Lincolnshire councils are encouraging those who can, to step forward with an offer of accommodation and help in supporting the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees into the County.
Following the Government’s announcement of its ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme through which people are asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free for as a long as they can, any willing hosts can now register to take in refugees at https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk
There will be a process of vetting, security checks and matching offers of accommodation against the refugee families and individuals with an expectation of the accommodation being for a minimum of six months. Hosts will be paid £350 a month per resettlement group.
While precise details of the visa process and sponsorship scheme are awaited, it is clear that under the scheme, Ukrainians who are matched and housed with a UK ‘sponsor’ will be granted leave to remain for three years. They will be able to work, claim benefits and access public services in that time.
All current details about the scheme are available on the Government website and any further local specifics will be posted on each Lincolnshire councils’ local websites. FAQs on the scheme are available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions
Additionally, working in partnership with all Lincolnshire councils, the Lincolnshire Community Foundation has launched an appeal dedicated to supporting those arriving in the county. This Local Welcome Fund which will help to meet additional costs and provisions required by the refugee families and their hosts, such as to access transport, broadband and digital resources, access to leisure facilities, vouchers for toys etc. It is at: www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/LincolnshireCF-Ukraine
Lincolnshire’s district, city, borough and county councils are committed to jointly contributing in every way they can in supporting the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees. As District Council representation on the East Midlands Migration Partnership, North Kesteven District Council Leader Cllr Richard Wright said:
“The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine is on a terrible scale and it is heart-breaking to see families having to flee their own country with few possessions and little means of support. We know that, as it always has, Lincolnshire will extend a warm and generous welcome to displaced Ukrainians and that both as individuals and communities we will do whatever is needed locally to help with this humanitarian crisis.”
“We encourage anyone who has the capacity to open up their homes or make available their properties to do so, in order that we can offer safety and sanctuary to those in need. Additionally for everyone who can, to respond through financial help and generosity of goodwill to ensure that when our guests do arrive they can be provided with everything they need in order to settle, feel safe and rebuild their lives as best they can.
“Working together, and in partnership with other public bodies, charities and organisations, there is a lot of positive work going on as we stand ready to respond in every way we can.”
Already 50-or-so offers of accommodation have been made, offers which will now be redirected to the Government site.
Announcing the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said that he anticipated tens of thousands of Ukrainians might be taken in by UK families with the first arrivals within a week.
In a later phase of the scheme, organisations such as charities and churches will also be able to sponsor refugees, with details to follow.
There is a further programme through which Ukrainians resident in the UK, or UK-residents can take in family members fleeing from Ukraine. Details at www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
- For an overview on ways to help, see: www.gov.uk/government/news/ukraine-what-you-can-do-to-help
- Working together through a local charity or faith group, communities can collaborate as ‘community sponsors’. For detail email: email@example.com
- Donations of money are encouraged to organisations or community groups that demonstrate an understanding of community needs, safe and legal working practices, and systems of accountability. These include: