Gloucestershire set to welcome Ukrainian refugees

People across Gloucestershire who have offered their homes to house those fleeing Ukraine will soon be matched with a guest.

Gloucestershire County Council, the six district councils – including Stroud District Council – and GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) are now working together to support Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war who have been offered a place to stay in the county.

The partnership has now received details from the government regarding residents who have applied to become sponsors through the Homes for Ukraine scheme and started contacting local sponsors last week.

If residents have volunteered as a sponsor and have been matched with a Ukrainian guest, they will be contacted by either their local district council or the county’s Homes for Ukraine Welcome Team.

The Homes for Ukraine Welcome Team will need to check some details about the sponsor and their guest, begin DBS checks, and make an appointment for someone to visit the sponsor and guest, once they arrive – during this visit the welcome team will be able to provide some more information on other things, including on how to register for medical care, school places.

The local checks are separate from the national process by which visas are issued so will not slow down the visa process. Locally, the team will be prioritising contacting sponsors that they know have guests arriving soon / already arrived (as they have visas).

District councils are carrying out property checks to make sure a sponsors’ property is suitable for the scheme and to talk through what help might be available if there are any problems.

They will be in touch to arrange this when individual sponsors’ details are released by the Home Office.

The partnership is awaiting further information from the government about how those who have not been matched with a guest can find someone who they can help, and district councils will be in touch about how sponsors will be paid the optional ‘thank you’ payment from government which is available for the duration of the sponsorship.

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