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Somerset County Council has today committed £250,000 to support refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine as part of a county-wide response to the humanitarian crisis.
Somerset has a proud record when it comes to welcoming refugees, with the County Council working with partners, charities and the community to help over 160 people safely resettle here since 2016.
At Cabinet today, Council Leader David Fothergill outlined measures being taken by the County Council in response to the Ukraine crisis and announced that £200,000 would be made available to ensure any refugees in Somerset receive all the help they need.
This may include access to public services, education and health support, housing, travel, food and interpretation services. Sponsoring households may also require support.
A further £50,000 was pledged for a new Somerset Ukrainian support fund which is expected to be established in the coming days.
Cllr Fothergill said: “We are all deeply concerned by events happening in Ukraine and it is clear we need to play our part and make sure we’re ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Somerset.
“People in Somerset always step up. We know they will want to help and we’re working with our partners, our district councils and the health and voluntary sector to co-ordinate local efforts. A huge thank you to everyone helping with this and for all the many offers of support which are already flooding in.”
There are a number of ways you can help support Ukrainian refugees.
The Government has announced a new sponsorship scheme called Homes for Ukraine. You can find out how you can offer a home to a Ukrainian family and register your interest on the Homes for Ukraine website.
If you’re not able to sponsor a family but are looking for other ways to support Ukrainian refugees, you can find out about what to consider when donating and where to donate on the Gov.uk website.
Local charities include:
This is a fast moving situation, but you can stay up to date with the latest developments in Somerset at www.somerset.gov.uk/refugee-resettlement.
Notes to editors