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Charities share more than £1m to support Ukrainians fleeing war

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the Scottish Refugee Council in Glasgow on Wednesday to learn about its work.

16 March 2022

Organisations supporting Ukrainians fleeing the conflict are sharing more than £1 million of Scottish Government funding to help with their response.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement on a visit to the headquarters of the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC) in Glasgow, as she learned about the work it is doing to help people arriving from Ukraine.

The funding of £1 million will allow it to recruit more staff ahead of an increase in requests for support.

Ukraine Advice Scotland, run by Scottish charity JustRight Scotland, will receive £36,000 to provide financial stability for the project, which provides free and confidential legal advice to those displaced by the war in Ukraine.

The funding will ensure the organisation can increase its support for legal work, as well as interpretation for advice calls, and translation of online information.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Nearly three million people have now fled the war in Ukraine, the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

“Scotland is ready to play its part to offer safety and sanctuary to those forced to leave their homes because of Russia’s brutal invasion, and it is heartening to see preparations for increased support, advice and information already being put in place.

“We are determined to do everything in our power to give them the warmest welcome possible when people do start to arrive, and we will need organisations like SRC and JustRight Scotland, as well as the support of the people of Scotland, to do just that.”

Ms Sturgeon wore a face mask decorated with a map of Ukraine in the colours of the country’s flag for Wednesday’s visit, during which she met Ukrainian nationals and saw an advice phone line in action.

Sabir Zazai, chief executive of SRC, said: “People fleeing the war in Ukraine will need advice and support to help them find their feet and settle into life in Scotland.

“We’ll provide practical, one-to-one support to new arrivals and their families, helping with everything from registering with a GP to sourcing school uniforms and applying for jobs.

“No matter which part of the world people are from or which conflict they are fleeing, our advisers work with people in an empowering, trauma-informed way to build the foundations of a safe life here in Scotland.”

Kirsty Thomson, managing director of JustRight Scotland, said: “In this extraordinary time, we welcome the commitment from the Scottish Government to fund Ukraine Advice Scotland, which will support Ukrainian people who are seeking safety in Scotland.

“This vital, free and confidential service will provide high-quality initial legal assistance to address needs and protect fundamental rights, as well as linking into other legal and support networks that have been established by our partners.”

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