Warm welcome for Ukrainian family in Surrey Heath

Date: 

Thursday, 14 July, 2022

Gail, Iryna and her daughtersThe Council is proud to be supporting the Government’s Homes for Ukraine Scheme. 

We have been humbled by the generosity shown by residents opening their homes to those fleeing for their lives. 

One such family is Iryna and her daughters Anhelina and Lidiia from eastern Ukraine, who arrived in Surrey Heath in April. They have been sponsored by Gail Lacey from Camberley.  

Iryna is very happy to be living in Surrey Heath. Her younger daughter has started at a local school, while Iryna and her elder daughter are attending English lessons and have a job lined up to work for their sponsor’s company. 

Sponsor Gail Lacey said: “The thought of a family already going through so much in their own country, and having to leave everything they know behind, broke my heart.  

“I have children and grandchildren, and hope if they needed help themselves, some kind person would put their hand out to help. I am fortunate to have a flat available - how could I not give this family light at the end of the tunnel?  

“They can now call this home for as long as they would like to stay. I am grateful that I have an amazing, supportive family who have been with me every step of this journey. We are all happy to say we now have an extended family and love them dearly.” 

More than 100 sponsors in the Borough have come forward to offer space in their homes, and we have welcomed more than 120 people from Ukraine to Surrey Heath so far – with dozens more expected in the coming weeks. 

Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Housing, Safeguarding and Support, Cllr Sarah Jane Croke, said: “Gail and Iryna’s story is so heartwarming, and is repeated at homes across Surrey Heath where people have opened their hearts to Ukrainians fleeing to safety. I already knew we were a caring and compassionate Borough, and this kindness is just one more demonstration of that. I am proud of the role the Council is playing to help make this scheme a success, welcome Iryna and her family to Surrey Heath, and wish them all the best as they settle into life here in Surrey Heath.”  

Council teams are providing support and advice to all those involved in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, carrying out visits with host households and their Ukrainian guests, and assisting with essential safeguarding and property checks. 

We are also working with colleagues to run regular meet ups for guests across the Borough, with social hubs set up in Chobham and Camberley so far. 

 Find out more on the Ukrainian Refugees webpage.