30 people from Ukraine arrive in South Tyneside under scheme to help those fleeing war-torn nation

More than 30 individuals from Ukraine have come to South Tyneside as part of a scheme helping them leave the war-torn country.

South Tyneside Council officers have updated that as of Wednesday, June 22, there had been 31 arrivals in the region under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

The number includes at least seven families, 15 adults and 10 children.

The update was heard at the latest meeting of the children and adults safeguarding panel on Wednesday, June 22, where councillors praised the support and efforts of residents in the borough hosting families.

Larysa Hutsuliak and her children David and Eva are among those from Ukraine now in South Tyneside. Pictured with their host Victoria Hayden (right).

Cllr Sue Stonehouse, Green group representative, said: “I’m just absolutely delighted that you’re accommodating these families because they’re really in need.”

Alongside the existing hosts, there have been 49 in South Tyneside who have been matched with guests who have not yet arrived.

There are a further 323 who expressed an interest in providing a home to a Ukrainian family but have not been matched to date.

Labour’s Cllr Paul Dean said it was “quite commendable” the amount of responses from residents showing an interest in hosting families.

Jess Barclay-Lambert, service manager for the council’s early help team, said South Tyneside has done “really well” in terms of host and guest matching.

She said: “What they signed up for was helping people find bank accounts, helping them get into work, helping them get established.

“It’s a small population number but the demand has been much higher.”

Council officers added amongst the Ukrainians moving into the area many are “very proud” and have not accepted the £200 per person interim payment they are entitled to, aimed at tiding them over as they settle into new surroundings.

Ms Barclay-Lambert added: “There’ve been quite a few of them who have not wanted to take the money from us, they’ve declined taking the money, their pride is really high.”

“Some of them are declining getting themselves set up for benefits as well, they just want to work, they really, really just want to work.”

Council chiefs noted groups have been set up to ensure both refugees and host families receive support throughout the process, along with sharing best practice with regional colleagues.

This includes the Asylum and Migrant Team, set up in 2021, who overall are actively supporting 43 families, with 75 children in South Tyneside.

These include asylum seekers, refugees and those helped under the Afghan Relocation Assistance Policy and Homes for Ukraine scheme.