This month Oasis Community Housing has opened the doors of a new project in Peterborough to provide accommodation and support for seven families of Ukrainian refugees that have had to flee their homes.

The renovated space above Leeds Building Society’s branch has made space for up to seven families to live comfortably and safely. The space includes seven bedrooms, and communal spaces for cooking and socialising.

As part of a joint venture between Leeds Building Society, Peterborough City Council and other partners, Oasis Community Housing will manage the new accommodation and provide additional support to the families, such as help in finding employment.

Reigniting hope for Ukrainian refugees

Jen Gauden-Hand, Director of Housing at Oasis Community Housing, said: “Millions of people have been forced to leave their homes because of the war in Ukraine, and we are proud to be working with Leeds Building Society to offer families a safe, warm home and support network.

“One lady is here with her two young daughters. Both her parents are in Poland and her husband remains in Ukraine to fight. They don’t have any family in the UK. Sadly this is a common story. To be able to show her the two beautifully furnished rooms she will be sharing with her daughters was a privilege.

“We hope this new accommodation will reignite hope for the residents, the chance to find work and to settle into the local community.”

The new project extends the homelessness charity’s almost 40 years’ of work with people facing homelessness including those with multiple traumas in their past, women and families escaping domestic abuse, and refugees. This is in addition to the charity’s other drop-in projects, emergency accommodation and 24/7 supported housing across the North East of England and South London.

Richard Fearon, CEO of Leeds Building Society, said: “Following our initial donations in February last year, we are pleased to be able to extend further support to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine by converting the empty space above our branch into living accommodation.

“It is an honour to be able to utilise this unused space to ensure families have safe, warm homes this winter. I would like to thank all colleagues as well as the business community in Peterborough who have been involved in the renovations and hope the families moving in find some sanctuary in this space. We wish them all the very best for their next chapter in Peterborough.”

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