March 30, 2022 6.00 pm

First 200 Lincolnshire homes open doors to Ukrainian refugees

Around 25-35 in each Lincolnshire district

Around 200 Ukrainian refugees and their families will be coming to Lincolnshire in the next couple of weeks.

The first phase of the Homes for Ukraine scheme will see between 25-35 evacuees arriving in each of the county’s seven districts in the coming days.

It comes after UK residents were asked by the government to open their doors and offer a warm welcome to those fleeing the Russian invasion of their home country.

The Lincolnshire Resettlement Partnership expects more to arrive in the coming weeks, with the government confirming that 59,500 visa applications had been received and 25,500 issued as of March 29, 2022.

Local authoriities will now begin checking homes to ensure they are suitable.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme allows people offer up space for up to six months and go on to independently make a direct link with a named guest.

Sponsors and guests are required to find each other and make a match before either side can then make the necessary visa application.

The Ukraine Families Scheme also enables family members to join Ukraine relatives already resident in the UK.

Councillor Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council and the Lincolnshire representative on the East Midlands regional migration board said: “Lincolnshire is clearly standing ready to welcome as many evacuating Ukrainians as we are able to and to offer the levels of support necessary to assist them and their sponsoring hosts in settling into their new circumstances at a pace that respects their need for time and space.

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has offered up their hearts and homes and navigated their way to making those essential connections required to extend a hand of friendship and an open door of welcome and refuge.

“As a network of councils and organisations we are doing everything we can to facilitate this transition for everyone concerned and I thank everyone who is contributing to this response in any way.”

In anticipation of the first arrivals, Lincolnshire councils said they had  been working hard on understanding the emerging guidance and putting processes in place such as wellbeing support, safeguarding measures and checks.

More information can be found at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/ukraine and on local district council websites.

Those willing to host Ukrainian evacuees can visit www.homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk for more information.

Those who have made an expression of interest but don’t have a named guest, have been advised they are not likely to be contacted by anyone at this time but may be able to help further in later phases.

The Wellbeing Lincs service can be accessed by Ukrainian arrivals or their host families to get further advice and support.

It can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or calling 01507 613044 between 9am-5pm, Monday-Thursday and 10am-4:30pm Friday.

A community fund has also been put in place dedicated to helping those arriving in Lincolnshire who are unable to meet specific costs and needs over and above what government and councils can provide.

The Lincolnshire Community Foundation can be found at www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/LincolnshireCF-Ukraine.