Kent Stands with Ukraine on the first anniversary of the conflict.

County Hall in Maidstone with a projection of the Ukraine flag presented on the front

Today, Kent County Council (KCC) is standing in solidarity with Ukraine on the first anniversary of the barbaric full-scale Russian invasion.

KCC Chair, Lesley Game will be leading the minute silence on behalf of the council at 11am.

This moment of reflection will take place simultaneously across the UK in remembrance of those who have lost their lives and in tribute to the resolute courage of those who continue their brave fight for Ukraine.

Thanks to the huge generosity of our residents who signed up to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, Kent is proud to continue to host more Ukrainian refugees than any other county in the UK.

Since March 2022, 3207 Ukrainians fleeing the conflict have been able to find safety in our county and make Kent their temporary home with 892 still on their way.

Now, almost a year since the national sponsorship scheme launched, there are still 891 sponsors providing temporary homes in Kent to their Ukrainian guests. Throughout the county over 520 guests have successfully made the move from their temporary hosting arrangements into longer term private rental accommodation.

One Ukrainian guest staying with a sponsor in Kent said: “We would like to say big thanks to our sponsor and his family. They gave us shelter during this difficult time. They helped us get settled. They used simple words and phrases to help us understand English better. New Ash Green is a very wonderful community and the people have been very welcoming to us.

“Our daughter went to school for the first time here. And it was a great school. With attentive and caring teachers. And the first teachers will forever remain in her memory. We were very pleased to see how our daughter goes to school with joy in the morning.

“Thanks to Great Britain for helping Ukraine and supporting our country.”

As the scheme continues to progress and more of our Ukrainian guests seek to move into long term private accommodation, we are now calling on landlords, second-home owners, and room rentals to come forward with suitable accommodation so that we can support guests to find independent living arrangements for as long as they need it.

Headshot of Chair of KCC Lesley Game

I would like to invite all residents to take a few moments this week to reflect on the impact the war has had on those living in Ukraine and their families across the world.

Lesley Game KCC Chair

Lesley Game, KCC Chair said: “There are many ways that we can support Ukraine during this time, including donating to organisations supporting Ukraine, like the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal, Save the Children’s Ukraine Appeal or UNICEF’s Ukraine Appeal.  “You can also register your interest in becoming a host as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.  More information on this scheme can be found on our website at Homes for Ukraine Support for Hosts

“As an organisation, KCC continues to fly the Ukrainian flag above County Hall in Maidstone and the front of Sessions House is lit in Ukrainian colours to show our support for Ukraine.  We also offer advice to Ukrainian nationals via our website at Support for Ukrainian Nationals

“At 11:00 a.m. there will be a one-minute silence and I would encourage everyone to take part to re-affirm our support for Ukraine, to renew our pledge to stand with the Ukrainian people and our hope that the war concludes quickly.”

Roger Gough, KCC Leader said: "This is an anniversary we never wanted to see, but we continue to show our unwavering support and solidarity to Ukrainians in our local community and elsewhere.

“My sincere ongoing thanks go to those generous residents who have been able to provide a safe temporary home to Ukrainians fleeing the conflict and everyone in KCC, and our partners in charities and the community and voluntary sector across the county, who continue to work tirelessly to ensure the ongoing success of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme here in Kent.”

Kent residents can also join people across the UK in showing their solidarity with Ukraine by sharing photos of Ukrainian flags around the county to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office's Facebook page.


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