Discussions underway on how to give Ukrainian refugees a warm welcome to Warwickshire

Warwickshire has the highest number of Ukrainian residents in the West Midlands outside of Birmingham

Discussions are underway on how to help Ukrainian refugees in Warwickshire.

More than 150 representatives from town and parish councils, the county council, voluntary, community and faith groups across the county have met online to share ideas about how residents can ensure a warm welcome to Ukrainian people fleeing their country.

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The meeting followed the launch of a Government scheme whereby UK citizens are invited to open up their homes to host Ukrainians. Most people coming to the county under the Ukrainian Family Sponsorship Scheme are expected to be women, children and the elderly.

Image courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.

Warwickshire has the highest number of Ukrainian residents in the West Midlands, outside Birmingham.

It also has relatively large populations from states neighbouring Ukraine, and the highest Polish population in the West Midlands.

A Warwickshire County Council spokeswoman said: "Warwickshire has a proud history of welcoming and providing ongoing support to those fleeing from conflicts around the globe and will continue to do so.

"In recent years, refugees have arrived from Afghanistan and Syria, and have been assisted through partnerships between local government, educators, healthcare providers and others.

"The council is working closely with district and borough councils to identify the challenges arising from the crisis, and to ensure that support will be available to Ukrainian families and individuals who require it."

Warwickshire residents have pulled together in recent weeks to support the people affected by the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Individuals and local organisations from across the county have donated money, essential items and their time, to help those who have fled Ukraine as well as those who remain in the conflict zone.

Speaking after the online event, Cllr Heather Timms said “The sheer number of people who attended the meeting; the depth of their compassion and the determination of all those gathered to step forward to help is humbling.

"The strength of community spirit in Warwickshire bodes well for making sure we do all that is possible to help those fleeing their homes to feel supported and safe.

“Warwickshire has always been a county that celebrates and welcomes diversity; a county that always offers help to its most vulnerable residents; and a county that has a deep and enduring sense of civil-mindedness at its very heart and this has been never more apparent than in its response to the crisis in Ukraine.”

Warwickshire County Council has collated a list of resources that residents can use to support humanitarian efforts connected to Ukraine.

For more information visit https://bit.ly/3uuYkD2For information about the Ukrainian home sponsorship scheme please visit https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/.