Getting ready to welcome refugees from Ukraine
We are getting ready to support a potentially large number of Ukrainian refugees coming to Wokingham Borough.
Although details are not confirmed, we believe many local people will be putting their names forward to the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme which is inviting people to register an interest in providing accommodation to refugees from the war. The council’s role in not yet clear but, in a similar exercise to its successful Covid-19 response, we have pulled together an emergency task force to work with community partners so that we are ready to help families take in for refugees in the next few weeks.
Leader of the council John Halsall said: “We are not waiting around for the Government to tell us what to do – we are getting ourselves ready to welcome refugees with open arms and well-planned provision. We don’t know details but many hundreds of people may well need a home here and I know Wokingham Borough will rise to that challenge superbly. The logistics are difficult because there are health, education, emotional, safety, social and financial needs to consider but the principle is simple: we will support in whatever ways we can.”
Preparations made so far include:
- Education and childcare – we will work with local schools, education trusts, nurseries and pre-schools to investigate what capacity could be available to provide education to children and young people arriving here
- Employment – refugees will be able to seek work in the UK and we will liaise with organisations that could help find them jobs
- Community support – many voluntary and community sector organisations are already gearing up to help and we will be supporting to coordinate their efforts and provide practical help
- Health – we will liaise with local partners to agree a joint approach to meeting the needs of refugees
With local groups who have been collecting items for Ukraine currently inundated, we are urging residents who wish to show their support to donate via the Disaster Emergency Committee website.
We have set up a dedicated webpage to keep people up-to-date on how the council and local partners are supporting Ukraine.