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Moray Emergency Relief Fund provides £5000 for organisations helping Ukrainian arrivals


By Jonathan Clark

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CHARITIES helping Ukrainian refugees settle in Moray have been given a financial boost by Moray Emergency Relief Fund.

Moray Council's refugee resettlement team has received £5000, with £1400 to go towards integration events and £1200 towards clothing vouchers for refugees.

The remaining £2400 will be split evenly between Moray Food Plus and Moray School Bank, two charities that have been helping arrivals from Ukraine over the past months.

The resettlement team has been working with Ukrainian arrivals since the country was invaded by Russia in February.

A total of 16 Ukrainian families have so far settled in Moray, with 10 more due to arrive in the next month or so.

Roy Geddes, the resettlement team's project manager, explained how the money will be used.

Left to right: Nancy Robson, depute lord lieutenant, Grenville Johnston, chairman of Moray Emergency Relief Fund and Roy Geddes, project manager of Moray Council's refugee resettlement team. Picture: Angus Mclennan, AM Photos
Left to right: Nancy Robson, depute lord lieutenant, Grenville Johnston, chairman of Moray Emergency Relief Fund and Roy Geddes, project manager of Moray Council's refugee resettlement team. Picture: Angus Mclennan, AM Photos

He said: "The additional support we can give to our 16 Ukrainian families, and the next 10 that are arriving, will be fundamental to them settling into the area.

"Some of the money will go towards Moray Food Plus and Moray School Bank for helping when some of the new families come in.

"Then we have clothing vouchers for some of the new families – because some of them are only travelling with what they can carry.

"I've seen first hand – in the first week I was here there was a two-year-old child who only had shoes that were three sizes too big for him. And that's all he had. So any help goes a long way for these people.

"Then we have the summer activities programme, which the money will help with.

"These will hopefully take the burden off host families and parents, while helping to entertain the kids, help them relax and integrate them into the community a bit better."

The Moray Emergency Relief Fund was established by the Moray and Banffshire lieutenancies during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Its aim is to alleviate pressure when emergencies – such as the pandemic, or humanitarian crises – occur.

Chairman of Moray Emergency Relief Fund, and former lord lieutenant of Moray, Grenville Johnston, said: “We are helping people who have arrived here in difficult circumstances.

"We want to give them a chance to get started, have some happiness and enjoyment and, hopefully, get to know Moray."

Nancy Robson, depute lord lieutenant in Moray, added: "The lieutenancy has been delighted to welcome the refugees here to Moray, but it's wonderful to be able to provide practical support.

"So many teams are working hard to support the refugees and a bit of support is needed at the moment."



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