Message from R4U’s Cllr Petrina Lees, Leader of Uttlesford District Council:
We are all distressed and concerned by the events in Ukraine. It is truly appalling. As a district we offer our full support to the people of Ukraine, both here and across the world, and our thoughts and sympathies are with the refugees from the conflict.
The situation regarding the support needed for Ukrainians is rapidly developing and we are waiting for more details on the pathways that will be made available for evacuees.
This will require a coordinated response. We are working with councils across Essex, including the County Council, and housing associations and are ready to gear up to help individual residents and businesses take part in the sponsored entry refugee scheme which has been announced. Further details on the scheme are expected to be set out by the government later today.
Much like in previous refugee crises over Syria and Afghanistan, local councils will need to rely on national schemes to provide a feed of nominations. We have written to the government urging them to set up a national scheme at the earliest opportunity. Again, we expect an announcement shortly.
There is real energy and enthusiasm in the community in response to the request for aid to the citizens of Ukraine. The people of Uttlesford are showing their support by making donations and helping in so many ways. We know many residents and businesses wish to help and are asking what they can do to support.
A dedicated page has been set up on the UDC website which includes links to national and international aid organisations that have set up appeals to support and protect people caught up in this conflict – this can be found at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/ukraine-support. The webpage also includes links to the latest government information on refugee schemes and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Residents may also wish to visit the new Essex is United for Ukraine Facebook page which provides details for the organisations across the county that are supporting the humanitarian efforts through donations and fundraising. It can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/eiuforukraine.