New support group for Ukrainian refugees and hosts held in Ramsgate

Refugee support group

Ramsgate Town Council hosted a successful first meeting of a new support group for Ukrainian refugees and their hosts in Ramsgate on Wednesday (June 22) at the Custom House.

Twenty-two people attended, roughly half of them refugees, mainly from Kiev and Kharkiv, and the rest sponsors, hosts and supporters. Councillor Becky Wing chaired the meeting, assisted by Ukrainian refugee and schoolteacher Nadia Hryhorieva, who translated throughout. Becky’s fellow Central Harbour Councillors Tricia Austin and Raushan Ara, the Mayor of Ramsgate, assisted, and two Thanet council officers with responsibilities for homelessness, employment and benefits also offered advice and help.

Most of the refugees had only been in the UK for a month or two and had left family members behind. This was the first time many members of the group had met each other, so they were able to share information and advice in English and Ukrainian. Their concerns included registering children for school, accessing public transport, applying for work, registering for doctors and dentists, and how to find a place in English classes. Parents wanted their children to have opportunities to mix with children their own age and improve their English before going to school.

Participants were told about local support services including the Salvation Army in the High Street, which offers free food and also has a stock of new summer clothing to help those who fled their homes with only winter clothes, and the Our Kitchen Food Club in George Street which sells healthy food cheaply. The group, with the support of councillors, aims to set up some local activity sessions over the summer period for both adults and children.

The group will meet again on Wednesday, July 6 at 10am at the Custom House, Harbour Parade CT11 8LP and all Ukrainian and other refugees, sponsors and supporters are welcome.

For anyone interested in sponsoring some fleeing Ukraine, information can be found on the TDC website at

To donate to the Salvation Army’s Ukraine appeal, visit

Salvation Army Ramsgate:

Our Kitchen:

Contact numbers for further information: Cllr Becky Wing 07804 252006; Cllr Tricia Austin 07775 794408; Cllr Raushan Ara 07528 804959; Nadia Hryhorieva 0380 50 239 9372 (Ukrainian number – for messages & calls via WhatsApp)