GOSPORT MP Dame Caroline Dinenage has joined many Hampshire residents in signing up to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes under a recent Government scheme, which was launched recently as the Russian invasion fast approaches its sixth full week of intense military action.
Mrs Dinenage is one of two Hampshire MPs to add their name to the list, the other so far being unnamed, and joins over twenty-five thousand Britons to offer their homes to help those fleeing war across many Ukrainian cities since the conflict started back in the early hours of February 24 (Thursday).
The Gosport representative said in a short online statement: “Like many people, I have been deeply troubled by the unspeakable act of aggression by Putin’s forces and the plight of the Ukrainian people.”
“Keen to do my bit to help, I have signed up to the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly and requires a commitment for a minimum of 6 months, so wouldn’t suit everyone. But there are lots of other ways local people can show support.”
Other MPs who have signed up to the scheme include former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Communities Secretary Michael Gove and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey. Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has also supported the scheme, but it is currently unclear if the Labour chief has officially signed up at the time of writing.
Readers can become a sponsor as part of the Government scheme entitled ‘Homes for Ukraine’, which opened on March 18 for visa applications and has so far seen almost 65,000 applicants from Ukrainians. At the time of writing 29,000 visas have been issued to people including Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The sponsorship lasts for six months and can be done through families, individuals, or businesses; with the Government providing a thank you payment worth £350 per month for a year. Once this six month sponsorship has ended, hosts and their guests can continue the arrangement for as long as they see fit.
The only requirement is that accommodation is given to Ukrainian refugees, although Government plan to provide a substantial level of funding to local authorities to support both the hosts and guests throughout their sponsorship. More information is available on the Government website link here.
PICTURED BY BBC NEWS: Mrs Dinenage talks in the House of Commons and has now registered her name under the recently launched Homes for Ukraine scheme aimed at helping refugees.