Wanting to meet in-person with as many of the families and hosts from across Maidstone the Mayor held the informal gatherings last week when over sixty guests attended.
The gatherings meant that the Mayor and other senior Councillors were able to talk to the refugees and those who have welcomed them in to their homes to find out how Maidstone Borough Council can help them with community support.
Cllr Mortimer said:
It was an absolute honour to engage with these displaced people and welcome them to Maidstone. Although it is hoped many will return home to Ukraine soon, I wanted them to feel part of the community while they are here. We heard many harrowing stories, especially about family members who they had left behind and my heart goes out to them.
Many of the refugees have now found work and are learning English and have a good grasp of our language and customs but talking to them I understand how difficult the past six months have been and these events were held to remind them that we are here to help and support them.
To commemorate the Ukrainian Independence Day the Town Hall in King Street was lit up in the national colours of yellow and blue last evening. One of the priorities of MBC is Homes and Communities and events like this reflect that.
The Mayor continued:
We will continue to fly the Ukrainian flag over the town hall and light it up in blue and yellow in the evenings to show our support.