Lancashire County Council Refugee Integration Team (LRIT) is coordinating the Lancashire response to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes For Ukraine), created by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 18 March 2022.
Our Lancashire Refugee Integration Team is working with the following councils to deliver this grant scheme:
- Fylde Coast - Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre councils (Round 2)
- Ribble Valley Borough Council
- Preston City Council
Within the context of this sponsorship scheme, the primary function of councils is to conduct relevant safeguarding checks, to provide welcome payments to guests and thank you payments to hosts. See the full Homes for Ukraine: guidance for councils from GOV.UK.
Another key area of delivery for councils, is to ensure high-quality community integration support that meets the needs of those signed up to the scheme.
The guidance for councils on community integration is as follows:
Councils will play a key role in supporting the integration of Ukrainian families into their local communities. This will be particularly important in areas of the country that might not have strong links with the Ukrainian diaspora. Integration support might include the organisation of community events, the use of community champions and interfaith networks, increasing local authority contact/interaction with people from Ukraine, access to translation services and working with local voluntary sector organisations and faith groups to help signpost advice and support.
Whilst the grant funding is specifically for Ukrainian people who have come through the Homes For Ukraine Scheme, we recognise that there are Ukrainian nationals who have arrived through other routes and therefore, within the proposals we welcome the inclusion of support for all Ukrainian nationals who have sought sanctuary in Lancashire.
Many organisations in Lancashire have shown a long history of commitment to refugee issues and integration and we welcome applications from these groups. However, we also encourage new organisations to host projects and activities and encourage creative and ambitious events that increase and diversify participation.