Blackpool welcomes first Ukrainian refugee family to resort

The South Shore resident welcomed the family of five on Tuesday evening after facing a long journey from France.

Like millions of Ukrainians, the family which includes a grandmother and a couple and their two young daughters aged five and four months had to leave their homes and families to escape the war.

The Homes for Ukraine program enables people and organizations in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety by providing them with accommodation, including those who have no family ties to the UK.

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The Ukrainian flag flies above Blackpool Town Hall

Individual sponsors are asked to provide free accommodation or a spare room for as long as they can, with a minimum stay of six months. In return, they will receive £350 per month.

Under this scheme, people have access to public services, work and benefits.

Cllr Neal Brookes, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Public Safety, Motorways and Transport, was on hand to greet the family in Blackpool on Wednesday afternoon.

He said: “I was honored to welcome this family to Blackpool and thanks to the generosity of a resident they now have a safe haven in our town.

“Blackpool has always been an open and welcoming place, so it is heartening to see residents helping others in times of need.

“The Homes for Ukraine program offers a lifeline to those who have been forced to flee and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has offered their support so far.

“We are aware that many Ukrainians have been supported by their families across the Fylde Coast and we want to ensure that all newcomers to our town from Ukraine have the appropriate support.

“Our team has contacted all of our identified sponsors who are linked to guests as soon as information is shared with us and are there to help with any necessary checks and support when guests arrive.”

Latest figures reveal that 14 visas have been issued in Blackpool under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

A fortnight ago, Poulton man Max Frost and his partner welcomed a 26-year-old Ukrainian man called Vlad into their home. Mr. Frost traveled to the Ukrainian border on an aid mission where he met Vlad.

Many Ukrainians have been sponsored by their families across the Fylde Coast and although the family visa scheme is different, the support the council is putting in place for displaced Ukrainian communities to come together and access information, advice and support will be available for people. who have gone through this route as well as the Homes for Ukraine visa route.

The Ukrainian flag flies above Town Hall as a symbol of Blackpool Council’s welcome and solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

If you would like to register your interest in becoming a sponsor, visit www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine