Dear Town and Parish Councils,
I thought it would be helpful to provide you with an update as February 24 will mark 12 months since the invasion in Ukraine began.
We will be raising the Ukrainian flag at County Hall, and taking part in the moment of silence at 11am.
Since the start of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, 1345 Ukrainian guests have arrived safely in Wiltshire.
444 Ukrainian children have started at Wiltshire schools – with 220 primary and 224 secondary aged children settling into their new school settings. More than 200 adult learners have enrolled into ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Language) courses across Wiltshire being offered by the council’s Family and Community Learning Team.
We are grateful to our charities and volunteers who have helped to form 18 Community hubs and support groups across Wiltshire with regular meetings, events and activities take place to help guests feel a part of their local community and to ensure refugees and host families could access support as required. Details of community support is available here Community support – Wiltshire Council.
125 families have now left their sponsor families and moved into their own private rented accommodation. The Homes for Ukraine team has also helped to facilitate 53 rematches into new host accommodation.
As the war continues, more refugees require ongoing accommodation and re-matching, as such additional sponsors are required in Salisbury, Trowbridge and Chippenham. People are encouraged to express their interest with Homes for Ukraine.
The government has recently released a number of updates to recognise the contributions that sponsors and local authorities have made to provide certainty to those supporting guests as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. These include extending the £350 ‘thank you’ payments from 12 months to a maximum of two years, and increasing the payments to £500 per month once the guest has been in the UK for 12 months. More details are available here Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guides – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
People can find out more about the ESOL courses by going to familyandcommunitylearning@
Finally please do remind people with queries to have a look at our FAQ pages and our newsletters which are also online. If they have a specific query which is not covered there, they can email H4U@wiltshire.gov.uk.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council