Generous Wandsworth residents welcome over 1000 guests fleeing Ukraine

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

  • Generous borough residents support more than 1000 Ukrainian refugees.
  • Key element in transforming Wandsworth into a borough that welcomes and supports refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Wandsworth’s cash support more generous than Government scheme.

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Big hearted Wandsworth residents have opened their doors to more than 1000 Ukrainian refugees since the national Homes for Ukraine scheme opened in March 2022. 
With characteristic generosity local people in Wandsworth opened their homes to one of the highest number of people fleeing the war -  the second highest number of any borough in London.
In recognition of this, and the appalling trauma being inflicted by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Wandsworth council also stepped up to provide an increase in the monthly cash payment from £350 to £500 to those local families who have been hosting refugees for more than six months. This ensures hosts don’t have to wait a whole year for the increased payment as per the terms of the Government scheme. This extra support has been invaluable to supporting hosts.  

Kemi Akinola, Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council and Cabinet Member for the Voluntary Sector, Business Engagement and Culture, said: 
“More than 1000 Ukrainian guests have now been welcomed by amazing people in Wandsworth – despite increased pressures host families have been facing themselves as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. 
“We are a diverse, vibrant, compassionate and welcoming borough - fully committed to becoming a Borough of Sanctuary for those fleeing wars and repression around the world.
“Improving our services for refugees and asylum seekers who move to Wandsworth is a key element,  demonstrating our determination to make Wandsworth a fairer and more compassionate borough, committed to improving the daily lives of all who live here.”
Wandsworth council is working in close partnership with local charities, voluntary organisations through the Wandsworth Migration Forum which has brought together key organisations, including the NHS, JobCentre Plus and local voluntary sector groups to improve support to refugees and asylum seekers.
Notes to editors:

•    Households that have been involved in supporting Ukrainian refugees for less than six months are receiving £350 a month.
•    The enhanced payment chimes with the Town Hall’s work to achieve Borough of Sanctuary status. 
•    The Borough of Sanctuary movement is part of a national initiative to create a network of towns and cities throughout the UK that are proud to be places of safety and inclusion for people seeking sanctuary.