A COTSWOLD church has launched a weekly hub for Ukrainian refugees and host families.

The Chipping Campden Baptist Church partnered with Chipping Campden Homes to create the hub on a Monday morning in the church's High Street building.

Up to 40 guests from Ukraine and hosts regularly attend the hub, along with six volunteers from the church.

Maralyn Harvey, who is co-ordinating the hub for Campden Baptist Church, said: "Sometimes the guests have only arrived a couple of days ago so it’s a real opportunity for them to meet with fellow country folk and to exchange stories and to talk about their home and their families and so on. 

"The people who come have fled Ukraine, often in quite traumatic circumstances, and are looking for some respite from the terrible things that are going on in their country or looking for maybe a better life in the UK.
"The hub is good in that it facilitates communication between the hosts and the Ukrainian guests so lots of things have come out of it."

READ MORE: Muzzy's Kebab van stolen from Moreton-in-Marsh car park

Cotswold Journal: Chipping Campden Baptist Church. Picture Credit: Google Street View.Chipping Campden Baptist Church. Picture Credit: Google Street View.

Google Translate is used to help communicate with attendees at the event.

Marilyn said: "English as a second language classes are being made available elsewhere in the town, jobs are being sought, placements at schools are being sought and even social activities like having a meal together and going on a trip to Broadway Tower and a picnic. These are the kind of things that are coming out of the hub.

"We are very much partnering with the homes for Ukraine refugees organisations and chat with the people who are hosting via WhatsApp groups and they give help and advice on how to deal with the mountains of bureaucratic paperwork that has to be completed.

"Children sometimes come to the hub with their parents prior to finding placements in local schools and they’re often quite traumatised by having left the country and their family, maybe their father or their brother and their pets and so on, and coming here to a rural setting with not much transport and lots of strange people talking a different language."

READ MORE: Open water swimming warning over drowning risk

Craft activities are provided for children, information on local food banks, schools and doctors are provided and tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits.