Durham Stands With Ukraine
Durham Stands With Ukraine

On Monday 14th March, Mary pushed Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, to ensure that Ukrainian refugees receive the specialist support that they need upon arrival to the UK via the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Asking a question in a statement on the government’s scheme to allow people to offer their homes to Ukrainian refugees in a sponsorship scheme, Mary pointed out that there was a need for specialist support to help vulnerable refugees once they arrived to the UK.

“Like many, I was confused by the Secretary of State’s suggestion that sponsors could match with refugees using Twitter and Instagram which has raised a number of safeguarding concerns given the trauma that many of these people will have been exposed to.” Mary said.

“So can the Secretary of State confirm if refugees will have access to specialist support… and how will they be protected from exploitation in the UK?”

Answering Mary’s question, Gove replied:

They absolutely will have access to that support. Anyone who acts as a sponsor will face light-touch vetting checks initially and subsequently will be visited by those from local government who, to be fair, the Honourable Lady quite rightly pointed out, are experts in safeguarding.

To view the question and response, check Mary’s social media out:

Responding to Gove’s answer, Mary said:

I am pleased that the Secretary of State has stated that vulnerable Ukrainians will have access to crucial support following the trauma that they have faced in fleeing from their country. However, the situation created by the Government has placed the response to the refugee crisis in the hands of the public seemingly taking responsibility away from central Government. It is vital that Ukrainian refugees are given the support they need physically and emotionally, as well as being offered sanctuary.

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