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Borough Council Supports Ukraine Community

05 December 2022

Ukraine event West Devon

West Devon Borough Council has hosted a fun-filled event for 150 Ukrainian guests, including 40 children who have moved to the Borough since the outbreak of war in Ukraine earlier this year.

Held on Saturday 26 November at the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, the Council brought the community together with the help of its dedicated Homes for Ukraine Support Officer, Tatiana Lytvynenko.

Tatiana moved from Ukraine to Tavistock in April and has been a key member of the Council's Homes for Ukraine team helping to link with the guests living within the Borough.

The event brought together friends and families, new and old, who have had similar experiences and ordeals. In addition to West Devon Borough Council, Citizen Advice and the Council for Voluntary Service were also available to offer support, advice and information to help West Devon's newest residents settle in as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, the youngest members of the event were having a wonderful time being amused by the brilliant entertainers; Entertainingly Different, Cher's Funky Faces and Sciencedipity. Also joining in the fun were Council Leader, Cllr Neil Jory, and Mayor, Cllr Caroline Mott, who thoroughly enjoying themselves spinning plates. Not much of a change from their day jobs at the Council!

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "It was an absolute pleasure spending time with some of our newest residents of the Borough and to find out how they are settling into our community. It was also an opportunity to see what more we can do as a Council to help support making life easier for them. We are proud to support our Ukrainian families any way that we can. 

"This has been a very successful event, and together with our partners, Citizen Advice and the Council for Voluntary Service, we are all working together to ensure everyone settles quickly into life in West Devon and feels welcome."

The kindness of local residents has been incredible; however, some of those first homes on offer have now returned to the full use of their owners, leaving some families in need of new homes to live in. 

We are particularly in need of hosts that can offer three bedrooms or self-contained properties that owners would be prepared to let out to guests either medium or long-term. 

If you have space and are interested in helping, the Council can provide rapid suitability checks of proposed accommodation, completing Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS checks) on all adults living in the sponsoring accommodation and making urgent cash payments to enable individuals and families to get settled on arrival. 

West Devon Borough Council continues to play a key role in supporting the Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Cllr Caroline Mott, Mayor of West Devon Borough Council, said: "There were such a lot of wonderful people with incredible experiences of how they have come to live in West Devon. It's hard to put yourself in the shoes of these people who have had to leave all they know behind and start again in a new country. It was so lovely to spend time with everyone, and I particularly loved the joy the children experienced with the entertainers."

Olena Kulakovska, a Ukrainian guest who attended the Bedford Hotel event, said: "On Saturday we visited a wonderful event, it was organised especially for Ukrainian families and their hosts! It was something incredible, it was organised just perfectly, everything was thought out to the smallest detail. A children's area with entertainment, well, this is happiness for us mothers, the children had fun with all their hearts, and we mums had a rest. 

"We were able to communicate with each other and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and delicious food! We were two adults and five children; we were all very satisfied and grateful for organising such a meeting, which turned into a holiday for us! Huge save!" 

To find ways that you can support the Homes for Ukraine, visit the Council's webpage:

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