Monthly column: Homes for Ukraine

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People in a railway station of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv waiting for the train to Poland.
People in a railway station of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv waiting for the train to Poland.

The situation in Ukraine continues to be appalling and the people of that proud country are suffering untold hardship and around 4 million people, mainly women and children have had to flee the country.

I am proud of Bedford Borough’s long-standing reputation of supporting people fleeing conflicts around the world. Once again our local communities are stepping up to support people in this terrible situation.

We have already welcomed our first Ukrainians to Bedford Borough and look forward to welcoming and supporting more Ukrainians to our Borough.

I would like to thank everyone that has offered space in their homes for Ukrainian refugees.

Around 70 households in Bedford Borough have been matched with individuals and family groups under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. However, we are still waiting on the Government to provide details of when the Visas will be issued and when they will arrive.

To apply to be a host you must be able to offer accommodation in a spare room or separate self-contained accommodation for a minimum of six months.

The Council has already begun the process of undertaking the DBS/enhanced DBS checks and the housing accommodation checks for those that have registered an interest.

The Council will provide school places for children of school age and we will be given extra funding so that it does not impact the school places of children currently in Bedford Borough.

The Council will also provide advice and referrals to public health services where appropriate, such as mental health services, adult social care, and children’s services.

Details of the Homes for Ukraine scheme are still only gradually emerging and both those hosting and the refugees will be given support from PBIC Bedford.

You can find further information at bedford.gov.uk/Ukraine or at gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-sponsor-guidance.

If you have any queries in relation to the Homes for Ukraine scheme you can email them to ukrainesupport@bedford.gov.uk.

Ukrainians are also arriving under the family scheme and we still have no specific information on the numbers that have this type of visa.

Finally, if you would like to make a financial donation you can do so with the Disasters Emergency Committee at dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal.

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson. It is published unedited and
does not reflect the views of the Bedford Independent.

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