Funding to support Ukrainian refugees

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East Sussex County Council is set to give three volunteer groups almost half a million pounds of funding to help support Ukrainian refugees.

On Tuesday (24th May), Cllr Carl Maynard, the Council’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, approved plans to split £490,000 between three voluntary organisations working with refugees and host families taking part in the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The three groups — Hastings Voluntary Action, Rother Voluntary Action and 3VA — will, between them, provide support across the whole of the county. 3VA support the voluntary sector in Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden.

During the meeting, East Sussex County Council’s Director of Adult Social Care Mark Stainton praised the ‘fantastic’ response from residents taking part in the scheme.

He said the latest figures showed there were 704 known arrivals in East Sussex. They are staying in 307 properties, the majority of which (120) are in Wealden.

Mr Stainton said this was significant as it meant refugees staying within East Sussex were more likely to be in rural areas than not. This could pose a risk of isolation and make it more difficult to coordinate support, he said.

Despite these challenges, Mr Stainton said the voluntary organisations have already been providing significant support.

The report today is about putting that support they provide on to a sustainable footing for the next year. I think it would be very sensible for us to plan ahead for the next 12 months.

While the scheme itself formally is either six months or 12, we suspect, we believe, this will be a long-standing issue and therefore we want to put some infrastructure in that will last, at least, for the year.

The support we are talking about, given the rural nature, is transport, social interaction, setting up groups for the refugees to meet but also link in with the core communities in which they are placed.

Director of Adult Social Care at East Sussex County Council

Mr Stainton said the voluntary organisations would also work to ensure refugees had access to local services, such as GPs, while staying in the county.

For more information see the Report by the Director of Adult Social Care.

Click to see more information from the County Council about the help available in East Sussex Ukrainian refugees.

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