New £100k fund to help voluntary organisations integrating Ukrainian refugees in Nottinghamshire

A new grant scheme for community organisations supporting Ukrainian refugees in Nottinghamshire will open next week.

Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 11:32 am

Nottinghamshire Council has approved the project, with £100,000 set aside for charities and organisations to bid for grants to help Ukrainians during their stay in the county.

The funding is expected to help provide English language classes, job clubs, financial support and advice, plus tackle loneliness and isolation, promote health and wellbeing and organise community events.

It comes as part of Government cash allocated to the authority in the Homes for Ukraine scheme to help integrate more than 1,000 expected refugees fleeing the conflict with Russia.

Children of Ukrainian refugees play on board a ferry as they flee the war in Ukraine.

Council papers state, as of June 23, 1,170 people had been matched with sponsors in Nottinghamshire, coming to the county in 815 different families or groups.

A total of 539 sponsors have so far been matched with a singular or a group of Ukrainian refugees, but the authority expects this figure to rise due to the high number of people expressing an interest in the scheme.

The Government is providing cash to upper-tier councils to support relief efforts and integrate refugees into society.

Councils will receive £10,500 per person, with Nottinghamshire Council expecting to receive about £12 million.

The funding of educational places is expected to cost between £3,000 and £8,755 depending on the child’s age.

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Coun John Cottee, cabinet member for communities, has approved the community support scheme and created the £100,000 pot to support integrating refugees into society.

In a report published ahead of his decision, the authority confirmed applications will open on July 18 and will then be considered ‘on a rolling basis’ until the £100,000 pot has been used.

Derek Higton, service director for place and communities, said in the report: “This is a fast-moving situation with communities across Nottinghamshire welcoming Ukrainian refugees, wanting to help integrate our guests into everyday life.

“The council is working with voluntary organisations and faith groups and wants to support those which provide essential services, help meet needs and support integration within the community.

The cash will be provided through the authority’s Local Community Fund, the report adds.

People coming to the UK from Ukraine will be able to live and work in the country for up to three years and access benefits, healthcare, employment and other support during this period.