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Linking up voluntary offers of support to assist Ukrainian refugees

Test Valley Borough Council and its community services partner, Unity, are working together to link volunteers, hosts and Ukrainian refugees in the area.

They are already in contact with a number of formal and informal groups who have come together to plan how to support Ukrainian refugees in their local communities. And they are appealing to others who have done the same to get in touch with Unity so they can identify opportunities to provide additional support and information.

They are also asking people across the borough who may be able to volunteer as translators, drivers to take people to local amenities, or have other specific skills that might be helpful, to register with Unity who will be able to coordinate these offers of help locally.

In particular, they are putting a call out to Ukrainian nationals already living in the area who might be able to offer more general support and assistance to refugees while they are settling in.

Anyone who thinks they might have the right skills and wants to find out more about how to volunteer can contact Unity on 0330 4004 116 or email Greg.alexander@unityonline.org.uk

Unity chief executive, Terry Bishop, said: “We would really love to hear from those who think they might have a particular skill or service to offer so we can look at potentially linking them up with the Ukrainian refugees arriving in the area.

“Our communities are absolutely amazing and we know that there are some fantastic local groups already out there providing assistance. We certainly don’t want to get in the way of that but we are keen for them to get in touch so we can understand if there is anything they need that might help them with the outstanding work they are already doing.”

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, added: “We have all witnessed the utterly unimaginable horrors unfolding in Ukraine in recent weeks and we will do all we can to help those affected.

“We are beginning to see more and more people arriving in the country through the Government’s Ukraine visa schemes and we are working hard to get support in place as quickly as possible. We are incredibly lucky and extremely grateful to have some truly fantastic communities in Test Valley who continue to prove time and again that they are willing to come together to assist those in need. If anyone is able to offer particular skills as an individual, or as a group, then please get in touch with Unity so together we can help to link volunteers with refugees in the local area.”

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