Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, and the new leader of Wealden District Council Ann Newton have visited the Ukrainian Support Hub in Mayfield to welcome Ukrainian families to Wealden and to thank volunteers who have been coordinating local support.
The Support Hub was set up by Mayfield and Five Ashes charity MAYFACS and is located on Mayfield high street. It is manned by volunteers and offers a ‘Free Shop’, where families can choose clothing, toiletries, toys, stationary and other items they may need upon arrival. All items have been donated and additional donations from the public are warmly received. The Support Hub also offers signposting to services such as healthcare and education, and key information to help with settling in the community such as translating services and job offers.
According to the latest figures, over 650 Ukrainian refugees have now arrived in East Sussex, with over 260 in Wealden. Wealden is expected to host nearly 600 arrivals, which is the most in any district of East Sussex and twice as many as any other constituency in the county.
Nusrat Ghani said: “I am pleased to have visited MAYFACS Support Hub as the first official visit with the new Leader of Wealden District Council. My team and I continue to put many hours into chasing visa applications with the Home Office and I am pleased that we have helped to get half of the expected arrivals to Wealden. This is a moment to celebrate, but I appreciate that there are more cases waiting. They are not forgotten, and I will continue making representations to ensure that we can provide the remaining Ukrainian families with a place of safety as soon as possible.
The Support Hub is a fantastic, safe place for Ukrainian families to come to for all kinds of assistance. A huge thank you to Caroline Quill, who has been working tirelessly to coordinate and unite local hosts with Ukrainian families, and to all the extraordinary volunteers, who are helping to alleviate loneliness and isolation, and ensuring that the families are welcomed, and looked after by the whole community. I continue working with the new leader of Wealden council and East Sussex County Council to ensure that language assistants are made available, particularly in local schools.”