Councillors at Chichester District Council have agreed to passport government funding from the Homes for Ukraine scheme to Voluntary Action Arun Chichester (VAAC) and Sanctuary in Chichester, to strengthen the support offered to Ukrainian guests who are living in the district.
The funding will enable these voluntary organisations to further develop and strengthen their response to those living in the district who have been affected by the war in Ukraine.
West Sussex County Council is administering the Homes for Ukraine scheme in the county and receives £10,500 per guest from the government to cover education, social care, and other costs. Up to £150,000 of this funding will be issued to district and borough councils to fund community support.
Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture said, “We’ve had an overwhelming response from residents in the district, many of whom have generously welcomed many Ukrainian individuals and families into their homes.
“Our communities are renowned for being incredibly supportive. Recently, this has been evident through both the pandemic and through their response to helping those who have been affected by the war in Ukraine. We would like to thank all of those who have played their part and gone above and beyond to help those who need support.
“As a council we’ve been supporting West Sussex County Council by undertaking home inspections prior to guests arriving, as well as helping Ukrainian families and individuals integrate into local communities. We have also been ensuring our guests receive any council administered benefits and supporting any homeless applications, should the relationship break down between a sponsor and a guest.”
“Voluntary organisations are already working with refugees in the district and the Homes for Ukraine scheme will have a significant impact on demand for their services. This additional funding will enable us to ensure our Ukrainian guests continue to feel supported and welcomed into our community by ensuring they have access to a variety of support and services to help them settle into their new way of life here in the Chichester District.”
The ‘Homes for Ukraine scheme’ allows individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those with no family ties to the UK. Individual sponsors are asked to provide homes, or a spare room rent free, for as long as they are able, with a minimum stay of 6 months. Ukrainians arriving in the UK under this scheme are granted 3 years leave to remain, with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services.
For further information on supporting Ukraine refugees please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/supportingukrainerefugees