Please try and find half an hour to listen to this excellent Guardian Podcast on the Ukraine Scheme. It is absolutely heartbreaking what these families are going through and hard to even start to imagine what it would be like to be in that position.
A while back Chris met a Ukrainian family and their sponsor on a train along with a friend from MIlford Hall Cricket Club. A meeting has been arranged at the Club with the Chair and Vice Chair and Staffordshire County Council to discuss an initial fun day for the 50 Ukrainian families in Stafford and a longer term relationship where they can use the club to socialise and hold activities.
NBCC have offered to be involved and hopefully we will field a NBCC team made up from the Ukrainian families to play a Milford Hall Cricket Club XI.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began earlier this year, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee and find accommodation in neighbouring countries and across Europe. Many countries waived their visa schemes and responded with emergency provisions for the new arrivals.
The UK launched a visa scheme for those with family in the UK who could offer them accommodation. After taking heavy criticism for its comparatively miserly approach, the government widened the scheme to anyone with space in their homes who could offer rooms to those fleeing Ukraine. It was known as the Homes for Ukraine scheme and has seen Britons signing up in their millions to offer accommodation.
Nosheen Iqbal travelled to the village of Nether Poppleton near York to visit a family who have opened their home to a mother and her children from Ukraine. There have been teething problems and, due to the language barrier, the children have been struggling to settle into their new school. But, here at least, the scheme is working as it was intended. It is not the case everywhere.
Nosheen hears from the Guardian’s Emily Dugan who reports that hundreds of Ukrainian refugees in the UK have been left homeless after the relationship with their hosts broke down. There have also been fears that the ad hoc nature of the scheme has left it open to abuse from men who are using it to make contact with vulnerable women and children.