Council

67 Ukrainian refugee families helped by Newry's Ukraine assistance centre

Refugees with children wait for a transport after fleeing the war from neighbouring Ukraine at a railway station in Przemysl, Poland, in March. Picture by Sergei Grits, AP
Donal McMahon

People desperately fleeing Ukraine following the Russian invasion have been allocated new homes in Newry from the assistance headquarters at Newry Leisure Centre.

Stormont’s Department of Finance has identified four assistance council areas in Northern Ireland through its Ukraine Refugee Operational Support Team including Belfast, Ballymena and Craigavon, which opened in early April.

A spokesperson for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said: “We are working with the Executive Office and other government departments to support the arrival of Ukrainian refugees to our local district,” said the spokesperson.

“NMDDC can advise that as of 17 May 2022, that 67 families have been supported at the Ukraine Assistance Centre in Newry Leisure Centre.

“The centre provides welcome information and signposting services for newly arrived refugees.

“The operation of the centre has no impact on Newry Leisure Centre users and is kept under review,” added the spokesperson.

The current set up is expected to continue for a further number of weeks with discussions underway of a future model.

Refugees can seek support with jobs and benefits as well as education, health, housing, legal support and a support payment.

The Executive office is expected to cover all costs relating to the Ukraine Assistance Centres.

The Newry Leisure Centre is host to the Ukraine refugee assistance centre each Tuesday between 9.30am and 4pm.

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