My team and I have worked hard to assist Hertford and Stortford families generously offering to house Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
The visa application process is picking up speed after a slow start. So far, 24 constituents have contacted us – all wishing to be sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
We have successfully assisted 19 cases and there are now only five cases remaining outstanding with two of those part-finalised.
Our help is not confined to just visas. We have helped a constituent seek cancer medication for his stepmother who is in Ukraine. We have also provided advice regarding school places for the Ukrainian children one local family is sponsoring.
There will be work to do to support these families and the Ukrainians when they arrive. I would like to put on record my thanks to all those who have joined the scheme. It is making a huge difference to people fleeing the war.
On a wider national scale, the latest figures I have are that more than 86,000 visas have been granted from a total of 117,600 applications for both family and sponsorship schemes. So far 27,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK.
The latest images from Mariupol are very distressing and I know people across Hertfordshire feel the same as I when they see evacuated civilians because we know they have faced an awful ordeal.
Putin’s switch to the east does not mean he will be easily defeated. This war will sadly continue for some time yet.