Number of Ukrainian refugees being hosted by people in Harborough is among the highest in the country

New figures show that the district has excelled itself as generous residents have backed the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme

By Red Williams
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 3:45 pm
The number of Ukrainian refugees being hosted by people in Harborough is among the highest in the country.
The number of Ukrainian refugees being hosted by people in Harborough is among the highest in the country.

The number of Ukrainian refugees being hosted by people in Harborough is among the highest in the country.

New figures show that the district has excelled itself as generous residents have backed the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Harborough is in the top 10 per cent of high-performing councils, boasting the 37th highest rate out of 374 councils across the UK.

The rate relative to the size of the population is almost twice the national average for England.

By Tuesday July 5, some 228 visas had been issued for people to come and live with sponsors in Harborough through the Homes for Ukraine blueprint.

And even more people have come to the area via the initiative for family members as they flee war-ravaged Ukraine.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien said: “People locally have been incredibly generous allowing people fleeing from a brutal war into their homes.

“I know that it is often not easy and is a big sacrifice.

“But I also know from speaking to many people doing it locally that many have also found it very worthwhile.

“The situation in Ukraine continues to be pretty bleak.

“Putin is deploying scorched earth tactics to flatten a number of cities in the east of Ukraine - and there is clear evidence of Russian atrocities and war crimes in the places they have been,” said Mr O’Brien.

“The Ukrainians continue to defend themselves heroically.

“And I hope that the heavier weaponry we and the western democracies have supplied them will help them stop the Russians from advancing further.

“In the meantime the work that people in Harborough are doing in looking after large numbers of Ukrainian people – particularly women and children - is a huge contribution to helping the Ukrainians in their hour of need.

“I pay tribute not just to those in Harborough who are looking after Ukrainians in their homes, but also to the local council who have done a lot, and the wider community, as many people have been helping out in other ways, donating much needed items and also their time to help out.”

Meanwhile, Harborough district councillors Phil Knowles and Peter James have met Ukrainian refugees, hosts and friends.

The two Liberal Democrats said: ''There was so much appreciation and gratitude for the help and support that is being given and offered from a variety of sources.

“The problems seem to be difficulty and delay in accessing the correct person who can identify, direct towards and ensure supply of the help needed.

“The issue seemingly extends to co-ordinating all the kind offers of help and support but the hosts, guests, family and friends tell us they are struggling to have one central contact point from where they can be directed and ultimately the process speeded up,” said Cllr Knowles and Cllr James.

“We will be taking this up with the appropriate officers who are best place to sort this.

“We will also be exploring the longer term situation on jobs, funding and education.

“These will become even more important as we move forward.”