Refugees who fled war-torn Syria and are now living on the isle of Bute say they feel “safe and welcome”.
Feedback from the refugees was considered by the council as they evaluated the resettlement project one year on from their arrival and agreed to bring more in the future.
The 18 Syrian families were asked to score various aspects of their new lives on a scale of one to seven, with seven being the highest award.
In a report before councillors, Morag Brown, business improvement manager, community services, said: “The families were asked to score how safe and welcoming the community was and this was scored seven by every family interviewed, with families saying how the island was their home and one lady saying she felt like she had been born on the island the welcome was so warm.”
The average score for housing needs being met was around 5.8. Scores ranged from one given by those living on the outskirts of the main town of Rothesay to seven.
Support to achieve English language skills scored an average of 5.67. Low scores were attributed to a desire for more provision and a change in teaching method to a more formal style and higher scores to the quality and breadth of support on offer.
When asked about their understanding of the labour market and potential job opportunities on Bute, the average score was 3.7. There was optimism from some that there would be job opportunities available, but some were concerned they would have to leave the island to find work.
Councillor Aileen Morton said: “I was on Bute recently.
“The people of Bute have done everything possible to make them welcome.
“Those families were in danger, we need to say a huge thank you to the people of Bute.”
The committee agreed to acknowledge and welcome the “excellent support” provided by the people of Bute and the Refugee Resettlement Group.