Sunday 3 March 2024
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Nottinghamshire families take in more than 800 Ukrainian refugees

More than 800 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Nottinghamshire since the Russian invasion began six months ago.

And a further 642 Ukrainians are due to  arrive in the coming months as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Nottinghamshire County Council says a total of 1,478 arrivals are expected through the scheme, which offers British families the chance to house Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.

It is six months since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, on February 24.

The county council says several projects have been launched to support refugees settling in Nottinghamshire.

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They include a £200 ‘welcome payment’ for every refugee , plus a six-month free travel pass for the county’s public transport.

The authority has also set up a £100,000 funding pot for voluntary groups planning to run community events for settling refugees.

Eligible groups, which include those hosting events, providing access to translation services and language classes, and health and wellbeing organisations, can apply for up to £5,000 to support these services.

Councillor John Cottee, the council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “We recognise the huge contribution voluntary groups are already making to the lives of those who have fled Ukraine and endured unimaginable suffering, with people arriving in the county every week.

“We are very proud of this fund which will help even more Ukrainian guests living in Nottinghamshire to integrate into their community and feel as at home as they can be under the circumstances.

“A special thanks to all those who have opened up their doors to welcome Ukrainian guests into their homes.  The response from local communities has been incredible, with new hosts coming forward all the time.

“As a county council, we have been working closely with partners to help the Home for Ukraine scheme run as smoothly as possible. We are helping with access to benefits, healthcare, employment, language and other support.”

Nottingham City Council has been unable to provide a figure for the number of refugees currently in or due to arrive in the city.

However the authority has paid tribute to the “strong Ukrainian community” in Nottingham that has offered its support.

Cllr Adele Williams (Lab), the council’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “We have a strong Ukrainian community who have been tirelessly fundraising and doing what they can to help Ukrainian people caught up in this awful war.

“Many local Ukrainians will be deeply concerned about loved ones in the country.

“Since the war began, we have been regularly lighting up the Council House to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”

On Wednesday (August 24) Ukraine celebrated its 31st Independence Day.

To mark the occasion, an event was held at Nottingham’s Ukrainian Community Centre, in Mansfield Road, celebrating the country’s culture and hospitality.

•  Ukraine guests and host families gather in West Bridgford for nation’s Independence Day

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