Few of us can fail to have been moved by the horrific images from the civil war which has gripped Syria over recent years, and among those most profoundly affected by the conflict have been families and young people. While many thousands of refugees have made it to safety in other countries, this can also present challenges in getting used to new cultures and customs in a strange and foreign land. Underpinning this is having to cope with the psychological trauma of war.

That is why Extern’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme has played such an important role in helping people find their feet and begin to create a new, brighter future away from the frontlines.

Recently, we welcomed the 1,000th Syrian refugee to Northern Ireland. One of the many success stories to come from the programme has been the creation of the Extern Eagles football team, who have been playing their part in helping members of the Syrian community to integrate with their new neighbours, forge new friendships and show how, with the right assistance, a new start in life is always possible.