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Preparations continue to be strengthened for the arrival of more Ukrainian refugees in Kent, with some families having already arrived in the county

The latest data from the government shows that 1,624 Ukrainians could initially be heading to Kent. They have been matched with 709 sponsors in the county who signed up to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

KCC is supporting the process of settling those fleeing the conflict in a number of ways including, carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks with all host families, offering English courses for Ukrainian adults along with education for children and young people through the Kent Adult Education service and offering school places for Ukrainian children in primary and secondary schools across the county.

A wealth of information for residents and Ukrainian refugees with queries about the  Ukraine Families Schemes settlement is available on our website at www.kent.gov.uk/ukraine, by emailing [email protected] or by calling our dedicated helpline on 03000 412424.

The helpline, which includes a translation service if needed, can provide anyone in the county with information, support and advice.

Roger Gough, Kent County Council Leader said: “The council and all partners across the county are united in wanting to do all that we can to welcome refugees and support all those who have volunteered to offer them a temporary home.

“We continue to do everything possible to ensure that Ukrainians arriving in Kent can do so swiftly and safely.

“DBS checks and home visits are now underway in the county with those kind and generous residents who have been able to provide a safe haven to Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.”

District and Borough councils are also preparing to welcome and care for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine in a variety of ways including conducting home checks to inspect homes which have been offered to refugees to make sure they are suitable and safe.

Dover District Council has now set up a welcome centre at Victory House in the town, which has already welcomed the first Ukrainians arriving through the port.

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “It’s been heart-warming to welcome the first Ukrainian families and to help them start their journey of resettlement in the UK.  In response to a request from Government, Dover District Council has worked with the Dover Outreach Centre and volunteers to establish a ‘Welcome Point’ to provide arrivals from Ukraine with a warm welcome and any immediate humanitarian support they may need.  The free 24-hour welcome centre in Dover provides support, information, welfare assistance, refreshments, and help with onward travel arrangements.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is supporting hosts by offering free home fire safety visits. The visit may include installing fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, along with fire safety advice. To find out more and to make a booking you can visit the KFRS website or call 0800 923 7000.

Roger Gough added “Kent has always been an open and welcoming place and we are putting everything in place to make sure that all new arrivals in our county have all the support they need.”

“I want to thank everyone in the county, including our partners in the District and Borough Councils, who are doing so much at great pace to do all that we need to do.

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