People in Staffordshire wanting to sponsor refugees fleeing Ukraine are being urged to do so through the proper government channels.
Officers at Staffordshire County Council are dealing with more than 200 sponsors coming through the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
However, they are also seeing a few instances where sponsorship arrangements are being set up via chatrooms or social media. Organising sponsorships this way means they will not be able to access funding the government has specifically allocated to the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council cabinet member for communities said: “We’re doing everything we can to ensure sponsors in Staffordshire have all of the relevant financial and safeguarding arrangements in place, so they can welcome refugees under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
“However, we are also hearing of less formal arrangements. Obviously this has its risks in terms of the welfare of those involved, but another consequence is that by going outside of the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, sponsors and refugees will not be able to access the funding and support that has been put in place.
“This is why it’s really important to go through the proper channels. That way, sponsors and refugees can get the support they are entitled to, and we can ensure that any arrangement is suitable and safe for everyone.”
People can apply to be a sponsor through the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme here: Homes for Ukraine: record your interest – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For more information on how the scheme works in Staffordshire, visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/ukraine.