Cork County Council’s Community Support Programme has been re-established as part of the county’s response to assist the people of Ukraine.
The Community Support Programme, formed during the pandemic, is a multi-agency approach that brings together representatives of both statutory and voluntary agencies operating across Cork County, ensuring commitment and consistency in terms of service delivery.
Speaking at the first new meeting of the Community Support Programme, Chief Executive of Cork County Council and Programme Chair Tim Lucey said the programme was “immensely effective” during the pandemic.
“I will supplement this approach through the Council’s 19 locally based Community Support Hubs who will provide practical on the ground assistance,” he said.
One of the key priorities identified through the initial programme meeting was the requirement for adequate emergency shelter and accommodation facilities to accommodate Ukrainian refugees in Cork County.
The Council is seeking assistance from members of the public to identify potentially available multi-occupancy facilities and properties that may be brought back into use easily and quickly.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan said:
A spokesperson for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) said that it is contracting accommodation across the country in order to accommodate Ukrainians as the need arises.
As of March 20, total arrivals to Ireland of Ukrainian and third-country nationals was 9,762 and of the Ukrainian arrivals to date, approximately two-thirds are female, and one third are male. Approximately one-third of the arrivals are minors under the age of 18.
Meanwhile, Munster Technological University (MTU) Cork has said it will be providing support to students who have been affected by the crisis in Ukraine in a number of ways.
The university has committed to providing full-time course places to students from Ukraine whose studies have been interrupted; providing reskilling opportunities for displaced people from Ukraine, as required; working with student accommodation providers to help identify accommodation solutions for displaced students; and providing pastoral care to students from Ukraine who are currently enrolled in courses in MTU.
The university is also participating fully in all Government-led and system-wide initiatives which will be rolled out to support students from Ukraine.
Speaking earlier this week, Minister for Further Education Simon Harris said that Irish colleges and universities will make student beds available to refugees when they fall vacant at the end of the term and that 1,000 student beds have already been offered.