A special team is being set up by Leicestershire County Council to lead the effort to provide vital support for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Under a Government scheme a large number of Ukrainians will be able to come to the UK and - while no precise numbers have been outlined yet - a share of them will be welcomed to the county.
Officials say looking after the new arrivals will be a huge task so county council leader Nick Rushton has ordered a dedicated team be established to oversee the complex process.
The team will work closely with a range of partner agencies helping to make sure refugees have access to vital services and support including accommodation, safeguarding, healthcare, education, translation and employment.
We are under no illusions about the scale of the challenge we face in making sure Ukrainians who have escaped the humanitarian crisis, caused by Russia’s brutal invasion and destruction of their homeland, find safe refuge here.Person:Councillor Rushton
The people, mainly women children and the elderly, arriving will have suffered horrendously and will have been traumatised by the violence President Putin has inflicted on them. Our duty is to help them rebuild their lives so it is crucial we have a well-resourced team to co-ordinate that effort.
I’m very pleased the Government has promised local authorities substantial financial support to help refugees.
The council also chairs a Local Resilience Forum Ukrainian Refugees Group which provides a forum for agencies across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to co-ordinate their work on this critical issue.
Cllr Rushton again restated his gratitude to people in Leicestershire for the generous and supportive response to the Ukraine crisis.
He added: “I have been heartened by the number of people who have contacted me to say they want to do their part to help - whether that’s making a roof available or a donation or anything else.
“I believe that on this issue we can, by working together, make a substantial and invaluable contribution to the humanitarian response to this crisis, assisting our residents who are stepping up in large numbers with offers of accommodation, and most importantly providing help to people displaced from their homes and communities in Ukraine.”
The county council and the LRF will work to support various Government schemes set up to manage the settlement of Ukrainian refugees.
Further information about those schemes is available on the county council’s Ukraine webpage.