Don’t feel helpless about Ukraine. There are plenty of ways we can all help.
In these difficult times, our hearts and thoughts are with the people there who have been thrust into a warzone through no fault of their own as a result of the illegal invasion by Vladimir Putin – and they deserve our solidarity and our support.
My thoughts this week are also with the Russians who have been brave enough to protest against Putin’s illegal war, despite the threat of detainment and imprisonment.
My Labour colleagues and I have been calling on the British government to impose the toughest possible sanctions on Putin’s regime.
We must all have felt a sense of helplessness while watching the humanitarian crisis unfold in recent days.
However, you can help people who are suffering in Ukraine and those fleeing the country, if you wish, through many local and international charities.
There are a number of local charities providing direct support to new arrivals in our city from many countries affected by war, such as Voices in Exile, Refugee Radio, Thousand 4 1000 and the Hummingbird Project.
You can find out about other groups supporting refugees in Brighton and Hove and further afield through the local City of Sanctuary group, Sanctuary on Sea, and their directory of resources for refugees and migrants in Brighton and Hove.
A range of national and international charities have also launched appeals. Any amount you can give will help those in need. A list can be found on the Brighton and Hove City Council website.
However, there is more that we as a city and as a country can do to help besides making donations.
The invasion of Ukraine has meant the fastest-growing refugee crisis since the Second World War, and we have called on our government to ensure Britain lives up to its moral obligations by providing refuge to those escaping this war.
As a proud City of Sanctuary, Brighton and Hove should stand ready to help, and we will be asking what steps the administration is taking to prepare our city for welcoming Ukrainian refugees.
We’d like to see a central hub where households who wish to take refugees in can get in touch, and co-ordinated citywide efforts to identify suitable, safe and supportive accommodation for those fleeing war.
We are ready and willing to work closely with the Green administration to ensure our city plays its part in providing safe refuge to those in need.
Councillor John Allcock is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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