Ukraine’s Ambassador to UK Vadym Volodymyrovych Prystaiko praises British hospitality towards refugees

Ukraine’s Ambassador to UK Vadym Volodymyrovych Prystaiko praises British hospitality towards refugees

In a video message this weekend the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK has also thanked those who have given sanctuary through the UK’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, one of the fastest, biggest and most generous visa programmes in British history.

Since the scheme’s launch 117,700 Ukrainians have been invited into the homes and hearts of thousands of family homes up and down the country. With the war still continuing there are now many Ukrainians looking for re-matching and sponsors are urged to come forward.

New government data, published this week shows more than 28,300 Ukrainians of working age (16-64) were in paid employment within around six months of their arrival.

To strengthen the support for Ukrainians to settle into their new homes the government is providing the following:

  • Per capita funding for councils for each new arrival including £150 million to support guests into their own homes and extended as well as increased ‘thank you’ payments for sponsors
  • £11.5 million towards intensive English language courses and employment support for up to 10,000 individuals to boost the number of Ukrainians entering the labour market and to help those already employed into higher-skilled roles, this is in addition 20,500 Ukrainian children currently attending local schools
  • £100m for 145 councils in England by the end of March as part of the £500m Local Authority Housing Fund to help obtain, repurpose or build housing for arrivals on resettlement programmes.

This also comes ahead of this weekend’s England v Ukraine EURO 24 qualifier at Wembley, with 1,000 free tickets offered to Ukrainians and their sponsors.

The Department recently wrote to all those who have previously expressed interest in becoming Homes for Ukraine hosts to thank them for coming forward to offer their help in rematching Ukrainian families with hosts. Those hosting Ukrainians who have already been in the UK for over 12 months will be entitled to the increased thank you payments.

The Local Authority Housing funding was previously announced in December, to support Ukrainian and Afghan arrivals into independent accommodation before eventually providing a new and permanent supply of housing for local communities across England. The fund is designed to help support communities which have been particularly generous in welcoming new arrivals, and will build a sustainable stock of affordable housing for the long term future.

£10.55m has already been given to councils, with an expected £122.5m of further payments expected by the end of March, providing up to 4,000 homes by 2024.

Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, Ukrainian arrivals are awarded the right to work in the UK for up to three years from arrival and are entitled to the same benefits and support as UK nationals.


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