BCP Council has pledged to pay an extra £250 per month to hosts of Ukrainian refugees for six months.
The Government had set thank you payments at £350 per accommodation as part of its Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
BCP Council’s move will see enhanced payments up to £600 for those that accommodate their guests over six months up to 12-months.
Councillor Karen Rampton, Portfolio Holder for People and Homes, said: “We have seen a heart-warming response from local residents to the desperate need of Ukrainian people fleeing war.
“In Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, we have 273 host households registered in the BCP area, of which 183 are now hosting Ukrainian guests.
“I am pleased to announce this extra financial support this winter to help cover the increased cost of living, and as a ‘thank you’ for their continuing support of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
“As Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day approaches, we also want to demonstrate our support for Ukraine by making their citizen’s stay in our area as comfortable as possible.”
A further festival goodwill gesture of a £50 supermarket voucher will also be issued to all sponsors at Christmas.
If required, an additional £1k winter payment can be applied for and applications will be processed on a case by case basis.
Cllr Rampton added: “Council teams continue to work alongside partner authorities, to ensure Ukrainian guests receive the support they need.
“This includes welfare, wellbeing and accommodation checks, free gym memberships, signposting to English Language resources, 200 minutes free use of Beryl bikes in BCP area and free 30-day bus passes. It also includes welcome packs with useful information and guidance on humanitarian payments.”
“In addition, we have this month recruited additional caseworkers to support families. They will focus on supporting those households who need it most, work on re-matching guests to other hosts where they need to move on, assist with housing options advice to help them move on to their own accommodation, as well as providing wider support to help find work and register with a GP.”
Residents that have already hit their six-month anniversary will see their £250 additional thank you payment backdated. This increase will be applied automatically based on the date the guest arrived.
The Christmas supermarket voucher will be issued automatically and there is no need to apply.
Decisions on applications for the £1000 winter payment will be made on a case-by-case basis. Any sponsor whose guests arrive after 31 Jan 2023 and before 31 March can still apply but will only receive one payment.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this or make an application.
For more information about how BCP Council have given support to Ukrainians read here.