A community hub to support Ukrainian refugees launches at Scarborough Salvation Army today.
The Sunflower Café and Hub at the church and charity in Alma Parade aims to provide a home from home for people who have fled the war in their homeland as well as practical support like language lessons and training.
It is open to all members of the community in a bid to help integration after Scarborough welcomed more than 120 Ukrainian refugees to the town and surrounding area over the past year.
Major Stephen Noble, who leads Scarborough Salvation Army with his wife Captain Angela, said:
“After the devastating invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago, the Scarborough community opened their hearts and minds and became host to more than 120 Ukrainians seeking safe refuge.
“We want to create a home from home for refugees, many of whom will have fled with few belongings and do not know when or if they will ever return home.
“Our aim is to make them feel welcome here, as well as help build relationships with people in the town. It can be challenging for refugees arriving into a new culture, as well as for the community, so we hope this will improve integration, build relationships and help friendships blossom. There are many ways we can help each other and we want to be a hub that benefits both refugees and the local community.
“Ukrainians will be able to enjoy some of the tastes of Ukraine with dishes cooked in the café. The hub will offer language classes, practical assistance and training with the aim of helping them secure employment.”
The initiative has been set up in partnership with Scarborough Sunflower Appeal, a group that supports Ukrainian refugees.
The Hub will launch this Friday (13 January) and will run every Friday between 12pm and 3pm. The café will run on Friday mornings between 10am and 1pm, however an opening date for the café will be announced once recruitment has been completed.
Major Stephen, who last year was part of a Salvation Army emergency response in Romania supporting Ukrainian refugees at the border, added:
“We would also love to hear from volunteers who would like to help support our special guests. The simple task of welcoming and developing conversational skills for Ukrainians in a new language could prove transformational for life in a new home and community.”
For more information please contact Scarborough Salvation Army here https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/scarborough or search for them on Facebook.