GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S support services for Syrian refugees in the county will soon be going out to tender.

More than 300 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Gloucestershire in the last five years.

The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme began in 2015 and aimed to provide sanctuary to 20,000 refugees across the UK by 2020.

It is funded by the Home Office and has been managed by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) across the county, with the support of the six district councils.

Over the five-year period the county has welcomed 80 Syrian families, 326 refugees in total. This includes 33 families settled in Cheltenham, nine families in Stroud, 27 in Gloucester, six in the Forest of Dean, three in the Cotswolds and two in Tewkesbury.

The most vulnerable people in need from Syria are identified by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, prioritising people who cannot be supported where they are. It is especially aimed at women and children at risk, people in severe need of medical care and survivors of torture and violence, amongst others.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service then works closely with health, education and social care teams to make sure their needs can be fully met and provides funding to GCC's contracted provider, who support the refugees and help them to build a new life.

Who will provide these services for the next three years will be decided through a tendering process.