25/03/2022 - Permalink

Update on Ukrainian refugees – 25 March 2022

Related topics: Community / Corporate / Housing / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council continues to watch the events in Ukraine and neighbouring countries with shock and dismay.

Following the Government announcement of the Homes for Ukraine – Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine (campaign.gov.uk) scheme the council is still waiting for further information regarding the matching of families and hosts as well as how many people we can welcome into Shropshire.

In the meantime, the council is advising those who are having Ukrainian refugee families arriving to stay with them, to ensure they have registered with the official Government website.

Ukraine flag flying at Shirehall, Shrewsbury

Ukraine flag flying at Shirehall, Shrewsbury

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said:-

“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the council, whilst we await further detailed guidance from the Government.

“We are working with the Government and Department of Education guidance and, as long as sponsors have registered with the official Government website, the council will receive their details and we will action accordingly.

“Our customer service staff are also collating customer details, and we will be in contact as soon as we are in a position to carry out home visits to assess the condition of properties and carryout the welfare assessments, which form a key part of the Government’s programme.”

The Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme encourages people who are happy to offer a room in their home to a Ukrainian family for 6+ months to register their details. To date there has been approximately 200,000 registrations on the site.

UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war.

While the council waits further instruction, we want to encourage anyone in Shropshire who can offer a room or property, to register on the site directly.

An FAQs page has also been set up on the Government site to help answer questions regarding the scheme: please do regularly check this, as it is being updated as more details are finalised.​​​​

Amanda Jones, CEO of Shropshire Supports Refugees, said:-“Shropshire Supports Refugees has always been about co-ordinating offers of support and facilitating requests for help.

“The Ukrainian situation is different yet again to the other resettlement programmes, and things are happening so fast we are doing our best to keep up.

“Shropshire Supports Refugees and Shropshire Council are currently putting together a countywide strategy to ensure that we make the situation as swift and as safe as possible for everybody involved.

“Please remember that you do need to have registered officially through the Government website in order to receive the financial support and support from the council.

“We need you to know that the Government guidelines at the moment state that people will not be able to receive the £350 payment until they have received a visit from the council to ensure that the property is suitable.

“Shropshire Supports Refugees will be acquiring a new support hub in Shrewsbury town centre where we can deliver information, guidance, and support as well as practical help with clothes, toys, and somewhere for guests to come and visit.

“We are collating all of the offers of support that come to our attention in whatever form that is, and we hope to be able to help to facilitate them in the very near future.

“Keep an eye on our closed Facebook group for our latest announcements, and please email us with any developments that occur at amanda.jones@shropshiresupportsrefugees.co.uk

“We endeavour to respond swiftly, but currently we are a very small team, so please bear with us.

“We would ask that you do not try to enrol children into schools or enrol people into GPs just yet, as the council wish to co-ordinate that as there will be potentially a lot of arrivals!

“We thank you for your passion, enthusiasm and commitment to helping in this difficult time.”

Simon Jones added:-

“There are no words to describe the horrors which are taking place in Ukraine right now. I know that Shropshire stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and like we have done many times before, want to reach out and offer our hand of support to help those in need.

“Shropshire Council, along with Shropshire Supports Refugees, have extensive knowledge and experience in resettling Syrian families, and will rely on the generosity and offers of accommodation that Shropshire people submit to the Government. This will help us ensure a smooth transition for those who are placed within our county.

“As we await further instructions from the Government, I strongly encourage anyone who can offer accommodation to register as soon as possible.”

Other offers of help 

Many people are asking how they can support the people of Ukraine and are looking for other ways to help.

We are in the process of collating the offers of help we have received and would encourage people to contact us via refugeesshropshire@shropshire.gov.uk if they are able to provide any support.

Local organisations supporting and co-ordinating help include:-

Information is changing all the time so please do contact the relevant organisation for the most current update and advice on how you can support.

A map showing Ukrainian donation points can be found here – Ukraine Donation Points – Google My Maps

Ukraine families living in Shrewsbury, and supporters, recently joined councillors to fly the Ukraine flag in solidarity and support for the country and thanked the county for their support. You can view a video of the event here.  Flying the Ukrainian flag – YouTube

Shrewsbury’s Ukrainian community joined councillors and supporter at Shirehall, Shrewsbury to fly the flag in solidarity and support for Ukraine

Shrewsbury’s Ukrainian community joined councillors and supporter at Shirehall, Shrewsbury to fly the flag in solidarity and support for Ukraine

Further information 

About the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launched the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme on 14 March 2022.

UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Please read the information on the announcement of the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme and view the registrations of interest page.