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News > School News > College Housemistress & Head of ESOL seeks accommodation guarantor for Ukranian family

College Housemistress & Head of ESOL seeks accommodation guarantor for Ukranian family

15 Dec 2022
Written by Jennifer Law
School News

College Head of ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and Housemistress of Tee House, Caroline Edmunds,  is reaching out to the Stortfordian community to seek support in securing a guarantor for her Ukranian family as they seek to progress their goal of living independently within the Saffron Walden Community.

Caroline writes: 

'We have recently been involved in the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. This has on the whole been a hugely rewarding experience, but we currently find ourselves in a loophole whereby our guests want to live independently but they are unable to do so as they don’t have a guarantor. We know that there are many different ways to help Ukrainians in this situation and not everyone is able to open their homes to a Ukrainian family, but they may wish to support in other ways, hence my letter to you.

The family who live with us are Oksana, her husband Zhenya and their son Ruslan. I would like to tell you a little bit about them. Oksana and her son Ruslan moved in with us on the 5th May this year. At home in Ukraine, Oksana is an Accounts Assistant and Zhenya is a Plumber. Within a few weeks of arriving here Oksana had secured herself a job as a cleaner/ housekeeper at the Premier Inn in Saffron Walden. She has been working there ever since and was recently voted employee of the year for her positive attitude and hard work ethic. Oksana’s monthly income is £1,300, including Universal Credit. Zhenya only arrived earlier this month, but as soon as his NI number comes through, he will be looking for work in his trade as a plumber and will able to contribute his income. In the meantime, they are entitled to housing benefit. Ruslan is a student in year 10 at Saffron Walden County High School and is a keen boxer.

They are very interested in renting privately in Saffron Walden. They do not want council housing and they do not want to be on benefits. As soon as Zhenya is able to, he intends to work. They have a 3-year visa and Oksana and Ruslan have already been here for 7 months, so they are likely to be here for another couple of years, given that the war in Ukraine is continuing and they have no home to go home to. They were living in Kharkiv before the war started.

Oksana has been saving whilst living with us and they are able to put down a minimum of deposit plus 3-4 months rent. However, even though they are able to pay this upfront and the majority of their rent will be paid by housing benefit every month, this has not been enough to secure them rental accommodation in our area without a guarantor.

Whilst living with us the family have been very respectful of our space. They have helped with the cleaning and generally kept our home clean and tidy so that living with them has been a pleasure.'

If you feel you would like to help, please do get in touch caroline.edmunds@bishopsstortfordcollege.org 

Yours Sincerely

Caroline and Mike Edmunds

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