When I was approached by a couple of ladies in Clare to help set up a support group for Ukrainian refugees and their hosts I jumped at the chance. My whole reason for being councillor is to help others and the refugees certainly need help.
There are lots of issues to think about. A key thing is to understand what scheme the refugees are coming under. If it is under the Home scheme then checks are carried out on the hosts and their homes, a £200 initial payment is made to the guests and the hosts are paid £350 a month. There is also support from local councils. On the other hand under the family scheme all of the above does not apply. Worse, the refugees are not on the radar with anyone. This has the potential for difficulties. Folk are not permitted to move from one scheme to another
We will be setting up some sort of meet and great service where the refugees can all meet up once a week. We are exploring transport options to collect them from the villages and it’s looking promising.
A Facebook page has been set up by one of the ladies, Sarah Sainsbury and is brilliant. If you want to find out what is happening in real time this is the place to go. https://www.facebook.com/groups/492599929247578/?ref=share
We are currently working as fast as possible to set up the following support in and around Clare:
~ Language classes
~ Social events
~ Transport for Ukrainians living in villages
~ Support accessing local services
~ Support accessing job opportunities
.. and more.