WHILE supporting around 200 refugees since the Russia Ukraine war broke out, the Salisbury Community Hub still needs your help.

Launched earlier this year, the hub is a chance for refugees and those wanting to help to connect, as well as a space for them to gain advice and support, and be introduced to new skills and opportunities every week.

The scheme is now “coming to the end of its first phase” according to hub volunteer and charity worker Jane Ebel, as refugees that have been in the city since April are now either looking to return to Ukraine, or for the next steps in permanent residency.

The hub, based at Salisbury Methodist Church, is currently providing most of its support in areas like employment and teaching, but is once again urging Salisbury residents to help by opening up their homes to those seeking shelter.

Jane said: “It feels like the first part is over, less people are needing that early support like access to cards and food.

“A lot of people are returning to Ukraine, anxious to get home and return to life.

“Others are looking at options for housing after six months, obviously that’s now coming down the track.

"If host families stick to that requirement they should be looking for somewhere to live in rented accommodation.

“And some families are not happy where they are so need to find alternative accommodation.

“We’ve still got some families wanting to come to Britain, what is happening isn’t over.”

The success of the hub is clear, with around 200 refugees on its email list, regular attendees every week, and those who needed employment support securing appropriate jobs within the city.

“They are so resilient and really do support each other, it seems to have quietened down a bit but the end isn’t in sight, we need to continue the support as much as we can,” Jane added.

Jane has just returned from Moldova, one of Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, where she and her daughter brought Ukrainian and Moldovan children together in a special integration summer camp.

“It was amazing,” she said, “The aim was to get Moldovans and Ukrainians to integrate as they are there for the long term.

“There was hostility at first, because [Moldovans] have much less, but these problems [in Ukraine] are not going away.

“It wasn’t long before they were fully engaged, the kids were just fantastic.”

She will be returning to Moldova in a few weeks for a follow up project.

Locally, as well as more accommodation options, Jane has also called for furniture donations, as most rented properties are unfurnished.

The hub does not have the space to hold these items, so donation suggestions can be emailed to ukraine@salisburymethodist.org.uk 

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