Urdd centre sanctuary for Ukrainian refugees

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Friday 1st April 2022 10:26 am
@ChrisABetteley
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Ukrainians from Kiev arrive at Przemysi Train station. March 03 2022.
Ukrainians from Kiev arrive at Przemysi Train station (Tom Maddick SWNS )

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CEREDIGION could become a temporary home for up to 250 Ukrainians fleeing the war-torn country as part of Wales acting as a super-sponsor under the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The Welsh Government outlined its plans last week, and said that one of the Urdd’s residential centres will be turned into a welcome centre, offering short-term accommodation for up to 250 refugees from Ukraine.

The organisation has five centres in Wales, including its original base in Llangrannog.

The exact location of the welcome centre is not being revealed due to privacy and security concerns.

Wales will act as a super-sponsor under the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme which began matching the first individual sponsors with people fleeing Ukraine last Friday.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary.

“We’re committed to ensuring there is a warm welcome for people fleeing the violence and conflict in Ukraine.

“We have been working very closely with our partners in the third sector, with the Urdd, the Welsh Local Government Association the NHS to ensure the right support is immediately available for people arriving from Ukraine.

“Following the success of the partnership approach to the Afghan resettlement scheme, we are proud to once again partner with the Urdd to open one of the first welcome centres in Wales for Ukrainian refugees.

“This will include the vital wrap-around services people arriving from a war zone need.”

The Minister said that since First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the intention to become a super-sponsor “an enormous amount of work has been undertaken to secure accommodation and support services and to prepare for the scheme.”

“Being a super-sponsor will speed up the process of enabling Ukrainians who want to come to Wales to do so quickly, without the worry of having to demonstrate a link to Wales before arriving,” she added.

Sian Lewis, chief executive of the Urdd said: “The children and people of Ukraine are facing unbearable pain and a threat to their lives.

“One of the Urdd’s residential centres will be turned into a welcome centre, offering short-term accommodation for up to 250 refugees from Ukraine.

“Alongside our partners, we will welcome, support, and offer them a safe refuge full of friendship and love.

“The Urdd would like to wholeheartedly thank all pupils, schools and groups who have given their place in the Gwersyll to support the refugees in their time of great need.”

The Minister added: “We are committed to doing everything we can to support people fleeing the war in Ukraine and providing sanctuary and safety in Wales.

“I want to pay tribute to colleagues across our all Welsh councils and health boards who are working to ensure services are in place for when the first refugees arrive.”

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