The Council is playing its part in providing safety and shelter for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. The borough has a proud history of welcoming refugees and others seeking sanctuary and we are doing what we can to support Ukrainian people at this time of crisis.
The Government has announced it is temporarily widening the eligibility criteria for family migration visas, so more people with relatives living in the UK can apply to come here and making it easier for Ukrainian nationals who are currently staying, working or studying in the UK to extend their existing visas.
The Government has also committed to a new humanitarian sponsorship scheme, which will allow individuals, groups or organisations to offer Ukrainian refugees a home.
Anyone wishing to offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees, whether this is a room in your own home or separate self-contained accommodation, should register their interest online.
Please read the guidance carefully which sets out what the sponsor is required to do. At this stage the Government is asking for named contacts, so visa applications from those who wish to travel to the UK and who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them. Further phases are likely to follow.
There is more information about the Homes for Ukraine campaign on the GOV.UK website:
How the Council is involved in the Homes for Ukraine scheme
The Government has also committed to making funding available to councils to provide support for refugees coming to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The Council will help to make sure sponsors and their guests are safe and supported, that refugees have access to services like health, education, work and benefits and that Ukrainian families are supported to integrate into local communities.
Refugees who come to west Cheshire from Ukraine, as well as from other parts of the world, may have experienced extremely traumatic events. It is important that we respect their privacy and that they are treated with respect and dignity.
Each individual will have different needs and we do not underestimate the challenge we face as a Council and as a community in helping to meet those needs.
For any refugee enquiries you can get in touch via the Council's dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.