Launceston Rugby Club opened its doors to Ukrainian families and their sponsors at an event hosted by local Member of Parliament Scott Mann. The event was a fantastic opportunity for the families to meet each other and discuss the recent challenges they have faced. Local and national businesses from several sectors donated food and drink for the event.
According to the UNHCR, in just the first five weeks of Russia’s invasion, more than four million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and as of the 11th of May, 45,700* family visas have been issued to Ukrainians who wish to come to the UK. The response from the British public has been overwhelming with over 87,200* sponsorship visas processed under the Homes for Ukraine scheme which allows those without relatives in the UK to live here. People in the UK can also nominate an individual or a family to stay with them rent-free for at least six months.
Scott Mann MP said:
"It was a privilege to be able to host this event and meet families from Ukraine and their sponsors. Our Ukrainian guests have been through an incredibly difficult time, and it was very sobering to hear their stories first-hand. North Cornwall's residents have opened their hearts and their homes and I'm very proud of the way our community has stepped up.
"My team have been working around the clock to help with placements and entry to the UK, so it was also fantastic to put faces to the names. I would also like to extend my thanks on behalf of North Cornwall to all the businesses and individuals who helped support us today."
Linda Taylor, Leader of Cornwall Council said:
“Cornwall has a long history of compassion and an open-door policy in helping refugees to find sanctuary and more importantly security and friendship within our communities. I would take this opportunity to thank everyone who has opened their doors, and for the amazing aid that has gone from Cornwall to Ukraine and to the refugee camps in Poland. Finally, I would like to highlight the ongoing support from officers within Cornwall Council and our residents. Proud to be Cornish.”
Sarah Pinnell from North Cornwall Ukraine Community Group said:
“It has been amazing to see how the North Cornwall community has come together to support our Ukrainian guests in so many ways. Flags, banners and bunting, warm welcomes in shops and cafes and donations have all shown how supportive our local communities are.
I think it is also important to say how amazing our guests are, their resilience and bravery in such circumstances are inspiring. Despite language barriers and different cultures, we have many similarities between us. A warm hug, a friendly smile, sharing our routines, recipes for meals and eating together builds bonds and friendships.”
* - Visa numbers updated to reflect the latest data (14/05/22).
A very special thanks to the companies who have donated to this event, including:
Launceston Rugby Club
Waffles Café Bodmin