The council aims to do its best to meet these pressures, simultaneously 'treating people as individuals and with dignity'.

This was only a temporary solution, said DARE, and over Christmas a call went out to volunteers and people across the community for assistance.

Within days £300 was donated by a resident who also took the family out shopping in Blackburn town centre. They bought trainers for all the children and the father, and the mum bought a new coat.

Another local volunteer took the family to Chai Station for brunch. Food was collected and dropped off from numerous Blackburn residents with the IMO Charity and members of Tauheedul Islam Girls’ school also assisting with efforts to support the family.

A further message shared to well-wishers read: “Alhamdulillah, they are not in need of anything at the moment and have said they have felt humbled by the support offered to them.”