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Rematches for Ukrainians in Fenland after ‘breakdown between hosts and guests’

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Council officials in Fenland are having to find “a number of rematches” where relationships have broken down between Ukrainians and their host families.

Councillors were told of the problems in regular portfolio holder updates at a full council meeting.

“Due to breakdown between hosts and guests, the team are also witnessing a number of rematches within the district,” said the report.

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And these “often require an immediate response to prevent guests becoming homeless”.

Officers said they continue to support the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Fenland.

This includes inspection of hosts properties and delivery of sustenance payments.

“Welfare checks continue on a weekly basis and are being carried out in a timely fashion,” says the report.  

The council said it is working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council “who receive the money for the homes for Ukraine from central government to ensure that the council’s costs are recovered”.

The council administers the Government’s £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment to sponsor households and has created a welcome pack to help Ukrainian families to adjust.

It covers what they need to know in their first few days, getting used to life in the UK, accessing public services and healthcare, finding work, childcare and education services, and information on local services.

Links to English and Ukrainian versions can be found below:

The Government has also produced a welcome guide.

Community Hubs

A Ukrainian Community Hub opened on May 19th in Whittlesey Queen Street Church. This runs on a Thursday from 10am to 2.30pm. Guests and hosts are welcome. For more information call 01733 203931. 

There is also a Community Hub at the Rosmini Centre in Wisbech, running between 10am and 2pm on Mondays. For more information call 01945 474422.

Education

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough WEA have set up two free ESOL online courses for Ukrainian refugees. They hope this will help them to settle in the UK and prepare them to find a job here.

These courses are designed for speakers of other languages, regardless of their current level of English. Courses start on October 14th. Spaces are limited. To register, follow the instructions on the course link pages or call 0300 303 3464.

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Local services

Cambridgeshire Libraries

There are 33 public libraries in Cambridgeshire. They are free to join. 

You can join the library online or go in person. If you go to join in person, go to a helpdesk or speak to a staff member wearing a lime green lanyard. They will be happy to help. 

You can join without any documents. They will ask for your name, contact details and date of birth. It will only take about 5 minutes. 

At the library, you can:

  • use their study space
  • use Wi-Fi, computers with internet and printers
  • look at books and borrow up to 12 at a time
  • read eNewspapers in different languages

It is free to borrow books, use the computers or the Wi-Fi. Borrowing DVDs costs £1. Printing costs 20p per A4 page in black and white; 75p in colour. 

Libraries run events, reading groups and offer free story times or rhyme times for children and their parents/carers. You can also volunteer there. 

Change, Grow, Live

Change Grow Live is a health and social care charity that works with people of all ages who want to change their lives for the better and achieve positive and life-affirming goals. If you have concerns about drugs or alcohol, they can help. 

They meet people in various venues across Cambridgeshire including GP surgeries, pharmacies, and community centres. Support is confidential and can be given around a range of topics including prescription medications, alcohol, over-the-counter medication use, legal or illegal drugs, ‘dual diagnosis’ or mental health, steroid use and more. 

Their offices are open Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, and 9am-noon on Saturday. In Fenland, their office is in Wisbech (Church Terrace, PE13 1BW). 

Rosmini Centre

The Rosmini Centre in Wisbech offers help and advice to those in need. They offer many classes and groups to join. It is an ideal place to socialise, learn new skills or seek support.

They offer a wide range of services that are available to everyone. These include:

  • Language lessons
  • Dance, drama, and art for young people
  • Children’s stay and play sessions
  • Migrant drop in 
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • An IT suite, with IT lessons

A Community Cafe is on site, serving hot and cold food. Free Wi-Fi is available. 

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