SYRIAN refugees living on the Isle of Bute have praised the welcome they have received in Scotland after reports surfaced of them being unhappy with their new home.

The families, which are made up of 28 adults and 31 children, were relocated to the island through the UK Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme back in December after fleeing their war-torn homeland.

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Earlier this week comments by some were featured in a national newspaper saying that they were unhappy living on an island "full of old people waiting to die" and they would rather be in Glasgow or Manchester.

But now others have taken to social media to stress that they are happy to stay on Bute, with one dismissing the newspaper's story as "nonsense".

Mounzer Darsani said: "I am one of the Syrians families on the island what the Daily Mail published is nonsense and not true. We are very happy because we have been welcomed very well and I hope you too [are] happy for us to be in here.

"We want to thank everybody for their good hospitality. All the people here are very nice and friendly and they are treating us with kindness we are proud to be on the island."

Another refugee, Hicham Hamadi, added: "We are so proud of you and the island and we want to thank you for your good hospitality. We came here to live our life and we feel like this our new home.

Countryman Bashar Helmi said: "I am one of the Syrian families. I would like to thank you for your support, you are very nice and friendly people and we are so thankful for your good hospitality your smiles always on your faces and we are grateful for being here. Thank you for having us."

The families were selected from refugee camps in the Middle East since their home country was torn apart by a brutal civil war that has caused thousands of deaths.

Locals living on Bute said that the reports of discontent among the refugees had brought undue pressure on the families, and called for them to be left alone.

Lisa O'Donnell, 44, writer and lecturer who lives on the island, said: "The Syrian families are now a little scared to talk to journalists and as you can imagine the islanders have become protective over their welfare and don't want to talk either.

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"They have gone through terrors none of us can imagine. They miss their family and their homes before the war.

"I think it's okay for them to feel discontented with areas of their lives. I think it's okay to find it difficult to adjust to island life, because it isn't just an adjustment."

She added: "People are behaving like their gratitude should extend to forgetting what they have lost and where they came from.

"The Syrians belong to the family of Bute as long as they want and you will find that most people welcome them with open arms and great admiration."

Almost 60 local volunteers have also been giving up their free time to help make the transition easier for the families and have helped in various ways, including helping them to learn English and accompanying them to hospital appointments.

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An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman said: “We’re disappointed that two families are not happy on Bute. We know that these are not the views of the overwhelming majority of our families who are settling in well, making the most of all the opportunities of support and welcome available, and enjoying life on Bute. Young people are settling well into school and success in securing jobs is growing."