Wheatley Group offers 300 homes to support Ukrainian refugees in Scotland
Wheatley Group has today (20 June 2022) pledged to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion by offering 300 available homes to local authorities across Scotland.
Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group will make the offer of homes to strategic housing partners at councils in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, West Lothian, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
The offer on World Refugee Day by Wheatley will help support the pledge by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government that Scotland will home a fair and proportionate share of displaced people from the Ukraine arriving in the UK.
Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray MSP, said: “We appreciate the Wheatley Group, as Scotland biggest social landlord, making homes and support available to displaced people from Ukraine. Alongside their everyday work to support people with housing needs, they have recognised the importance of assisting national efforts to home thousands of people fleeing Ukraine.
“The Scottish Government and partners have been providing practical support to displaced people. Ensuring we have a supply of safe, secure homes in partnership with councils, housing partners and individual host volunteers is a vital part of this work, and we are grateful to everyone who is supporting this.
“We also welcome the Wheatley Group’s generous bursaries to help Ukrainian musicians to continue their studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.”
In addition, Wheatley Foundation – the Group’s charitable trust which invests over £5 million annually supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Wheatley communities – will offer six education bursaries worth £3000 over two years to support Ukrainian students studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from September.
Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong said: “We want to play our part in supporting Ukrainians who are seeking sanctuary from the war and provide them with a safe place to live during this ongoing crisis.
“We will use our expertise and experience, as well as our scale and capacity, to bolster Scotland’s response to the unfolding horror of the war in Ukraine. We will ensure our tailor-made wraparound support services meet the urgent needs of refugees from Ukraine, as it has for the people and families in turmoil who’ve arrived here from other countries in recent years.”
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, added: “We’re so grateful to Wheatley Foundation for their support of young artists from Ukraine who are coming to study with us in Glasgow at Scotland’s national conservatoire. Generosity like this sends a strong signal of support for them, of the power of the arts to bring us together and of the warm welcome Glasgow offers.”
Offering hundreds of available homes to local authorities is the latest contribution made by Wheatley to help people fleeing war-torn countries. Between January, 2016, and December 31, 2021, Wheatley re-housed 1356 people who had fled their homeland to re-build their lives in Scotland.
Scotland’s largest housing, care and property-management group is also developing a welcome pack for refugees. The pack will help refugees access information and advice on their rights, choices and housing options, including tenancy agreements translated into the top five languages spoken by refugees.
Refugees will also get information to help them access employment, education and volunteering, as well as make cultural and social connections and get involved in leisure and sport.
The pack, which will be available online and in hard copy, will also contain details on Wheatley’s support services, including emergency food through EatWell, furniture through Home Comforts, help with benefits advice and fuel advice, and help to settle into a new home through My Great Start.
Monday, June 20, 2022