TUESDAY 21 June, saw the fifth Thurrock Council run community drop-in session take place, this time in the Community Church Hall in Chadwell St Mary.
The free events, which have been well attended and held across Corringham, Purfleet, South Ockendon and Grays, have brought together Council and partner services across health, employment, finance, education, housing and more, coming together to ensure Ukrainian guests arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme have the information they need to help them settle into life in our borough. Volunteer translators have been on hand and those attending have been signposted to services who can help with learning English.
More than 20 refugees came along to the Church Hall, some with their children.
The council has played a significant and leading role in helping Ukrainian guests settle in the UK with their sponsors – Thurrock residents who have selflessly put themselves forward to offer accommodation and support to those who have and continue to flee their home country as the war in Ukraine continues.
As part of the council’s responsibilities to support the scheme, its Housing team carry out thorough checks on the sponsor’s accommodation to ensuring it is comfortable and safe, as well as regular welfare checks. The Human Resources team carry out the required DBS checks on individuals, and Finance ensure all government payments owed to sponsors and guests are fulfilled.
Cllr Qaisar Abbas, Cabinet Member for Communities, added “We must not lose sight of the fact the horrific events in Ukraine continue to this day. No-one should ever need to leave their country under duress, but I know as a Council we have stepped up and have passionate and dedicated people around the table to make sure we are doing everything we can to welcome our Ukrainian friends into Thurrock.
“I have been heartened in seeing first-hand how fantastic the support has been for our Ukrainian arrivals, not just from the council but from the wider community as well. It has been great to see the interaction at these events. They have been offering more than just support with day to day living, they have helped our Ukrainian guests get to know one another, which is so important for building their own sense of community. I welcome them with open arms”.
The Community Church Hall in Chadwell St Mary are now running a monthly coffee morning for guests and their sponsors. You can find out more by calling 07897 717 5651 or emailing: Nicola.email@example.com