Scale of refugees finding safety in North Lanarkshire revealed in part

More refugees due to stay with sponsors in North Lanarkshire have arrived in the UK, according to new figures released for June.

Ukrainians fleeing the conflict with Russia can apply for a visa to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

The Family Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals to stay with relatives already living in the UK, and the Sponsorship Scheme, also known as 'Homes for Ukraine' allows individuals to host refugees for a minimum of six months.

But the schemes have been beset with delays and problems with processing visas – with some warning of safeguarding issues and mismatches between hosts and refugees.

The latest Home Office data shows 69 refugees due to stay in North Lanarkshire under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme had arrived in the UK by June 13 – up from 53 on May 16. There has also been an increase in the number of visas issued, with 86 successful applications as of June 14, a rise on the 76 four weeks prior.

These numbers only cover a relatively small proportion of the number of refugees who have arrived in Scotland, as visas issued through the Scottish Government's "super sponsor" scheme do not show up in local authority figures.

As of June 14, the Government had directly issued 8,647 visas, far more than the 3,425 issued for people to stay with individual sponsors. There have also been more than 40,000 visas issued through the Ukraine family scheme across the UK.

Last week we reported that unprecedented sums of cash for a Cumbernauld Rotary bucket collection enabled more than £7500 to be handed over to an international grant funding scheme for the war zone run by Rotary International.

A special rescue fire truck was purchased, upgraded and delivered to the city of Chernihiv which was under siege from late February until early April and had endure some of the fiercest bombing of the war.

The appliance boasts specialist apparatus which allows stricken residents to be lifted to safety from high rise buildings.

A willow tree was also planted in Cumbernauld Peace Garden as a tribute to Ukraine’s people as this is in fact the national tree of Ukraine.