With the first cohort of families arriving in Belfast through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme this week, I think that is important that we all play our part in ensuring their assimilation into our wonderful city.
Much good work and support services are already being planned by voluntary groups, Churches and government departments; however, there are also small things that wider society can do.
We can remind those who are resentful of their arrival that the families were invited by the government, they have been displaced from their homes, and are probably experiencing feelings of anxiety and acute angst.
We can also ensure that the children are welcomed into our schools and youth clubs, and that the parents are treated with respect and as individuals just wanting the same thing we all want, a stable and happy future for our families.
Paula Bradshaw, Alliance Councillor, Belfast