THE doors to Malvern are open to a dozen Syrian families, after their relocation was backed by council chiefs.

Around 60 people were given the go-ahead to be resettled in the town within the next year, with their housing and health care funded by the Government as they escape their war-torn home.

They have already been selected and approved for resettlement by the UN, with the Government carrying out their own checks too before they make the move.

Ruth Forecast, of Malvern Hills Amnesty International, said: "We are very pleased with this outcome. It is a life changing and life saving decision for many people.

"Since the story broke about these plans, we have had positive feedback from people in the Malvern community offering support in helping them integrate into our culture and society.

"Yes, we have had a small number of negative responses, but that's going to happen when the issue of immigration is brought up, but these people are desperate.

"A number of the people we will be helping will be skilled professionals who can contribute."

At the meeting on Tuesday, the Mayor of Malvern stressed the refugees are not economic migrants and can be a benefit to the community.

Councillor Julian Roskams said: "Amongst the hysteria that surrounds immigration, I must stress that refugees or asylum seekers are not economic migrants.

"Refugees are forced to flee their country for their safety. They leave behind their belongings, families and friends.

"Refugees want to work and become active members of the community.

"Some people would argue that this country has our fair share of refugees already, but the UK only homes 1% of the world's refugee population.

"We must welcome them and stop asking other countries to do what we must do ourselves."

At the meeting, it was questioned whether Malvern has the capacity to take on this responsibility, to which councillor John Raine said the council would work in partnership with organisations and charities who have the expertise in resettling refugees to help them integrate in Malvern.

Along with helping the refugees' integration into their new home's culture, support would be offered to them in terms of counselling as many have suffered loss and torture as a result of conflict.

The resettling of refugees comes under a scheme called Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation.

The Government had already agreed to re-home 500 Syrian refugees, but local councils have to give the go ahead, in a scheme called Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation.

Local councils have to agree to home them in their districts for it to go ahead.

Malvern Hills Amnesty International are aiming to relocate some of the refugees by December next year.