FREEMASONS in Warwickshire have helped a fund for Ukrainian refugees to pass the million pound mark.
Thousands of Ukrainian refugees living across England and Wales will be receiving practical support thanks to a grant of £500,000 raised by Warwickshire Freemasons and other Provinces, in partnership with UK Community Foundations.
The grant follows a similar £500,000 grant in April this year to the British Red Cross, UNICEF and other organisations working with Ukrainian refugees on the ground in Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova.
With another separate donation of £50,000 made shortly after the Russian invasion in February, the latest grant means Freemasons have given more than £1million to Ukrainian refugees since the war began.
Phil Hall, Head of Warwickshire Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to provide substantial assistance to Ukrainians in need across the country. There has been an unprecedented wave of support for Ukrainians from the British public, but there is a great deal more that needs to be done.
“These are people who have left everything behind in a country suffering the effects of a devastating war and I’m proud the help Warwickshire Freemasons have provided has pushed the total raised to more than a million pounds.”
The new programme of grants will help community foundations in England and Wales which are providing support for refugees arriving from Ukraine, and developing longer-term support for the integration of Ukrainians who are already here.
Nearly 150,000 Ukrainians have been given accommodation by British families with government support, but many of those were six month arrangements that are now coming to an end. As a result many of them are facing homelessness just as winter is beginning.
Rosemary Macdonald, CEO of UK Community Foundations, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons’ charity for their generous grant, which will provide a major boost to local charities who are doing so much to welcome Ukrainians into their communities.
“It’s the small, grassroots charities and groups that know their local areas who are best able to listen to new arrivals and help them find the resources and support they need.”