Households in Herefordshire looking after Ukrainian guests are to get an extra £200 a month to cope with the extra cost of winter.

There are currently over 320 guests staying with 125 hosts in the county, out of more than 700 Ukrainians who have arrived in Herefordshire from the war-torn country over the past year and a half.

The increase means each sponsor will be given £700 per month for the five months between November and March, after which the support payments will revert to £500 a month. The cost to the council of this additional payment will therefore be around £125,000.

Herefordshire Council decided back in March to top up the Government’s £350 payment to sponsors whose guests have been with them for up to a year, so that all sponsors receive £500 per month.

The payment for those who continue to host after a year will be kept at £500, equal to the government’s increased payment to hosts in their second year.

Payments are made through the council’s Homes for Ukraine team.

Meanwhile the independent Hereford Help for Ukraine group, now established as community interest company, plans to start a Ukrainian school in the city, and is looking for Ukrainian-speaking teachers.

It also welcomes donations of furniture and household items for those moving from sponsored to independent accommodation in the county.