Wiltshire Council is the second highest unitary authority in the county for welcoming Ukraine guests in the UK
Figures released under the Homes for Ukraine scheme show generous people have opened up their homes to provide a safe haven for people fleeing the war in Ukraine, with Wiltshire just behind Buckinghamshire in numbers for lower tiered authorities Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme: Visa data by country, upper and lower tier local authority – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Currently 2,850 households have registered with the Homes for Ukraine scheme and 555 households have been matched with 1,387 individuals and 1,113 visas have been applied for. Latest figures show 727 Ukraine guests have arrived and are settling into 433 households across Wiltshire.
There have been 257 school applications – 159 primary and 98 secondary with 193 school places already secured. National data for May shows Wiltshire is within the top twenty local authorities in England in terms of number of applications. Wiltshire has placed 98.3% of children applying for a school place in a school within 15 school days of application; the equivalent figure for England is 94.9%.
Since the scheme was rolled out four months ago council staff have carried out 900 DBS checks at more than 500 properties to ensure safety of Ukraine guests. The team has been increased from 7 to 17 case workers. Council staff have worked alongside partners to ensure those coming to Wiltshire can access services and be supported.
The council Family and Community Learning team has been rolling out ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) lessons across the county with more to follow.
So far 60 people have joined the courses at seven locations at Melksham, Marlborough, Devizes, Calne, Chippenham, Salisbury and Trowbridge. Further courses are planned with an online option to be available later this summer. People who would like to find out dates and times of these can go to www.workwiltshire.co.uk/young/othercountries
Host families with Ukraine guests can also register interest in a course location that isn’t available at present by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Wiltshire Citizens Advice is distributing the £200 emergency voucher to adults so far handing out £140,000 to Ukrainians coming to the county.
Charities and volunteers are providing community support with community hubs offering events and support appearing across the county from football sessions to wellbeing and support Details of community support Wiltshire Council has been made aware of is available here Community support – Wiltshire Council
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “All our teams, our partners, our communities and charities are working so hard to ensure Ukraine guests feel welcome and can settle comfortably into Wiltshire life. Four months in we have Ukraine guests across Wiltshire, children starting in schools, people learning English and people also looking at employment opportunities. It’s good to reflect on what’s been achieved and is testament to what can be done quickly when people pull together, but we’re also looking ahead to the future and how we can continue to support those needing our help while their own country is still in the grip of war.”
People can find out more about the ESOL courses by going to email@example.com or by calling 01225 770478.
For Wiltshire College details go to Wiltshire College & University Centre | Wiltshire College & University Centre
People who have queries on Ukraine matters can find information on our website at Frequently asked questions general – Wiltshire Council If there are specific questions related to being a host or providing community support people can email the new dedicated Ukraine inbox which is H4U@wiltshire.gov.uk