Supporting Ukrainian refugees in Lincolnshire

Image of Cllr Martin Hill

Cllr Martin Hill’s latest message looks at how the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship scheme will work in Lincolnshire

Our county prides itself in being friendly and hospitable – not just to those who visit from elsewhere, but the community spirit shown by so many, never fails to amaze me.  

So it should come as no surprise that already nearly 200 people or families have come forward as potential hosts for Ukrainian refugees.

Anyone who watches the news on TV, listens to radio broadcasts or reads other media outlets will have seen the multiple humanitarian tragedies occurring in Ukraine, following the invasion by Russian forces.

We know that almost four million people have now crossed the border out of Ukraine to safety, having been forced out of their homes.

This conflict has triggered Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II, and the speed and breadth of refugees fleeing to countries including Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia — as well as Russia — is unprecedented in recent times.

Poland alone has taken in 2.3 million refugees and Romania nearly 600,000. The United States has vowed to take in 100,000.

Seeing this humanitarian response from across Europe and beyond, has led the people of Lincolnshire to ask how they can help. The network of Lincolnshire councils, police, public bodies and charitable and community organisations are working together to prepare to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

While we await more detail on how the resettlement scheme will be applied, this hasn’t stopped joint working to develop plans and put in place effective partnership arrangements to oversee the local response.

The initial focus is on providing links to local services, developing local donations and appropriate property and safeguarding checks.

While waiting on refugee arrivals, the Wellbeing Lincs service is ready to offer advice and signpost to services, while a community fund is in place dedicated to helping those arriving in Lincolnshire to meet specific costs and needs.

The Wellbeing Lincs service can be accessed by Ukrainian arrivals or their host families to provide the advice and support they need, as well as statutory services such as healthcare, education, benefits and council services.

I have been heartened by the generosity of residents in fund-raising, donating and supporting the Ukranian people however they can, especially at a time when we are facing our own difficulties with a significant cost of living increase. Thinking of others worse off than ourselves and helping where we can is something we must all continue to do.

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Published: 7th April 2022