Increased financial support for Ukrainian guests and their sponsors
Gloucestershire County Council will be issuing extra payments to Ukrainian guests and their sponsors.
In response to feedback from sponsors about the impact the increased cost-of-living is having on their ability to sponsor Ukrainian guests, the council will be offering all sponsors £375 per household (split into three payments of £125, per month, for the months of November and December 2022 and January 2023) to help towards their energy costs. This will be paid to every sponsor in the county, regardless of how long they have been hosting their guests. Any guest who has moved out into the private rented sector will also be eligible to receive this payment (conditions apply).
In addition to this, those sponsors who have offered to continue to provide accommodation beyond the first six months will also receive an additional £100 per month for months seven to twelve of their hosting arrangements, and this in addition to the existing monthly £350 ‘thank you’ payment already offered to all sponsors.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said, “As the atrocities in Ukraine continue, we want to make sure Ukrainian guests in Gloucestershire are supported as much as possible. The extra payments will hopefully encourage sponsors to continue beyond the first six-months providing stability to those who have had to flee their homes and their country.
“We hope this increased financial support will give Ukrainian guests, many of whom have seen these atrocities first hand, more time to settle into communities, find employment and restart their lives.”
There is still a need for sponsors in Gloucestershire, so if you are interested in supporting a Ukrainian guest the Homes for Ukraine team can talk you through what is involved. You can also take a look through our Sponsor information pack online.
Where is the money coming from?
This increased financial support is coming from the Government’s Homes for Ukraine grant paid to local authorities. You can read the decision paper here.
Since the conflict began, over 500 households have welcomed more than 1000 Ukrainian guests fleeing war, and all seven Gloucestershire councils have come together to make sure accommodation is safe and suitable.
What support is there for Ukrainians who are in Gloucestershire under the Families Scheme?
The Ukrainian Families Scheme allows a Visa to be granted for Ukrainians to live with family in the UK. This is different to the Homes for Ukraine scheme which is facilitated by national and local government, and people sponsor strangers to come and live with them or at least six months.
The Gloucestershire Homes for Ukraine partners have been supporting those who have come forward as being part of the Families Scheme. Gloucestershire County Council has been giving a one off £200 payment (per person) to people when they contact GARAS.
So far, 52 payment vouchers have been given out, along with travel cards for 50 free bus trips in Gloucestershire. Those who are part of the Families Scheme who have not come forward yet are encouraged to get in touch with GARAS or the Homes for Ukraine team by emailing UkraineFamilies@gloucestershire.gov.uk to get their support payments.