A public charity appeal has today (Thurs 24 March) been launched to help support Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country who come to Manchester.
The MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund will fund charities and voluntary sector groups providing assistance - such as small grants for essential items, and advice - to families and individuals relocating to the city.
It will be run by the We Love Manchester charity (the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s charity) in partnership with Manchester City Council and every penny raised will go towards supporting Ukrainian evacuees in the city. The Council have kicked off the fund with a donation of £50,000.
The Fund has already identified Caritas (Salford Diocese) and Europia as charity partners with considerable experience of supporting people arriving in the city with next to nothing and further partners are being brought in.
Council leader Cllr Bev Craig said: “No one watching the horrific scenes unfolding in Ukraine following the Russian invasion can fail to be moved by the plight of the Ukrainian people. Manchester stands in solidarity with them and we are ready to play our part, together with towns and cities across Europe, in welcoming evacuees escaping the conflict and the humanitarian disaster it is creating.
“While some people will even be opening their homes to arriving Ukrainians, we know not everyone is in a position to do that. But by donating to this fund you can show you care by helping to provide practical help and support right here in Manchester to those escaping danger and starting to rebuild their lives.”
Council chief executive Joanne Roney OBE said: “I’m glad the Council has been able to make the first donation. We know that Mancunians have big hearts and a proud tradition of hospitality and compassion. They will doubtless be generous in helping to welcome Ukrainian families to our city.”
Manchester City FC will be promoting the campaign on men's and women's match days at both the Etihad Stadium and Academy Stadium.
Manchester City Council is working with other services to co-ordinate planning for the arrival of Ukrainian refugees under Government schemes, including the recently-launched Homes for Ukraine scheme which enables UK residents to host Ukrainian evacuees.
The 40m Tower of Light landmark near Manchester Central Convention Centre, part of the city’s Civic Quarter Heat Network, will be illuminated blue and yellow – the colours of the Ukrainian flag – to mark the launch of the Fund.
To donate to the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund visit www. justgiving.com/campaign/MCRUkraineWelcome