The Ukrainian community came together for a day of networking, arts and training as part of the Homes for Ukraine programme to launch a new Welcome Centre in Greenford.
Ealing Council opened the Welcome Centre in Ruislip Road, Greenford, on 24 October. The centre is for residents who have fled conflict and represents Ealing Council’s commitment to providing refuge and support for those who have faced conflict and persecution. Recent arrivals from Ukraine, under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, attended the first event in the centre during the launch.
The welcome centre launch was a day of community unity, which included ESOL workshops, computing skills, maths games and more. Health and well-being sessions included chair yoga and beauty therapy.
Parents and children enjoyed the singalong storytelling workshop, and visitors also got to experience some Ukrainian music, allowing people to come together, enjoy music, and meet with fellow community members.
Since the Homes for Ukraine scheme launched in March 2022, more than 1,000 people have been offered sanctuary through the programme.
The Welcome Centre will help people with crucial services, including:
Finding Employment: For many newcomers, finding work is a crucial step towards self-reliance and integration. The Welcome Centre will offer guidance, job search resources, and training on the UK job market.
English Language Training: Proficiency in English is pivotal for effective communication, building relationships, and accessing opportunities. The centre will provide English language classes to empower newcomers to engage with their new community.
Well-being: The emotional and psychological well-being of those who have been through the trials of displacement is of utmost importance. The centre will offer counselling services, support groups, and resources to help individuals regain emotional and mental stability.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for safe and genuinely affordable homes, said:
“As a community, we extend our arms in welcome and solidarity to those arriving on our shores seeking refuge from the horrors of war. The opening of this Welcome Centre symbolises our commitment to providing a safe haven, support, and hope for those in need. In the face of adversity, we stand together, united in our belief that compassion knows no borders.”
Weekly drop-in support sessions are being held from 9 November in Greenford Town Hall, Ruislip Road, on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm.
To learn more about the Welcome Centre and future events. Please contact the Learn Ealing team.