Message to hosts
From Neil Gray, Minister with special responsibility for refugees from Ukraine.
Scotland has a long and proud tradition of offering support and refuge to those fleeing war and persecution. Our country has strong links with Ukraine, Edinburgh is twinned with Kyiv and many Ukrainians have chosen our country as their home. The people of Scotland stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and in their strong opposition to Russia’s illegal war.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimate that over 10 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine, the majority women and children.
Scotland is ready to play its full part in welcoming those seeking sanctuary from war and provide a home for people for as long as they require it. The ‘Warm Scots Welcome’ is the Scottish Government’s programme to welcome people displaced from Ukraine to Scotland. We will work for as long as necessary to ensure that anyone who arrives in our country receives a warm welcome and the care and support to which they are entitled.
A number of Welcome Hubs have been set up at key arrival points to address people's immediate needs. The Welcome Hubs are multi-agency centres that as well as providing a place to stay, and meals, is a safe and secure place to address immediate wellbeing and protection concerns. Welcome hubs provide welcome, advice and initial triage of requirements, including: physical and mental health; future housing needs; communication with family members; and relevant public protection vetting assessment.
The people of Scotland have demonstrated a level of generosity that is truly remarkable. In their tens of thousands, people have offered to open their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war. Whether providing accommodation or providing other vital support provisions, our response relies on the determination of people to support those displaced by the conflict. I would like to extend my own personal thanks to you for this great act of kindness.
As a result of your response, Scotland can offer safety and security to large numbers of Ukrainians and their families. This guidance is designed to support those who have offered to provide accommodation to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine - whether that is sharing the property that they live in or in other self-contained accommodation. It will answer many of the questions you may have about how this will operate in practice and also provides key contact information should you need further support as the hosting process progresses.
All 32 local authorities in Scotland participated in the Syrian Resettlement Programme and welcomed more than 3,300 refugees into their communities. Their experience provides us with a tried and tested approach to integrating refugees into our communities, schools and workplaces. Our commitment will be to extend those same provisions fully to our Ukrainian friends.
As with other groups who have settled in Scotland, we know that displaced people from Ukraine will make a valuable contribution to communities across the country. We also know that the people of Scotland will welcome them with open arms.
And to the people of Ukraine, I want them to know Scotland will be their home for as long as they need it.
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