Preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees to South Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

Preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees to South Warwickshire

Leamington Editorial 13th Apr, 2022   0

MOVES to settle Ukrainian refugees in South Warwickshire are well underway.

With many residents signing up for the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, Warwick and Stratford district councils are preparing to provide a smooth and safe integration for those who have fled their war-torn homeland in the wake of the Russian invasion.

It is understood some 200,000 people nationally have signed up for the scheme which offers UK households a £350 tax-free payment every month to host a Ukrainian refugee family.

Following an ‘excellent’ response across both Warwick and Stratford district, with offers of rooms or entire homes, officers from both councils are working their way through the list of properties and contacting the owners to arrange an inspection.

Those who have volunteered have been sent guidance ahead of the visits to determine the suitability of the accommodation, to ensure the needs and welfare of the Ukrainian people who will be resettled are met.

Warwickshire County Council is coordinating the response from the voluntary and community sector and local offers of support. Community groups are encouraged to email [email protected] or visit Warwickshire County Council website for further information.

Warwick District Council’s homes, Health and wellbeing spokesman Coun Jan Matecki said: “We are very grateful for the swiftness of the response by the local community to offer their homes. “People arriving in the UK from Ukraine have been through so much already, we therefore want to offer the warmest of welcomes and the best possible experiences to those who come to South Warwickshire.”

Stratford District Council’s equivalent spokeswoman Coun Jo Barker was also full of praise for reaction of residents wanting to help.

She said: “I am heartened by the outpouring of support from local residents and communities to provide assistance to people from Ukraine.

“We are working hard to ensure we inspect as many properties as quickly as we are able to ensure that we support the community effort to deliver a safe and welcoming environment.”

Among those keen to offer refugees a roof over their head is company director Martin Holton.

Mr Holton, who runs car dealership Country Car Barford, is offering sanctuary to Ukrainians at his 16-room home near Leamington.

Details of the Homes for Ukraine scheme can be found on the the websites of the respective councils.

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