Supporting Ukrainian Refugees escaping war!

Michael Lilley at Ukraine support event Ryde 2022

How to offer a Ukrainian refugee a room under the new sponsor scheme as 43,000 sign up | ITV News

UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Ukraine – South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (southeastspm.org.uk)

The Government has launched a National scheme to support Ukrainian refugees yesterday and above links provide further information. The scheme is simply that any resident that has a room in their house or other forms of accommodation and they wish to offer a refugee or refugee family they can register to sponsor a refugee and offer them a home for 6 months or more. This does not mean you will be automatically be selected or your offer taken up and there will be a process to make sure what you offer is suitable.

It is wonderful to see already a massive response across the Country and on the Island and my wife and I have registered but we know we could only offer a room if there was adequate local support in Ryde and on the Isle of Wight. Someone escaping their home with nothing and leaving loved ones behind is going to be very traumatised and is going to need a range of support. they are going to need access to GPs, healthcare, ESOL (learning English is they only speak Ukrainian) and much more. Children will have to access places at a local school.

I urge you if you are interested please find out more and talk this over with family and friends. I believe that if Ukrainian refugees are to come to Ryde and Isle of Wight, we need to do this as a community as we would need to build adequate support.

I am working with IW Community Action (Community Action Isle of Wight Home – Community Action Isle of Wight) , Ryde Aspire, local faith and voluntary/community groups, IW and Ryde Town Councils to make sure that if local residents do wish to generously open their home and register with the scheme they can access support locally as a host and there is adequate support for refugees who come here.

I am also in contact with Ukrainian residents on the Island about their needs and views as they have loved ones in Ukraine who are trying to escape the war. It is important we build a collective and supportive realistic response.

I will keep you posted and update you and things progress. It is wonderfully to see so much kindness in our community and so much heart but we also need to think with our head and make sure if Ryde and Isle of Wight welcomes, Ryde is able to provide the support, kindness and practical help that is needed. A room with a view is not enough, it is only the start.

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