A CAMPAIGNER, who spent a week on a humanitarian trip in Ukraine, met with her local politician to discuss the UK’s refugee system, described as “not good enough”.

Sara Wheeler and Kim Bryan, from Llanbrynmair, met with Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams to discuss their concerns regarding the UK’s refugee system, particularly visa processing times, the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the lack of official presence on the border, and the UK’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The meeting comes after Sara spent a week in Poland in April, with friend Vicky Rowe, who recently returned to Poland, to provide aid on the border with Ukraine.

Upon her return, Sara described witnessing, firsthand, “the aftermath of the absolutely worst of humanity”, compared to “the best of humanity”. Sara made it her mission to meet with Mr Williams to express her concerns regarding the UK’s current refugee policy.

Sara said the visa processing time is “several weeks long, leaving people vulnerable to traffickers and without support whilst they wait”, additionally vias sometimes omit family members, “causing distress and torturous delays”.

In response, Sara said Mr Williams stated he is “working with Lord Hartington to address this and a processing time of 48 hours”, adding that visas are crucial for security as we are not part of the Schengen.

Sara said: “Craig accepted that the delay in processing times was terrible and it was shambles that families were not processed as a unit; he is going to take this further.”

Sara said the Homes for Ukraine database “is used solely as a function of visa processing”, the matching of refugees and hosts is being done via social media and volunteer organisations “and is open to safeguarding issues”.

Sara said Mr Williams claimed he was not aware of this, adding that the government would not like to be responsible for matching unless full checks were done.

She told Mr Williams that an official presence is needed on the border, as there is an “inconsistency in knowledge due to a reliance on volunteer and charities filling this role”, but he said pulling a member of the Foreign Office away to staff each border crossing would “not be practical”.

Lastly, Sara and Kim criticised the government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving on UK shores to Rwanda for being against the United Nations Refugee Convention. But Mr Williams said that the journeys are unsafe,and people are vulnerable to traffickers and arriving on our shores illegally.