More than 10,000 Ukrainians assisted by Scottish sponsor scheme
The Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme has now offered sanctuary to 10,056 displaced people from Ukraine to travel to safety in Scotland, the latest published data has revealed.
The total number of people from Ukraine offered a place in Scotland through the Super Sponsor Scheme and the UK Government Homes for Ukraine scheme with individual sponsors is more than 13,000 – representing 16.5% of the total UK population share to date.
To accommodate more displaced Ukrainians whose visas have been approved under the Super Sponsor Scheme, the Scottish Government has chartered a second passenger ship, M/S Ambition, to be located in Glasgow. The ship, which is due to be fully operational by September, will provide accommodation for up to 1,750 people with the same level of facilities and support currently available to those in Edinburgh.
Minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, said: “The Scottish Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme has now enabled more than 10,000 people to come to Scotland following the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, there is currently no end to the war in sight. We are firmly focused on supporting displaced people from Ukraine who are seeking sanctuary in Scotland as they flee the war in their homeland.
“Following the arrival of the M/S Victoria I – which has been well received by people on board – the Scottish Government is chartering a second passenger ship – the M/S Ambition – which will be located in Glasgow from early September. This will further enhance our ability to provide safe and secure accommodation for those who need it.
“We are getting close to capacity for the temporary accommodation currently available, particularly across the Central Belt. While areas like Glasgow and Edinburgh are more familiar to Ukrainians, we are encouraging everyone arriving here to consider other areas across Scotland, especially as we see more visas being issued. We can guarantee that anyone arriving here will receive a warm welcome from communities across the country, keen to provide support and open their homes.
“As a humanitarian crisis requiring a whole-of-Scotland response, the Scottish Government continues to work closely with local councils and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to ensure those displaced people who are already here, and those who have applied and are granted permission to travel, will be safe, secure and supported for as long as they need.”
A Parliamentary Question and answer to provide an update on its arrangements for welcoming displaced people from Ukraine through the Super Sponsor scheme has been published online.
Meanwhile, Dundee’s efforts to welcome and support people who have fled the conflict in Ukraine has been praised by city council leader John Alexander.
Refugees are now staying in temporary accommodation in the city after arriving as part of the Scottish Government’s super sponsor scheme.
While work continues to find them more permanent accommodation, city organisations are supplying necessities, access to health services as required, welfare needs, interpretation and education.
Councillor Alexander and city council chief executive Greg Colgan have recently paid a visit to talk to some of the Ukrainian families in temporary accommodation and are using the opportunity to also thank local support teams for their work.
The city council leader said: “I have been absolutely amazed by the local response to help people from Ukraine who have arrived in our city.
“In very short timescales, we have seen packages of support organised and delivered by partners in the city ranging from toys for children, health checks to welfare supports to language assistance.
“This is so typical of the ‘can-do’ Dundee attitude from partners from the local authority, health, the third sector and various city organisations.
“We in Dundee cannot imagine the horrors that these Ukrainian families have witnessed, but the support and care that is being shown is inspiring.
“The resilience they are showing is also quite incredible, and they are supporting each other through this.
“We are also looking to organise English lessons for many of those who have arrived in the city, as well as helping with employability.
“I have been heartened by acts of kindness such as the sourcing of guitars, skateboards and football strips for children who have just arrived.” More…
The council and partners are looking to find accommodation with local people through the Homes for Ukraine/Super Sponsor Scheme.
This involves the assessment of potential hosts and potential accommodation for use, as well as safeguarding checks.
Community networks are also emerging including those organised by faith groups in the local and surrounding area.
Organisations like the Red Cross and Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action are also closely involved in the local efforts.
Councillor Alexander added: “I am always impressed by the ways that people working for different services across the council and our partner organisations come together to provide help and support where it is most needed.
“We are immensely grateful to all the organisations and individuals who are involved in this fast-moving effort to help those who have been forced to flee Ukraine following the invasion of their homeland.
“Dundee has long history of supporting those affected by conflict, and our collective humanitarian response once again shows what a caring city this is.”