Newport community ready to welcome and support Ukrainian refugees

WITH the announcement that UK households will receive £350 for Ukrainian refugees, a community in Newport appears ready to step in and help.

On Monday, the UK government launched its Homes for Ukraine scheme, which will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to bring people fleeing war to safety, even if they have no connection to the UK.

Sponsors can appoint a named Ukrainian person or family to stay with them in their home, or offer them a separate property to use without rent.

It is estimated that as many as 2.5 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine, following the Russian invasion last month.

Ukrainian Pavlo Bilodid, 33, hugs his wife and daughter in Lviv as they prepare to board a bus for Poland. Photo: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

A number of Langstone residents have taken to social media to say they are ready to house Ukrainians fleeing the crisis, with many offers of spare rooms.

And resident Ginny Baldwin, who lives in Penhow, is keen to start a support group for those in the area who are willing to open their homes to Ukrainians.

“It broke me, the events of the past two weeks,” Ms Baldwin said.

“The whole war is so unfair – Ukrainians are beautiful people with huge pride in their country.

Argus from South Wales: Ginny Baldwin wants to start a group to help those hosting Ukrainian refugees.Ginny Baldwin wants to start a group to help those hosting Ukrainian refugees.

“The first thing I did was to take whatever I could give out of the house. I then bought £100 worth of additional goods to donate to the Westgate Hotel.

But Ms Baldwin, like many others in her community, is now ready to go even further to help Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.

“I would like to create a Facebook group to help anyone who hosts refugees,” she added.

“I know a few people have come forward to say they would be happy to relocate Ukrainians, so there is a real will in the community to do so.

South Wales Argus: The people of Newport and surrounding areas have gone above and beyond in their donations to Ukrainians.The people of Newport and surrounding areas have gone above and beyond in their donations for Ukrainians.

“I’m not able to take anyone in, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to help – I might find things for people like wardrobes and clothes.”

With energy prices set to soar next month, this is a worrying time for households across the UK.

Ms Baldwin thinks a community group would be able to help those who have taken in refugees with the additional costs.

“That’s what the group would be for, to help anyone who has taken in refugees to cope with the rising cost of living as well.

“I have offered part of my field as space for people to grow vegetables ahead of time and would be more than happy to provide free food to families hosting refugees.

“I just think everyone is trying to do their best – people want to get involved and help in any way they can.

“Even though there are people who don’t want to have someone in their home, there are still so many other ways to offer your support.”

The communities of Newport and Gwent have shown tremendous compassion and generosity in recent weeks.

Some families carried wagons full of essential donations to the Polish border to help those fleeing.

A large donation truck left Newport over the weekend as efforts to provide further aid intensify.

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