Warm Scots Welcome
9. As part of standing up Scotland's response, a network of 'Welcome Hubs' were quickly established in partnership with local authorities, the third sector and local volunteer communities at major points of entry in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Dumfries and Galloway. These hubs provide meals, comfortable accommodation, trauma support and access to translation to all super sponsor arrivals requiring assistance.
10. A dedicated helpline was introduced in April, delivered by NHS National Services Scotland, to help and support super sponsor visa-holders who had not yet travelled. Details of this international free-phone number is included in all 'Welcome Messages' issued automatically to new visa-holders. Those contacting the contact centre can receive advice on travelling to Scotland, what to expect on arrival and discuss any special requirements, for example, relating to health or accessibility.
11. Recognising the scale of the response needed to this humanitarian crisis, the Scottish Government committed £11.2 million to local government to increase the capacity of local resettlement teams, support refurbishment of properties and support integration work. A further £1.3 million was also awarded to the Scottish Refugee Council to boost its national integration service and additional funding provided to Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations' Council in recognition that the majority of arrivals were being triaged at the Edinburgh Hub. The Scottish Government invested just over £100,000 to support the Ukraine Advice Scotland service delivered by JustRight Scotland to provide confidential legal advice, for example about visa status, to Ukrainians and their family members.
12. From the outset communities across Scotland have responded in solidarity. Thousands registered interest with the UK Government in privately sponsoring a Ukrainian in their own home, as well as donating to local appeals or volunteering. With growing numbers of super sponsor applications and arrivals, the Scottish Government worked with the UK Government and contacted those in Scotland who expressed an interest to ask whether they would be interested in hosting a super sponsor visa-holder currently in short-term hotel accommodation.
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