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A Message From Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre


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Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, along with its partners and friends, would like to speak to Coventry residents to ask for their warmth and generosity in donating any spare accommodation they may have to support Ukrainian refugees.

Over this past year, the world has been a witness to what in no doubt will be considered some of history’s worst humanitarian crises, firstly Afghanistan and now Ukraine.

We are witnessing some of the most deplorable, totalitarian regimes and leaders try to rewrite world history through aggressive military tactics; tactics that should be resigned to the past.

But, and I must emphasize this, we are also witnessing one of the greatest displays of humanitarian unity that the world has seen for a generation.

The world-wide condemnation has been echoed by more than just the world’s leading democracies, it has been shared by businesses; religious leaders; peacemakers; sporting giants and most importantly, compassionate human-beings who above all else understand that peace, unity, and dialogue are the only way forwards.

Last week, the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, urged the Government on several occasions in the House of Lords to rise to the challenge of the impending refugee crisis.

At the end of the week, speaking from the Cathedral ruins, he said poignantly: “The Diocese of Coventry knows about the damage, destruction and death that war brings.

“Therefore, the thought of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers dying at an early age, civilian populations caught up in the conflict and vast movements of refugees fleeing the violence breaks our hearts.

“Let us be resolute in our commitment to a vision of peace and the blessings of reconciliation and let us be ceaseless in prayer”.

The warm welcome that Coventry and its residents have offered over the last few decades to those seeking sanctuary has earned Coventry residents with an unrivalled international reputation for being one of the most generous, compassionate, and welcoming people anywhere in the world.

Coventry and its residents have helped to resettle over 900 people in the city since 2014 alone; a testament to the incredible collective spirit that this city has shown since the Second World War.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has recently announced the government’s support for those being displaced from their homes in Ukraine, with thousands now becoming eligible to start new lives in peace or join their loved ones here in the UK – albeit on a temporary basis.

Today, Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre would like to speak to any Coventry residents who have the ability and capacity to accommodate Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war.

The influx of Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers leaves many now in the arms of peace and safety but without a temporary and secure location to sleep. A situation which can be increasingly perilous for young children and their families.

Toni Soni, Director at CRMC, said: “During the Afghanistan crises, we witnessed Coventry residents generously donate clothes, food and money to support people they’d never even met before. These donations helped to save and support the lives of men, women, and children they’ll likely never meet.

“Now I am asking Coventry residents to meet Ukrainian refugees by opening their homes and temporarily accommodating anyone they’re able to help.

“I would urge anyone who is able to do so, anyone who has spare capacity in their house or their flat, to open their homes for at least six-months and support those who are most vulnerable while they find their feet here in Coventry.

“I want to reassure those who are considering opening their homes that they will not be left alone to do so. CRMC and partners Coventry City Council will be on hand to provide expert guidance and advice to all those who take in Ukrainian refugees.

“The Home Secretary has announced that Ukrainian refugees will be able to work, gain an education and access public funds for the time they are here. Our request for Coventry residents to provide accommodation is to ensure these families have a secure, temporary location where they can begin to process and rebuild their lives.

“I would strongly urge anyone who is considering supporting our appeal to contact CRMC to further discuss how you can support those most in need. You can contact Caroline Higgins by emailing: [email protected]

“Thank you”.

Written by: Calum Wilkes

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