Volunteers had to help those from Ukraine who arrived in Huron County

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The Huron County Immigration Partnership supports community-led plans to help families arriving from Ukraine.

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Volunteers are currently being recruited to help newcomers with accommodation, transportation and English language practice.

“The first families from Ukraine have arrived in our communities,” said Kristin Crane, coordinator of Huron County’s immigrant partnership program.

“More families will be arriving in the coming months and volunteers are needed to provide housing and transportation for newcomers to Huron County.”

Additional volunteer support is required to help newcomers learn and practice English, along with numerous other areas.

“We have a long history of volunteering and welcoming people who are new to our communities,” admitted Huron County Warden Glen McNeil.

“We want everyone who arrives to feel included and supported when they settle here.”

Individuals interested in volunteering can fill out a form at local Huron County Library branches or online: https://connectedcountyofhuron.ca/support-for-ukrainian-newcomers

The Huron County Immigrant Partnership works with Ukrainian Diaspora Support Canada to bring together Ukrainian families arriving with volunteers.

“We are connected to people from Ukraine who are waiting to fly to Canada once housing has been found and voluntary commitments made,” said Mary Mokrushyna, director of Ukrainian Diaspora Support Canada.

In addition, Newcomer Settlement Counselors from the Southwest Ontario YMCA are available to assist newcomers in their early days of settlement in Canada.

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Settlement advisors help newcomers find the resources and information they need to feel settled in their new home. They also help by guiding people to access and register for government services, English classes, various social supports, employment, health care, education and other daily living needs.

“Based on a newcomer’s unique needs and strengths, our Newcomer Settlement Advisors help create a personalized plan for individuals and families to help them achieve their unique goals,” said Jacquie Rumiel, VP of Newcomer and Community Services at YMCA.

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada funds both the Huron County Immigration Partnership and the YMCA’s settlement services.

Additional benefits in kind are offered by the city of Goderich to support volunteer coordination.

“As a community that is truly blessed to be safe during a very difficult time, we want to extend our warmth to every newcomer, especially those fleeing conflict in Ukraine,” added Goderich Mayor John Grace.

Welcome signs written in both Ukrainian and English in the official colors of Ukraine are distributed to residents of Huron County and are available at branches of the local Huron County library.

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