Warm welcome for Ukrainians moving to Scotland.
A total of 3,747 displaced Ukrainians with a place of sponsorship in Scotland have arrived in the UK since the start of the war in Ukraine 100 days ago.
There are now nearly 10,901 visas issued with a Scottish sponsor through the Ukrainian sponsorship program, made up of over 7,642 visas provided through the Scottish government’s super sponsor program, and a further 3,259 visas issued for matches with a individual sponsor in Scotland,
The Scottish Government, local authorities and third sector partners have worked hard and fast to provide a ‘warm Scottish welcome’ to people displaced by war in their country, providing a range of support including meals, housing, clothing, health care, trauma support and translation. Displaced people also have access to free health care and social security benefits.
A national matching service has also been set up to help identify longer-term accommodation across the country, including generous offers made by Scottish hosts as well as local authorities and housing association properties.
On the centenary of the February 24 Russian invasion, Ukraine’s Refugee Minister, Neil Gray, reaffirmed Scotland’s continued commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine.
Mr Gray said:
“The horrors that have befallen the people of Ukraine since their country was invaded by Russia 100 days ago have shocked everyone in Scotland and around the world, and we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“As a nation, Scotland has responded and opened its heart and extended the hand of friendship offering support and services to thousands of displaced Ukrainians. I want to thank the thousands of people who have generously opened their doors to Ukrainian families, volunteered and donated to causes.
“I would also like to thank Scottish local authorities and third sector organizations who have risen to the challenge we faced to mobilize a major effort in aid coordination, support and service delivery, and the private sector who also offered his help, in such a short time.
“While we want peace and people can return to Ukraine when it’s safe and whenever they want, Ukrainians who have settled here can rest assured that Scotland will be their home for as long as they want. , and they will be welcomed and treated with care, dignity and respect.
“The Scottish Government and our partners are here to lend their support for as long as it takes and we’re sure the people of Scotland feel the same.”
A Scottish government-funded project that has helped displaced people is the Edinburgh Community Food project. The organization normally works to ensure that people have access to healthy and affordable food and that food is used as a vehicle to promote well-being and social cohesion.
However, he turned to the Ukraine crisis and supported the Edinburgh Welcome Hub by providing fresh, healthy food to help Ukrainian families cook and eat together.
Brenda Black, Managing Director of Edinburgh Community Food, said:
“Ukrainians fled a country where, before the invasion, cereals and fresh vegetables were plentiful and have always been everyday staples.
“Edinburgh Community Kitchen welcomes people by providing quality, fresh and healthy familiar foods to help families cook and eat together, as well as connecting and nourishing people with our traditional Scottish produce and hospitality when they may feel overwhelmed by trauma.
“The process of preparing, engaging, and sharing food can bring comfort and happier memories of home.
“Since the first arrivals from Ukraine, we have been working together to help third sector partners and businesses connect people to services and opportunities in Edinburgh and across the country.”