This is how many Ukrainian refugees have arrived in York so far
A total of 29 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in York since the Russian invasion, with more expected to arrive this week.
The latest figure was given as a detailed report on the city’s welcome to Ukrainian refugees was discussed at City of York Council.
Charlie Croft, the council’s director of customer and communities, said: “Numbers are starting to build, albeit slowly – I understand that a number of visa applications have been granted over the weekend and that three more groups now have permission to travel and are planning to travel to York this week.”
The council is not responsible for the visa process or matching prospective guests with sponsors, but does have a duty to inspect accommodation and carry out safeguarding checks.
Data from 7 April showed that there were 60 matches of guests and sponsors in York, but this figure does not include children, so the number of guests likely to have been offered somewhere to stay is around 150.
A small number of Ukrainians have also arrived on the family visa route, but there is no funding attached to this scheme for local councils or schools.
The council will receive £10,500 per person in the first year per refugee through the ‘homes for Ukraine’ scheme and is also expected to administer the £350 per month ‘thank you’ payments to hosts.
For schooling, the Department for Education will allocate funding on a per pupil basis. The council’s ‘fair access’ scheme is also being used, which allows them to make a placement even when a school is full if it is in the child’s best interests.
Additional capacity has been put into the council’s communities team to administer the scheme and to create a link worker role to support sponsors.
York City of Sanctuary is playing a key role in the scheme and the council is to grant the organisation £20,000 from the government pot.
Mr Croft said: “We can’t just assume what needs they will have or how they will want to integrate in life in York, or what their state of mind will be and how they’ll be feeling when they get here and we need to find that out.
“We need to respond in a very flexible and person-centred way to their particular circumstances.”
Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said the council had limited power to speed up the process, but said it had been “heartwarming” to see York’s response to the crisis.
He said: “I’m very confident sitting here today that we are in the best possible place.
“I want to thank those that have registered with the scheme and to welcome again anyone from Ukraine that’s seeking sanctuary in York – you’re always, forever welcome in our city.”