FAITH leaders from across Southend have sent an open letter to Southend Council urging it to support a campaign to bring 10,000 child refugees to the UK.

A total of 45 faith leaders have signed their names to the letter as part of the national “Our Turn” campaign run by Safe Passage and Lord Alf Dubs in honour of the 80th anniversary of Kindertransport.

The open letter urges Southend Council to accept three child refugees each year for the next ten years.

Kindertransport saw British communities take in 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe between 1938 and 1939.

Rosie Rooney, from the charity Safe Passage, said: “It’s over three years since we were all moved by the tragic image of little Alan Kurdi, who drowned along with his family as they tried to find safety in Europe.

“The Calais camps and Mediterranean drownings are no longer in the news but there are still thousands of children living in conflict zones or appalling camp conditions in Europe – some are even attempting suicide because the situation is so difficult.

“Bringing 10,000 children to safety might sound like a big ask but it would mean each council looking after just three children each year.

“We hope that the residents and councillors of Southend will support this campaign by pledging to welcome incredibly vulnerable refugee children.”

The letter signed by 45 faith leaders from all religions in Southend reads: "Now it is our turn to honour that legacy by helping more child refugees to find safety here.

"On this anniversary we call on Southend Council to pledge to give sanctuary to three child refugees a year for the next ten years, on the understanding that the government responds positively to the ‘Our Turn’ Campaign and fully funds a scheme to open safe passage for 10,000 child refugees to the UK more than 10 years."