Dorset comes together to give a warm welcome to Ukrainian refugees
Dorset Council is working closely with local voluntary and community organisations to ensure refugees arriving from Ukraine will be warmly welcomed and receive the support they need.
The Dorset Together network, which includes the council, NHS, Public Health Dorset, the emergency services, faith groups, Volunteer Centre Dorset, Dorset Race Equality Council, Help And Kindness, and other local groups, are working together to coordinate the county’s response, including support for Ukrainian individuals and families and local sponsors providing accommodation.
Dorchester-based group Help And Kindness is helping to signpost and promote local community groups providing advice to refugees and local sponsors.
Cllr Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services at Dorset Council said: “We would like to thank our partners for their amazing efforts in providing much-needed support to those arriving to the county, and to those who have kindly offered to provide accommodation.
“As part of the Dorset Together network, our role is to provide accommodation suitability and safeguarding checks, administer government-funded payments to sponsors, arrange school places for children arriving, and refer individuals to services and support including health, benefits and job seeking.”
The Dorset Together network was formed during the COVID pandemic to support those who were shielding and vulnerable individuals. The group brings together a range of different services and support to provide a community-driven response.
Local peer support groups and networks for both refugees and sponsors include Shaftesbury Refugee Group, Sherborne Area Refugee Support (SHARES), Swanage Action for Refugees (SAR) and Weymouth Weymouth Welcomes Ukraine. Contact details can be found on the Help And Kindness website: www.helpandkindness.co.uk/support-for-ukraine
Information about Homes for Ukraine, the government’s programme for those interesting in hosting a Ukrainian individual or family can be found on the gov.uk website: www.homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk
If you have any queries regarding support for refugees and sponsors contact Dorset Direct, the council’s customer service, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01305 221000.