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Fenland welcomes first Ukrainian refugees

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Huge efforts remain under-way in Fenland to provide safe passage and a warm welcome to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Last week, the district welcomed its first Ukrainian family under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, which allows residents to become a sponsor and share their homes with or provide accommodation to refugees.

Fenland District Council is leading a co-ordinated response with partner organisations and local community groups to ensure all new arrivals from Ukraine receive the best possible support and safe welcome to the area.

The first Ukranian refugees have arrived in Fenland.
The first Ukranian refugees have arrived in Fenland.

The authority is responsible for working with sponsor families to carry out the necessary accommodation and disclosure checks, and for the welfare of Ukrainians, including providing funding from government to help them settle and helping with access to financial support, education, healthcare, and social care services when they arrive.

The council also administers the Government’s £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment to sponsor households and has created a welcome pack to help Ukrainian families to adjust.

Officers are also working closely with community partners, including the Rosmini Centre in Wisbech, to provide direct social and integration support.

Leader of Fenland District Council, Councillor Chris Boden, said: “I am very pleased that the first Ukrainians taking refuge from the war in their homeland have arrived safely in Fenland. A cross-council team has worked as swiftly as possible to ensure that we are ready to welcome our newest residents and that they are appropriately supported as they settle into life in Fenland.

“In partnership with our colleagues at Cambridgeshire Council County, other district councils across Cambridgeshire and community partners, we will continue to do whatever is necessary to help those fleeing the ongoing devastation caused by the Russian invasion.

“All the Council’s costs, including the payments being made to sponsors and their guests, are being met by Government funding for the Homes for Ukraine scheme. There will be no impact on the Council’s finances.”

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor by offering accommodation should register at the Homes for Ukraine website at: www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine. Individuals, businesses or other community organisations who wish to offer help (other than accommodation) can contact the Council on 01354 654321.

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