Ukrainian and UK governments thank public for ‘largest offer of help to people fleeing war since 1945’

Since March, the British and Ukrainian governments have arranged for more than 104,000 Ukrainians to arrive in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The Ukrainian and UK governments this week will send thank you letters to sponsors and families across the UK who have welcomed Ukrainians into their homes and communities.

Signed by Ukrainian Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko and Refugees Minister Lord Harrington, the letters will praise the collective national effort that has driven the scheme forward,.

They are expected to say:

“Together you and your fellow hosts, and the Ukrainian diaspora community, have given 104,000 people safe refuge across the UK. You have saved lives, given hope, and offered sanctuary to people in desperate need. This represents the UK’s largest offer of help to people fleeing war since 1945.”

Since March more than 104,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme, showcasing the best of British hospitality and compassion, continuing the country’s proud history of stepping forward in the hour of need. Families and hosts do not just provide housing but welcoming homes, warm friendship and local advice for planting roots in an unfamiliar community.

Ukrainian Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko said:

As Russian tanks started rolling over Ukrainian borders and the first cities were bombarded, tens of thousands of British families have offered their homes to Ukrainians.

I know it is not easy to host displaced people from a different culture, an unfamiliar background, speaking a foreign language and most importantly deeply troubled and hurt. Yes, we are different in so many ways but we have in common an acute sense of injustice and readiness to stand up against evil. We are fighting fearlessly until our land is free but with the same intensity, we are remembering kindness and friendship. As Ukrainians return back to rebuild our nation they will cherish this chance to learn about your culture, your way of living, even your cuisine. Although here I guess both sides will be able to enrich each other.

The ties between our nations, our governments have never been closer. This is because of each and everyone of you, your generosity, patience, kindness.

I am humbled and honoured to serve for the goodness of both of our people.

Refugees Minister Lord Harrington said:

I cannot thank the British public enough for their steadfast goodwill opening their doors to people from Ukraine and integrating them into their local communities.

Families are having to make difficult decisions to leave their homes and we understand behind 104,000 arrivals are stories of pain. From the moment the first tanks rolled across the border into Ukraine, this Government promised to do all we could to help people. And thanks to the limitless generosity and compassion of the public, we are delivering on that promise.

As the war rages on longer than anyone would have hoped, the governments of Ukraine and the UK have united to thank all those for giving people sanctuary in their time of need. The letters will praise sponsors and families for their “continuing efforts…making a difference, and that [they] have our heartfelt thanks and the thanks of the people of Ukraine.”

From day one, Ukrainians have the right to work and to access benefits and public services, including education and healthcare, on the same-footing as UK nationals. This will continue to be the case for those who wish to remain in the UK.

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