People across the UK who have given sanctuary to more than 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing the conflict are to receive a letter of thanks from the Ukrainian and British governments.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko and Refugees Minister Lord Harrington will send letters to sponsors and families this week to praise them for contributing to “the UK’s largest offer of help to people fleeing war since 1945”.
Some 104,000 people have arrived in Britain after the Government’s Ukraine visa schemes were launched in March, including 31,300 under the family scheme, and 72,700 people under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
I cannot thank the British public enough for their steadfast goodwill in opening their doors to people from Ukraine
Refugees Minister Lord Harrington
Overall, there have been almost 200,000 visa applications, meaning just over half of those who have applied have arrived in Britain, according to figures published by the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration.
The letter is expected to say: “You have saved lives, given hope, and offered sanctuary to people in desperate need.
“This represents the UK’s largest offer of help to people fleeing war since 1945.”
Mr Prystaiko said: “I know it is not easy to host displaced people from a different culture, an unfamiliar background, speaking a foreign language and most importantly deeply troubled and hurt…
“The ties between our nations, our governments have never been closer.
“This is because of each and everyone of you, your generosity, patience, kindness.”
Lord Harrington hailed the “limitless generosity and compassion of the British people”, adding: “I cannot thank the British public enough for their steadfast goodwill in opening their doors to people from Ukraine and welcoming them into their communities.”
Under the visa schemes, Ukrainians fleeing the conflict are allowed to come to Britain for up to three years.
The family scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their relatives to join other family already living in the UK, while the sponsorship scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their relatives to come to Britain if they have a sponsor who can provide accommodation.
Homes for Ukraine this week expanded to consider new applications under the sponsorship scheme from unaccompanied children who wish to come to Britain without a parent or guardian, providing they have parental consent.