Torridge District Councillors pledge support to Ukrainians fleeing conflict
Torridge Councillors have added their support to the joint statement issued by Devon County Council on behalf of all Local Authorities in Devon.
Local authority leaders across Devon have spoken out in concern for the people of Ukraine and their families, following the Russian invasion.
Team Devon authorities, including Devon County and District Councils and the Devon Association of Local Councils, have pledged to work together to support Ukrainian refugees seeking sanctuary in the UK, and have each condemned Russia's actions.
They have agreed to give particular support to families in Devon whose relatives in Ukraine are fleeing the conflict.
Individually, councils have also taken steps to cut Russian links, such as through contracts for energy provision. And any few remaining investments within the Devon Pension Fund, linked to Russian assets, are being sold off quickly.
Devon councils have long worked together, alongside health and voluntary sector partners and local communities, to provide safe sanctuary and resettlement for refugees, most recently Syrian families and those fleeing conflict in Afghanistan.
The Leader of Devon County Council and Chair of the Team Devon partnership of authorities, Cllr John Hart said:
"We are deeply concerned for those desperate people escaping conflict in Ukraine in huge numbers. We agreed that we have a duty to do what we can in Devon to support families fleeing Ukraine to join their family members here in the UK."
The government has outlined support for up to 200,000 Ukrainian refugees under 'temporary visa concessions'. And further visas are being granted to those currently within the UK, including specific groups of workers, students and other visitors.
Already Devon District Councils are receiving offers of accommodation from Devon residents, for Ukrainian families.
Cllr Bob Deed, Chair of the Devon Districts Forum and Leader of Mid Devon District Council, said:
"Our communities across Devon have already shown a willingness to help the people of Ukraine and I am glad that our councils can work together, in the coming days and months, to offer assistance to people whose lives have been changed immeasurably by this war. While details of local support are being drawn up I would encourage anyone who wishes to help to donate to the UK's emergency fund."
The UK Disasters Emergency Committee has also launched its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, drawing together funding and action across major charities and Non-Governmental Organisations to support people displaced through the conflict. The government has pledged to match up to £20 million of any donations from the public.
The fastest way to donate to a DEC appeal is by donating online. Visit https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal
Alternatively you can call 01204 770822, or use other ways to donate. https://dechelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200731191-Donations-Gift-Aid
Further Information and support
- If you are interested in providing accommodation for refugees you can register your interest here: Homes for Ukraine - Homes for Ukraine - Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine (campaign.gov.uk) The link also contains some Frequently Asked Questions for accommodation providers.
- If you are a resident with friends and family in Ukraine and need information or support about what is happening please contact the Ukrainian Embassy
- To make a donation towards the UN's humanitarian work, please visitUkrainian Humanitarian Fund UN Crisis Relief
- You can also make a donation via theRed Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal
- For information on travel advice to and from Ukraine visitGOV.UK
- If you have a child in a Devon school who is affected by the crisis, please talk to your child's teachers about any concerns you have and support you would like the school to provide
- Find immigration advice on temporary concessions for Ukrainian nationals applying to join a family route at GOV.UK and https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-support-for-ukrainians-fleeing-russia-invasion
Bideford Drop Off Point:
In light of the recent events in Ukraine, the soft play centre World of Wonder Devon in Bideford are offering a drop off point for those who wish to support the refugees in Ukraine.
Drop off days and times as follows:
Friday 9.30 -4.30
They are accepting donations of the following:
- Blankets and sleeping bags - new or perfect condition
- Medicines such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, calpol for children
- First aid kit
- Bottled water
- Long life food, snack bars for children waiting to cross the borders, instant food
- Personal hygiene toiletries such as sanitary towels, tooth paste, tooth brushes , soap, wet wipes, nappies, creams for babies
- Thermal cups and thermos - these have to be new
Please make sure that all items are safely packed in either black bags or boxes to make it easier for handling and transporting.
Thank you for your support.