Published: Sunday, 10th April 2022

Huge efforts remain underway in Medway to welcome families fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Last week we were delighted to welcome the first family to the area. Irina Kulish and her daughter Nastya are settling into their new home in Chatham with the Callaghan family and the council is now working closely with the local community to ensure that many more can soon find safe haven with local families.

Our role is to ensure that Ukrainian nationals arriving in Medway receive the best possible support and safe welcome to Medway and we are carrying out a central co-ordination role with all local agencies to ensure this happens.

52 Medway households have now signed up to offer to share their homes as sponsors and we have now carried out the required government checks on 20 of those with many more planned this week. Most households are passing the initial inspection with a some required to take some additional measures, for example, having a gas safety check or smoke alarms on all levels of a property.  

A cross council team has been set up to ensure that arriving families’ needs can be taken care of swiftly to ensure that they have access to financial support, schooling, health and social care services when they arrive.

We have also been working with the local voluntary sector to provide direct support also where needed including local Ukrainian speaking community groups and language courses are being explored.

Magnificent show of support

Medway Council Leader, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We are so pleased that Ms Kulish and her daughter are now safely at home with the Callaghan family and we are doing all we can, at pace, to ensure that more families can arrive over the coming weeks. Our local community has pulled together in a magnificent show of support and I would personally like to thank everyone who has put themselves forward as sponsors. It is critical that there is a joined-up approach across our community to make it as easy as possible for our Ukrainian guests to arrive and settle in safely and the council is providing that central focal point working with all local agencies.”

Find out more about how you can support the Ukrainian response

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