Help is at hand for those fleeing conflict in Ukraine – Ukraine Family Scheme

Ukrainians fleeing conflict by staying with family in Cheshire West and Chester are offered support to help them settle into the borough.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is appealing for anyone who has arrived in the borough through the national Family Visa Scheme to get in touch to find out what help and support is available.

The Council is funded by government to provide support for refugees coming to the UK under an alternative scheme, Homes for Ukraine, which enables residents to become sponsors and offer accommodation to a Ukrainian guest for a minimum of six months.

Under this scheme the Council has full details of each arrival, but not for those who have arrived in the borough under the Family Visa Scheme, which makes it very difficult for the Council to engage and offer support.

Regardless of which route Ukrainians have arrived, the Council’s role is to help to make sure that all arrivals, including their sponsors, are safe and supported, that refugees have access to services like health, education, work and benefits and that Ukrainian families are supported to integrate into local communities.

Alongside this, the Council has been working with partners in the community and voluntary sector to help refugees arriving through the Family Visa Scheme to access support

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said, “The borough has a proud history of welcoming refugees and others seeking sanctuary and the response from everyone in our community to the Ukrainian conflict has proved this once again.

“We are keen to make sure that those Ukrainians who have come to Cheshire West and Chester through the Family Visa scheme are also supported.

“As a council we don’t have the same information about people who have arrived via this scheme compared to the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which we are helping to administer, so that’s why we are appealing to those people to come forward.”

Cllr Samantha Dixon, the Council Leader’s Champion for Refugees, said, “I’m very proud of all the work taking place in this borough to welcome families and individuals fleeing extremely traumatic events and trying to piece together as normal a life as possible.

“It is important that access to services and support is easy for our new arrivals, no matter which scheme they have entered the UK by, so please get in touch.”

To get in touch and find out what support is available visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/ukrainefamilyvisa

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