WHAT a disappointment that Malvern Hills District Council has decided not to support the scheme to offer shelter to 12 Syrian families.

These are not economic migrants or people simply looking for a better life, they are families that have had their world torn apart by civil war.

Ofsted reports regularly mark down our local schools for their lack of ethnic diversity. What a wonderful opportunity these Syrian families could provide for our local schools and children.

The number of Syrians displaced since the start of civil war in 2011 has reached over four million, making them the largest refugee group in history.

To date the UK have given shelter to only 187 – a drop in the ocean compared with the 33,000 Germany has agreed to take in.

Here is a chance for our children to meet and befriend children from many miles away, from a different culture, with experiences that our children hopefully will never face.

Here is a chance for our children to learn compassion, consideration and generosity for others in a way they simply can't get from watching TV.

Perhaps our local councillors should consider what example they are setting our children.

Biddi Kings and Jemma McCarron

Hanley Swan