COUNTY leaders have praised Warwickshire residents’ efforts to pull together in support of Ukrainian people affected by the Russian invasion.
Individuals and organisations across the county have donated money, essential items and their time, to help people fleeing Ukraine and those who remain in the conflict zone.
Organisations such as the Polish Centre in Leamington have moved quickly, working in partnership with local businesses to coordinate relief efforts.
Over the past few weeks, the centre has sent dozens of pallets to Ukraine, filled with items such as power generators, first aid supplies, sleeping bags and toiletries.
In the north of the county, the Holy Spirit Catholic Multi Academy Company organised collections from schools, residents and businesses, with almost 70,000 items and £4,000 generously donated.
Staff, parents and volunteers were kept busy at St Andrew’s Benn School, Rugby, sorting a lorry-load of donated goods to be sent to Ukraine. And staff from Warwickshire County Council’s Covid testing centre at the United Reform Church in Nuneaton was overwhelmed with the generosity shown by the community after putting out a call for donations.
Warwickshire has a history of welcoming and supporting those fleeing from conflict. In recent years, refugees have arrived from Afghanistan and Syria, and have been assisted through partnerships between local government, educators, healthcare providers and others.
WCC says it is working closely with district and borough councils to identify the challenges arising from the crisis, and to ensure support is available to Ukrainian families and individuals who require it. The council will continue to provide updates.
A motion was unanimously passed at a WCC meeting pledged to ‘condemn the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine’, provide support to those affected by the war and support the efforts of communities to provide help and comfort to those in need.
WCC leader Izzi Seccombe said: “The energy and passion Warwickshire residents have shown to those fleeing from, as well as trapped in, the terrible conflict in Ukraine is inspiring and admirable.
“Whilst the unbearable suffering and atrocities in Ukraine are at the forefront of our minds, we must spare thoughts for all those suffering in other conflicts around the globe, such as those in the Yemeni Crisis, Syrian Civil War and Afghanistan.
“Warwickshire will offer a warm welcome to all those who seek to escape from the horrors of war.”
Resources to help those in need, including the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme – which supports households to take in Ukrainian people – can be found via:
Ukrainians with family members who are British nationals, or settled in the UK, are able to seek refuge by applying to the Ukraine Family Scheme visa scheme. Visit www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa for information.