Ukrainian visitors and host sponsors living in the Epping Forest District came together for a reception earlier this month.
Homes for Ukraine
Jointly organised by Epping Forest District Council and Voluntary Action Epping Forest it took place at the Community Hub in the Civic Offices in Epping. The event was supported by many local services and organisations including Citizens Advice, Epping Forest Foodbank, the Department for Work and Pensions and many others.
The event was titled “What Happens Next” as the government-sponsored ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme reaches its initial 6 month milestone.
The evening was compered by Nick Robinson, Community Response Hub Manager at Voluntary Action Epping Forest.
Local services and organisations
Advisors on health, childcare, housing, employment and benefits, education, community service, and much more gave up their evening to meet the many visitors who attended. They either advised them or signposted to other services that could help them further. NHS colleagues were on hand to offer free health checks and flu and Covid vaccinations as well.
More than 100 people attended and a craft table kept the children busy and engaged while their adults were seeking advice.
A comprehensive collection of frequently asked questions, covering all of the above issues was put together and printed in English for hosts and Ukrainian for visitors, to take away and keep.
Holly Whitbread, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community said:
It was so lovely to meet some of the Ukrainian visitors and their hosts and see how they are settling into life in our district.
Most of the children are settling into local schools, some adults have found work – either paid or voluntary – and so many of them are learning English. It is truly heartwarming to see the genuine connections made between the refugees and local people who have taken them into their homes.
Every Thursday Ukranian visitors are getting together at St Mary’s Church, Loughton where further support is available.
Meetings take place at the Smith Room at the church In High Street, Loughton between 10am and 11.30am. Refreshments are available and there’s time to chat and forge friendships.
Contact Caroline Macdonald or more information.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 0790 3983812
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