The number of Ukrainian refugees in Cheshire West and Chester is expected to more than double
The number of Ukrainian refugees in Cheshire West and Chester is expected to more than double as families continue to open their homes to those fleeing war. The government launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme in March, giving UK residents the chance to register as a sponsor and provide accommodation for refugees.
Since then, the council has been working with local people providing accommodation for those fleeing the Russian invasion, offering support and advice as well as next steps before their guests arrive. At a meeting of the authority’s cabinet this week, council leader Louise Gittins told members that so far 270 refugees had been taken in, including 100 under the age of 18. She said another 300 were due to arrive soon.
Cllr Gittins said: ‘The guests are all staying in the homes of local families and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to these families for their generosity and kindness.
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“As you all know, it is not straightforward in terms of welcoming and integrating refugees into the borough, it involves accommodation checks for suitability, DBS checks, social checks at the arrival of people, working with schools to effectively support children, organizing language lessons for families and broader education programs for parents.
“Put together welcome packs to make people’s transitions as seamless and knowledgeable as possible.” She added: “It’s a huge company and it’s clearly not just one team.
“Colleagues across the board along with many of our partners have worked incredibly hard to properly welcome and support people through what will be one of the most difficult and distressing times of their lives. I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved so far.
Last year, the council unanimously backed a decision to become a “sanctuary borough” for refugees and asylum seekers. While this doesn’t impact the numbers the borough is expected to host, it has made it part of the City of Sanctuary network – a list of cities, boroughs and towns that have expressed their commitment to becoming a place of safety for those fleeing violence and persecution. .
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