Initial Position on Homes for Ukraine (March 2022)
Herts Welcomes Refugees welcomes the announcement of the government's ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme and applauds the generosity of so many members of the British public, including our HWR members, offering their homes as temporary accommodation to refugees from Ukraine.
At this stage the number of Ukrainian refugees likely to arrive in Hertfordshire is not known. It remains unclear as to how the scheme will work, and how it will integrate with local authorities and charities like Herts Welcomes Refugees.
Committed as we are to safeguarding and the well-being of refugees, we have some concerns about aspects of the scheme which we hope will be allayed as further details emerge.
At this point, it is not possible to state exactly what HWR’s involvement will be. Our main strengths as a charity include our county-wide network of more than 100 volunteer Befrienders and English language supporters who have been helping refugees to settle in Hertfordshire over the past 6 years. We also have a proven track record of working with local authorities, the Refugee Council, and other organisations to support refugees and asylum seekers across the county.
HWR will therefore be drawing on our volunteer network and our relationship with other organisations to provide appropriate support to Ukrainian refugees and their hosts as long as we have the resources to do this effectively.
Regardless of the additional demands that are likely to arise from this, HWR will continue our commitment to supporting:
- the 70 Syrian and other families now settled in Hertfordshire
- asylum seekers in hostels across the county, in partnership with other organisations
- the Refugee Council and District and Borough Councils who are working to settle evacuated Afghan families in different parts of the county
- Herts County Council and other organisations who are supporting evacuated Afghan families in Hertfordshire hotels (where many Afghans have stayed for over 6 months and continue to await housing allocations)
If you have questions about supporting Ukrainians in Hertfordshire, please visit the county council’s website: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/ukraine-support-in-hertfordshire.aspx
HWR Trustees and Management Committee