Pembrokeshire Society support for government scheme

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A BUS service in Pembrokeshire has joined the Welsh Government’s latest scheme to provide free bus travel to refugees and Ukrainians.

Pembrokeshire Passenger Transport has joined the ‘Welcome Ticket’ scheme which will allow refugees and those arriving in Wales from Ukraine free bus travel.

The scheme, which was announced today – May 8 – builds on the previously announced six-month free rail pilot.

The “welcome ticket” program will run for six months and end on September 30. It will include travel to England if travel begins or ends in Wales.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, said: “This free bus scheme – called the ‘Welcome Ticket’ – will be available to all refugees who are already here or arriving in Wales and will allow unlimited free travel on the majority of local bus services across Wales and those operating to England, whether they start or end in Wales.

“This is a major step forward in ensuring refugees and Ukrainians can travel freely across Wales – it will help them integrate into Wales and make a positive contribution to our nation.

“I want to pay tribute to all these bus companies across Wales for taking part in this scheme – it demonstrates their commitment to making Wales a true nation of sanctuary.”

People eligible for the scheme must present proof of their eligibility to the driver by producing either their passport, their visa or their biometric residence permit. A “welcome ticket” will then be given to them by the driver.

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Meanwhile, Cadw has announced details of its scheme to provide free individual or family entry to all Cadw sites for refugees and those seeking refuge in Wales. This offer is valid until October 25.

To receive it, refugees, asylum seekers or Ukrainians will need to present the appropriate documents from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This includes a biometric residence permit, asylum registration card, Ukrainian regime visa or Ukrainian passport or a letter or email from the Ministry of Interior stating that the visitor has obtained some form of permission to enter or stay or is awaiting the outcome of his asylum application.

Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, said: “I am delighted to see Cadw playing its part in showing what it means to be a sanctuary nation.

“This offer will be in place until October 25, ensuring that anyone who comes to Wales looking for sanctuary will have the opportunity to see and visit Welsh cultural and heritage sites across the country for free.”

Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, added: “We have made great strides in delivering on our promise to be a safe haven nation in Wales. These announcements show that commitment in action.

“Being a sanctuary nation means welcoming people to Wales and providing them with help and support to settle into their lives in Wales. We are very proud to be able to extend these fantastic programs to Ukrainians.

“We firmly believe that the skills, experience and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers are an asset to Wales – which is why we are proud to extend reception and support their ambitions to thrive in Wales. This is what it means to be a sanctuary nation.

“We want to make sure these people are supported to rebuild their lives and make a full contribution to Welsh society.”

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