ECHOES of the Second World War’s Kindertransport operation underpin a drive to find more foster carers in Darlington.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the rescue efforts that saw the UK provide sanctuary to thousands of child refugees from Nazi-dominated areas of Europe.

A refugee support group is now calling on people across Darlington to help the country uphold its proud history of offering sanctuary to vulnerable children by considering fostering.

The team at Darlington Assistance for Refugees believe that a surge in foster carers across the area will not only help local youngsters but will help to “free up space” for children coming to the UK after fleeing war or persecution overseas.

DAR is calling on Darlington’s council to accept a small number of young refugees and next week, the charity will host a meeting aimed at those who want to find out more about fostering children locally.

Chair Fran Wood also called on the Government to do more to help and resettle child refugees, suggesting that the 480 spaces made available under the Dubs Scheme were not enough and echoing the sentiments of Lord Alfred Dubs – who was a child refugee – and other campaigners in saying the country could instead give sanctuary to up to 3,000 youngsters.

She said: “Eighty years ago, whilst on its knees due to the war, our country gave sanctuary to children at risk - any of those children have helped to make Britain a safe and caring society.

“With the current routes to safety threatened, Britain has an urgent responsibility to live up to the Kindertransport legacy by establishing a new and lasting legal commitment to ensure child refugees can access safe passage.

“We want to increase the number of foster carers to ensure that the current local need can be met and to create the potential for meeting the needs of these refugee children.”

The meeting will be held from 7pm on Tuesday, April 30 at the Clervaux Café on Coniscliffe Road. There will be the opportunity to speak to family placement workers and foster parents.

Rosie Turner, from DAR, said: “Our motivation at the moment is to attract anyone who has ever thought about fostering or adopting, to come along and have the chance to ask any questions they want of various representatives.

“In Darlington there is a need for foster carers, and if we attract more, then it not only caters for that local need but also potentially frees up some space for accommodation for unaccompanied refugee children.”

For more information or to become a volunteer at the event, email or find the charity on Facebook.