South Tyneside Stands in Solidarity with Ukraine
South Shields Town Hall will be lit up yellow and blue this Wednesday (16 March) as a mark of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council said: "We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, as we do with all civilians living in areas of conflict.
"The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated, resulting in many Ukrainians, fleeing the country and seeking refuge abroad.
"We know that kind-hearted residents of South Tyneside are already stepping forward to ask how they can help. As a council we have been working with local volunteers to support their efforts and residents and businesses have been making donations at drop-off points across the borough, much of which is already on their way to the border via Poland.
"As with the response to the crisis in Afghanistan, South Tyneside Council stands ready and willing to step forward with other Councils around the country and offer homes and settlement support to those in need.
"We stand ready to use our current in-house resources as needed to support Ukrainian refugees with access to housing, schooling and other immediate, and ongoing, support as well as drawing on the support of local third sector organisations who already provide a network of support across the Borough.
"Our current offer of support, including our team based in Children and Families service which already supports people seeking asylum and refuge from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities, will go to Ukrainians as it does to all other people seeking shelter in South Tyneside. Our strong partnership with health colleagues is also vital to provide community and acute services.
"Our thoughts are with those in Ukraine affected by the crisis, as well as residents in our own community with family or friends in the country."
STARCH South Tyneside Asylum and Refugee Church Helps works hand in hand with Council services to help those seeking a new life in the UK and in South Tyneside.
The Council has donated £1,000 of funding to STARCH to support their preparations, with expected support needed in terms of baby items such as prams, pushchairs, nappies, bedding and so on.
The British Red Cross has also launched an emergency appeal and are asking for financial donations https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal.
The British Red Cross have also shared an appeal for emergency response volunteers.
Locally, Hebburn Helps are seeking financial donations to fund their forthcoming delivery of community donations to the Ukrainian/ Polish border. Details of how to donate can be found at www.hebburnhelps.co.uk Donations should be marked 'ukranian appeal'.
The Government has announced a "homes for Ukraine" programme which will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses across the UK to offer a room or home rent-free to Ukrainians escaping the war, regardless of whether they have ties to the country.
The Council is awaiting further details of the local sponsorship scheme including the infrastructure required by local authorities in terms of education for pupils as well as health care services.
For further information please contact:
Natalie Johnson, Senior Press Officer
Tel: 0191 424 7463