Diss residents offer their homes up to refugees fleeing Ukraine
Residents across Diss have come out in force to offer their homes to refugees fleeing Ukraine.
A Facebook group, Diss Supporting Ukrainians, was set up last week and is replete with offers of accommodation for refugees once they arrive on British shores.
Debbie Gaze, who set up the group, said: “It’s amazing – within 24 hours 200 people had joined.”
The 55-year-old, who works as a people and culture manager at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said the group could serve as a network, not only for people to mobilise in offering support, but also for refugees to stay connected with each other once they arrive in Diss.
“I thought if I hosted refugees, it would be lovely if they had other Ukraine nationals that they could connect with,” she said.
“I imagine they would be feeling extremely isolated. If it happened to me and I was sent to live somewhere else and I knew there was an English person somewhere nearby, it would be comforting."
Whilst not everybody has a spare room to offer, others have lent their support in other ways, offering transport or to develop website for the group.
“It’s a real mixed bag pulling together – around 25 people saying they can host people. Other people are saying ‘I can’t host but I’m a teacher so I will help with the children’, or ‘I have a minibus so I can come to pick them up’.
“It just goes to show that people in Diss have such big hearts.”