West Lothian residents volunteer to offer shelter to Ukraine war refugees
More than 40 households in West Lothian have offered shelter to Ukrainian refugees as national plans are finalised and West Lothian Council sets up a team to liaise with them and voluntary groups providing support.
A report approved by the local council’s Executive heard that the required checks and liaison with registered host families can now take place following Scottish Government guidance.
The council had been awaiting clarity from the UK Government and Scottish Government on funding, which has now also been received, after delays in both the UK Government’s Home for Ukraine Scheme and the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme.
A small number of Ukrainians have already arrived in West Lothian under individual sponsor arrangements, and council services are liaising with the households and families concerned.
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A total of 45 households across West Lothian have registered so far, from across the majority of ward areas, with 99 Ukrainians matched under the UK Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
Depute chief executive Graeme Struthers said: “We appreciate that delays have caused uncertainty and frustration for the Ukrainian refugees who want to come to the UK, their host families and the council.
“Now that further information and guidance has been received from both the Scottish and UK Governments, we hope to complete the process as quickly as possible to enable more Ukrainian refugees to come to West Lothian as soon as is feasible.”
The council has established a working group involving a range of council services and other key partner agencies to deliver the required support and services to the host families and arriving persons.
A letter has been sent to each household registered, thanking them for volunteering to be a host and advising of the necessary requirements for this.
The council will also be liaising with voluntary groups and related charities to assist the host families and Ukrainian refugees once they have arrived. It will provide a supporting role for the UK and Scottish schemes. For further information check their website: www.westlothian.gov.uk/help-for-ukraine.