Over the past few weeks, we have watched in horror as Russia continues to bomb Ukraine’s people as well as its buildings, streets and homes. It has created a humanitarian crisis and untold human suffering.
Hundreds of men, women and children have died from Russia’s aggressive war and millions of people have fled their homes in fear for their lives.
Many have been unable to flee, including over 1,500 vulnerable children living in orphanages. We send our thoughts and prayers to all those who have lost loved ones, family and friends, across our borough and in Ukraine, and for everyone living in fear.
As a compassionate council, we are committed to supporting refugees, and have a long history of helping children, young people and adult refugees fleeing war and persecution, including those fleeing from countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan.
We urge the government to act quickly and compassionately to help our Ukrainian neighbours, to offer reunification with their families and friends here in the UK and extend an open invitation to those fleeing the war without connections including offering homes to those children left behind in orphanages.
We stand ready to help refugees and H&F Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan has asked officers to develop a plan for their welcome and care.
There are various ways residents can help those affected by Russia’s aggression. You can contribute to the humanitarian aid work co-ordinated by our main charities here or get involved with West London Welcome which helps refugees locally.
And in the coming weeks we will highlight other means of support to Ukraine and to any local residents impacted by the invasion.
If you can help or need help
Homes for Ukraine scheme: Are you willing to host a Ukrainian refugee? Register your interest on the GOV.UK website.
Immigration or visa advice: The Ukraine Advice Project provides free immigration advice by qualified lawyers for those fleeing Ukraine.
Donate: Visit the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Worried about family or friends: Find out who to contact on the UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals GOV.UK page.