Many York people have volunteered to open their homes to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
There are two places you can register; at the government’s national scheme Homes For Ukraine, and via a local scheme run by York City Sanctuary.
Both schemes allow an unlimited number of Ukrainians to live safely in the UK for a minimum of six months, even if they have no ties to the country.
Rebecca Russell, communications manager at York City Sanctuary, said that “around 80 people so far have offered accommodation” to refugees via their scheme. And another 80 have registered for the befriending scheme run by the charity.
Rebecca said that “our registrar of interest is NOT an alternative to or an extension of the national one”.
“People should sign up on the national one, but they are also welcome to sign up with us in tandem,” she said. “We are complementary in that we will try to match people to the sponsorship scheme when the time comes and assist in any way we can.
“A registrar of interest makes things that much easier on the local level.”
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However Rebecca explained that the local scheme is just as important than the national one.
“By creating this list and connecting with the local Ukraine community and the council, the hope is we can all work together on this.
“The national one is a good start but it will need local organisations and authorities on the ground to do the work”.
Rebecca said the response was positive – but there are still problems that need ironing out such as “who will do the security checks and how deep will they go?
“How will councils handle the checks on accommodation? This in itself is a lot of work.
“What support will there be for schools, medical services etc? That’s why we need to be prepared. And that’s what we are trying to do.”