Provisional data from the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shows that 80 visas have been issued for refugees wanting to stay with hosts in Wealden.
Over 10,000 visas had been issued under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, as of last Wednesday (6th April). 191 for East Sussex as a whole and 388 for Kent. Although some caution has to be exercised with the data. The Home Office has said this is an ad-hoc release of management information and does not constitute official statistics. They warn there are some duplicate records and the visas have been assigned to local authorities based on the postcode of the sponsor’s address, or of the accommodation address (if the applicant is not staying with the sponsor). The Sponsorship Scheme is for visa applications from Ukrainians who wish to travel to the UK and who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them. The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows citizens to volunteer to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
A group has been set-up on Facebook for people living in the Crowborough areas who are interested in sponsoring or supporting refugees, and a concert is being held at St John’s Church in Crowborough on 1st May, to raise money for the Red Cross appeal for Ukraine.
Yesterday, The Times Newspaper published a story about Councillor Toby Illingworth, Chairman of Wealden Conservatives and District Councillor for Buxted, who is said to have became so frustrated at the Homes for Ukraine scheme, that he flew to Poland to set-up a matching service himself. In less than a week it is reported he found 150 refugees wanting to come to Britain.