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Call for Suffolk Help for Ukranian Families

today9 November 2022 8

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Suffolk County Council is asking anyone with spare space to consider signing up to host a Ukrainian Family, especially people in Lowestoft.

Some Ukrainian guests, who arrived in the UK via the Homes for Ukraine scheme, have now been with their sponsors for six months.

Sponsors of the Homes for Ukraine scheme originally signed up to host guests for at least six months, with the option for those who are willing and able to continue beyond this. Not all hosts are able to continue to offer accommodation to guests beyond six months and some of those guests are not yet ready to move on to private rented accommodation. The county is now in need of new hosts to offer them a safe haven while the war in Ukraine continues.

The council is looking for a wide range of homes for single people, mothers with children, and larger families. Areas in particular need of new hosts includes Lowestoft. Self-contained accommodation is particularly helpful, for instance an annexe, holiday let or second home.

It is now possible to register with Suffolk County Council if you are interested in hosting a Ukrainian family – visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/ukraine to find out more.

In partnership with the County Council, Community Action Suffolk are holding a drop-in session, for potential new hosts to find out more about hosting a Ukrainian family. There will be opportunities to ask questions and understand more about what is involved, including what makes a suitable property, what checks they will need to undertake and more information about the matching process.

The event ise aimed at anyone who is interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, either in their own home or a separate property that they own. The event will be taking place in Lowestoft: Wednesday 9th November, from 3pm – 5pm at  The Kirkley Centre,  London Road South,  Lowestoft NR33 0AZ.

Cllr Bobby Bennett, Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities, said:

“We are extremely grateful to those who are able to continue to provide invaluable support to families beyond the initial six-month period, however we fully understand that some will be unable to, due to changes in their circumstances in this time. Supporting a person or family fleeing conflict is no mean feat and it cannot be underestimated how much of a difference this makes to their lives.

“If you think you can help, or know of anybody who could, please get in touch, or attend the drop-in session to find out more.”

Christine Abraham, Chief Executive of Community Action Suffolk, said:

“Providing community support for hosts of Ukrainian guests over the past few months has been a key role for Community Action Suffolk and is something we are extremely passionate about.  We continue to provide much valued access to support and information for hosts, and importantly, access to social opportunities to get to know and share experiences with other hosts in their local areas; but we also need to find more people willing to provide these safe spaces for Ukrainian guests.  We are now working with Suffolk County Council to coordinate 4 specific sessions for those considering becoming a host so they can find out more – do come along and meet the teams, we look forward to seeing you.”

Visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/ukraine to sign up and to find out more, including the experiences of people who have hosted Ukrainian families in their homes.

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