Councils from the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership are encouraging those who can, to step forward with an offer of accommodation and help in supporting the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees into the sub-region.
The Government announced its ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme yesterday (Monday), through which people are asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free for as a long as they can.
Willing hosts will be paid £350 a month per resettlement group and can now register at https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk.
There will be a process of vetting, security checks and matching offers against the refugee families and individuals, with an expectation of the accommodation being for a minimum of six months.
While precise details of the visa process and sponsorship scheme are awaited, 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 are available on the Government website, and any further local specifics will be posted on each council’s website.
In a later phase of the scheme, organisations such as charities and churches will also be able to sponsor refugees, with details to follow.
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 available at: www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/LincolnshireCF-Ukraine.
The three councils of the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership are committed to jointly contributing in every way they can to support the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees.
In a joint statement, each Council Leader - Gary Porter from South Holland District Council, Craig Leyland from East Lindsey District Council and Paul Skinner from Boston Borough Council said: “The crisis unfolding in Ukraine is heart-breaking to see, with families having to flee with few possessions and little means of support. Lincolnshire will extend a warm and generous welcome to displaced Ukrainians and both as individuals and communities we will do whatever is needed to help.
“We would encourage anyone who has the capacity to open up their homes or make available their properties to do so. If you are unable to offer a place a stay, please consider supporting through a financial donation to the Disaster Emergency Committee, where the Government will match-fund your donation.”
There is a further programme through which Ukrainians resident in the UK, or UK-residents can take in family members fleeing from Ukraine at: www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visaFor an overview on ways to help, see:
- Ukraine - what you can do to help: 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 protected]
- Private landlords, businesses and property owners willing to offer up homes in Lincolnshire for those seeking sanctuary are invited to email [email protected]
- 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:
o https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/LincolnshireCF-Ukraineo Disaster Emergency Committee websiteo British Red Cross: Humanitarian aid in Ukraine websiteo MSF Doctors Without Borders website