West Devon Borough Council chiefs are waiting on the green light from the Government over how they can help offer homes to Ukrainian refugees.

They have already joined other councils in Devon in flying the Ukrainian national flag to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, their loved ones and relatives around the world.

Last week, all Devon authorities pledged to work together to support Ukrainian refugees seeking sanctuary in the UK, and condemned Russia’s actions.

All have agreed to give particular support to families in Devon whose relatives in Ukraine are fleeing the conflict.

Cllr Neil Jory, leader of West Devon Borough Council said they were waiting on Government guidance on how to offer homes to the refugees.

He said: ‘It has been truly heart-breaking to watch the events unfold in Ukraine. I cannot imagine what it must be like for those people caught up in the conflict. Everyone at West Devon Borough Council is deeply saddened by what is going on and we would like the people of Ukraine to know that we condemn the actions of the aggressors. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

‘This week we have heard about the Government’s scheme to offer a route to those who want to come to the UK, if there is someone here willing to give them a home.

‘The Government has now launched its Homes for Ukraine campaign and people who wish to offer accommodation to a Ukrainian household can register on the Government’s website.

‘As a council we are awaiting further guidance, due to be issued later this week, on the role we will play in facilitating these efforts.’

The council said that with so many people across Europe wanting to provide aid and support to the people of Ukraine, it was important that donations were sent to those people who are experts in providing humanitarian aid.

A council spokesperson said: ‘With the needs of the Ukrainians and the refugees in a fluid state at the moment, we strongly suggest that a donation to the main aid agencies is the best way that you can help.’

At the next meeting of West Devon’s full council, members will also be asked to consider giving a grant to the Disasters Emergency Appeal fund to support the cause.

The council says the fastest way to help is to donate to a DEC appeal by donating online.

Residents can do this by visiting https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal, or they can call 01204 770822

If they want to sponsor a refugee by providing a home for someone to live in the UK for a minimum expectation of six months,they can do so at: https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/

To make a donation towards the UN’s humanitarian work, residents can do so via the Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund UN Crisis Relief.

Residents can also make a donation via the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

The spokesperson said that there are many other charities collecting donations, both financial and supplies such as food and clothing and added that the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have urged the public to “give safely to registered charities helping and supporting those affected by the invasion of Ukraine.

The spokesperson added: ‘If you are a resident with friends and family in Ukraine and need information or support about what is happening, please contact the Ukrainian embassy.

‘To make a donation towards the UN’s humanitarian work, please visit Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund UN Crisis Relief.

‘You can also make a donation via the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

The spokesperson said for information on travel advice to and from Ukraine, people should visit GOV.UK, where they could also find immigration advice on temporary concessions for Ukrainain nationals applying to join a family route.