Wednesday 23rd August 2022 marks the 31st Independence Day of Ukraine, and sadly 6 months since the beginning of the conflict that has taken thousands of lives and displaced millions more.
We want to mark the day with a focus on the the work being done to support the Ukrainian refugees arriving in Manchester, thanks to the funds released by the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund that we launched in partnership with Manchester City Council.
The Fund was created with the intention of giving the warmest possible welcome to any Ukrainians fleeing devastation in their homeland and finding refuge in Manchester, where some are being accommodated by big-hearted Mancunians.
The first release of donations was awarded to Ardwick-based charity Europia in May, you can read further about that initial award on our website here. That award compromised of £25,000 for a dedicated support worker role to help arrivals with immediate advice on issues including housing, employment, immigration and education, and £5,000 to create a hardship fund.
Europia have filled the support worker role, and began drop-in sessions this August. The hardship fund has also supported 11 refugees so far by providing them with essentials.
Europia's Cristina Leonte tells us how the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund is making a difference:
"The fund is enabling us to set up vital support and advice for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Manchester. Alongside our hardship fund we are running a weekly advice drop-in every Monday 2-5pm at Manchester Central Library, our first session was very well attended.”
We are also offering opportunities for Ukrainians to volunteer and develop their skills, as well as setting up wellbeing activities and support. We hope our project will help Ukrainians to access services and navigate life in the UK during an overwhelming and challenging time."