Orbit offers homes to Ukrainian refugees

Leading housing provider, Orbit, is offering 26 of its properties to Ukrainian refugees, as part of a new package of measures to help people fleeing from the conflict.

Orbit is currently working with the Government to allocate the homes that come from some of its Independent Living, Supported Living and Extra Care stock and which also offer access to support services onsite.

Refugees moving into these homes will have support from the scheme employees and will be able to utilise all scheme facilities. Through Orbit’s Better Days programme, refugees will receive mental wellbeing support, including a tailored package of advice and guidance for coping with trauma. The Better Days programme, which links into local authority, NHS and other local services, also offers an interpreter service to help ensure refugees can access the full range of support available to them. Furthermore, Orbit is working with partners to help with other essentials such as securing furniture and white goods and setting up bank accounts.

Paul Richards, Group Director of Customer and Communities, said: “Orbit was created to address a key problem around homelessness, to provide homes to those with the greatest need. The war in Ukraine has already seen millions of people displaced, afraid, moved a long way from their home and in urgent need of a temporary home and a welcoming society. We want to do what we can to help provide that.”

In addition to the support Orbit is directly offering to refugees, any Orbit colleague who takes part in the Government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, will be granted an additional week of annual leave to help the refugee to settle into their home and they and refugees will each receive retail vouchers to purchase essential home items to make the move as easy as possible.

John Wrighthouse, Orbit Group People Director, added: “It is great that as a business we are able to offer this assistance but we know that many of our colleagues want to help personally too, and we want to support them in doing this.

“By providing additional time off and financial assistance for those looking to share their homes, to match funding colleagues’ donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, it’s my sincere hope that we’ll be able to make a difference to as many families as possible through what is, undoubtedly, the most difficult time in their life.”

Orbit will also match fund colleagues’ donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, up to a total of £10,000.