REFUGEE families in Wiltshire are finding jobs and gaining independence as they settle into local communities.

Since the first group of families arrived in December 2015, Wiltshire has welcomed 75 refugees to settle and make their home in the county.

On Monday afternoon, they met at County Hall to share stories and talk to members of Wiltshire Council, who have supported them since their move.

Ali Mohamed, 25, who came over with his wife Abeer and 18-month-old son Baraa in December 2015, said: “When I first moved it was quite difficult as my language was not that good and it was a completely new place, with lots of my family still in Syria.

“But over time I have grown to become more comfortable and the volunteers at Wiltshire Council have really helped us settle in.

“I have a part-time job as a delivery driver for a restaurant and just had a second interview to be a support worker for disabled people; I like helping others.

“People are mostly friendly towards us but after incidents like the Manchester and London Bridge terror attacks, opinions can sometimes change. "We want people to know that we are not the same as them and we do not share their views.”

Mr Mohamed also works part-time as a volunteer in the IT department at Wiltshire College, using the IT qualification he obtained in Syria, and supports other Syrian refugee families. He wants to one day go to university.

Partners Nuruz Youssaf and Hussein Mohamed came from Syria 10 months ago with their 18-month-old daughter, Talin.

Miss Youssaf, 25, said: “We have found it very good here since moving, the people have been very friendly.

“Talin has settled in at nursery and is really enjoying it.

“We both go to Trowbridge College to improve our English and after our course has finished we will look for jobs.

“We’re very happy that we came here.”

Other families settling in well include Abdelkarim who works full time as a builder and decorator.

In his spare time he supports other Syrian refugees, like Mr Mohamed.

Wiltshire Council has continued to work with key partners including Wiltshire Police, health colleagues and the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a multi-agency approach to ensure the refugees have all they need to settle quickly into their new homes.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, leader of Wiltshire Council said: “Since we welcomed the first families back in December 2015 we have always wanted to ensure they can settle into Wiltshire, become independent and really contribute to their community.

​"I’m so please we have so many great examples of how our hard working families are making a real difference and making their home in Wiltshire.”