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Coventry centre calls for more homes for Ukrainian refugees

A refugee centre has called for more sponsors to come forward to help people fleeing the Ukraine war. 

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC) said there was a “really high” demand for accommodation from Ukrainians, as well as other refugees.

Its staff and the city council would advise and support those who joined the Homes for Ukraine scheme. 

Caroline Higgins, of the charity, said they particularly needed larger accommodation for families. 

The CRMC, in Bird Street, will give information about becoming a host at an event on Saturday. 

Ms Higgins, its head of operations, said families could be more difficult to accommodate as they needed more than one room. 

“The need is really, really high for people from Ukraine and other countries as well. So the work that we do is really important,” she said. 

“It’s often challenging because there are lots of obstacles in the way for people.”

But she said they had helped a lot of people and provided ongoing support so they were “able to rebuild their lives in this country”.

Single people, particularly women, were among those needing sponsors. 

“There are some men as well who are exempt from the military service for various health-related reasons,” she added. 

In November, the local authority said 248 Ukrainians had come to the city under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and it expected about 50 more in December. 

The situation in Ukraine was “driving more people to search for a place of safety in Coventry”, it said. 

“Coventry residents continue to offer to open up their homes in good numbers and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre are doing an amazing job to match desperate Ukrainians to the offers of help,” it said. 

Ukrainian refugees put on a concert in November to thank people in the city for giving them a safe haven. 

Louise Fellows, of Warwick, who had a mother and son stay at her home for six months, said their own experience was good and encouraged others to join the scheme. 

She said her son and the Ukrainian boy “literally became like brothers” and enjoyed trips to the park, museums and paddle-boarding together. 

Mrs Fellows advised people to find out about the people who would stay with them and imagine how life would work together.

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