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Afghan refugees in Kent invited to apply for care home staff vacancies as industry reaches crisis point


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A charity boss has said his care homes for vulnerable young people are currently at a crisis point, because of an unprecedented number of staff vacancies and a failed recruitment drive.

As a result, the chief executive is now turning to Afghan refugees to fill vital positions at care centres in Canterbury as well as Orpington and Bromley.

Thousands of Afghan refugees are being relocated in the UK. Picture: UK MOD
Thousands of Afghan refugees are being relocated in the UK. Picture: UK MOD

The Diagrama Foundation hosts young people aged 16-24 who are unable to live independently.

Centres like the semi-independent Willow House near Canterbury city centre, are staffed 24-hours a day and provide support with domestic activities as well as secure accommodation.

The charity now faces a major crisis in maintaining its facilities with more support staff vacancies than ever before.

Diagrama's CEO, David McGuire said: "We have never had this number of vacancies before and despite trying to recruit via our normal routes we are struggling to fill these positions.

"We have all watched the events unfolding in Afghanistan and the number of refugees who will need homes and employment within the UK, and we would love to hear from agencies supporting these men and women to see if they are working with people who can join us to give excellent care to our residents."

The Willow House in Canterbury supports vulnerable young people who require 24-hour monitoring
The Willow House in Canterbury supports vulnerable young people who require 24-hour monitoring

Mr McGuire continued: "When someone has time and belief invested in them, they come alive, because that investment has made them feel valued and worthy.

"We are confident that this ethos will help the Afghan refugees to settle more quickly, feel welcomed and integrated within the local community and feel more independent, having secured a job affording them some financial independence."

Councils in Kent which say they are prepared to take in Afghan refugees will receive £20,520 per person for resettlement and integration costs under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "The UK is a proud democratic country, so it is unimaginable for many of us to live in fear of being ourselves or not having access to even the most basic rights.

"That is why we are providing a safe haven in the UK for people at risk, including women and girls and minority groups, so they can rebuild their lives safely in the UK."

David McGuire hopes his charity will help give refugees a sense of purpose by providing an opportunity for employment
David McGuire hopes his charity will help give refugees a sense of purpose by providing an opportunity for employment

The UK has said that it will take up to 20,000 Afghan refugees, with at least a quarter of those arriving this year.

The Diagrama Foundation has committed to being involved in the resettlement of these men and women by supporting them to apply for its support worker vacancies.

However, despite the call for Afghan refugees to apply, these vacant positions are open to everyone.

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