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Published on 19 August 2022
Cross-Teignbridge support for Ukraine Day
Plans are underway across Teignbridge to mark Ukraine Day next Wednesday (24 August) and local voluntary and community groups, town councils and individuals are gearing up to celebrate the day and thank all those who are doing their bit to welcome and support our Ukrainian guests to the district.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Teignbridge Voluntary and Community Services and other partners across the district have worked with Teignbridge District Council to pull together vital support for Ukrainian people fleeing their country and being accommodated across the district through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which is being co-ordinated by the council.
Its partners include Ashburton Safe Haven, Connect Exminster, Newton Abbot CIC, Dawlish Town Council, Citizens Advice, Roots and Homestart, as well as Devon County Council which funds support with language learning and conversation cafes.
This support ranges from a programme of home visits on arrival to the district, weekly drop-in support sessions for families, advice and Information including financial, health, and housing, support to access education, transport, sport and leisure, one to one support for managing wellbeing and mental health, and ensuring children are well supported in their move to Teignbridge. As well as providing these services for Ukrainian families, help is available for host families in their role of welcoming families from Ukraine.
Sue Wroe, Chief Executive of Teignbridge CVS, said: “We are really pleased to have been in a position to support the District Council in providing for the needs of families from Ukraine. We have once again seen local residents, communities and voluntary organisations come together to find solutions for people in difficult times.
“To mark Ukrainian Day, Teignbridge CVS is taking 90 guests to Heatree on Dartmoor for a four day residential starting this weekend. The partnership is providing all the volunteers and staff, the Rotary Club and Newton Abbot CIC have provided all the transport there and back, people, communities, our Faith groups and voluntary groups have donated food, funds and even evening entertainment.”
Newton Abbot CIC is also hosting a ceremony of respect at 3.30pm on Wednesday (24 August) at St Leonard’s Tower.
Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag will be flown and Mayor Cllr Carol Bunday will make a speech, followed by the Ukrainian National Anthem and Spiritual Anthem of Ukraine.
Later in the day, Ukrainian nationals will be invited to a barbecue, organised by Newton Abbot Community Interest Company and Rotary Newton Abbot.
Newton Abbot Mayor Cllr Carol Bunday said: “Individuals in our community are doing what they can to assist refugees and victims, despite having to cope with their own cost of living crises and the ongoing effects of the pandemic.”
Cllr Martin Wrigley, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Member for Communities, applauded the community spirit in Teignbridge, saying: “After the last two years of Covid, it’s incredible to see community groups continuing to provide on the ground support for those most in need.
“Ukraine Day is an opportunity to shine a light on the many people who have supported the Homes for Ukraine scheme, to welcome Ukrainian families to Teignbridge, to provide them with warm, safe homes, with the information, access to services and basics they need to be able to settle and function normally again; and with the kindness and generosity of spirit that makes our world a better place to live in.
“We’re pleased to be working with the individual host families and with Teignbridge CVS, Newton Abbot CIC and the many partners who have worked non-stop since the invasion to provide the support and services these families need and deserve."
The Ukraine flag continues to fly from the Teignbridge District Council offices at Forde House, since the start of the Russian invasion.