Councillors plea for more Homes for Ukraine sponsors in West Northamptonshire

‘We’d like to hear from any who would still like to do their bit,’ says councillor

Friday, 27th May 2022, 10:15 am
More refugees are expected to arrive from war-torn Ukraine and West Northamptonshire Council is appealing for more sponsors to help
More refugees are expected to arrive from war-torn Ukraine and West Northamptonshire Council is appealing for more sponsors to help

Councillors are launching a fresh plea for Homes for Ukraine sponsors with more refugees from the war-torn country likely to be heading to the UK.

West Northamptonshire Council says it wants people to apply AGAIN if their initial sponsorship bid did not work out for a variety of reasons.

A spokesperson added that many people’s circumstances might now have changed the Government’s original plea for sponsors was made, allowing them to join the aid programme.

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Cabinet member, Councillor David Smith, said: “There might well be people who were not in a position to offer accommodation at the time of the original appeal who might now be able to help.

“There might also be people who signed up at that time and were not matched with refugees, and we’d like to hear from any who would still like to do their bit.

“West Northamptonshire is an incredibly welcoming place, with many wonderful people who are willing to support those in need.

“We’re extremely grateful for all of the help so far from the more than 250 sponsors who have come forward, yet we could do with some additional help.

“This is certainly not something to go into lightly; welcoming people you don’t know into your home can be challenging, though it can also be exceedingly rewarding.”

Anyone who has space in their home or an empty property that might be suitable can email [email protected] for more details.

Many potential sponsors were frustrated at delays in processing visa applications after the scheme was first launched in March.

But a Government spokesperson called it "one of the fastest and biggest visa schemes in UK history," adding visas are now being processed “as quickly as they come in” as a result of changes to the application system.

According the United Nations, more than 14 million people are thought to have fled their homes since Russia's invasion.

Of those, more than six million left for neighbouring countries while eight million people are displaced inside the war-torn country.

Government figures revealed that 115,000 visas had been issued to Ukrainians by May 24, out of 135,600 applications.

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