Benedict Cumberbatch Says He Hopes To House Ukrainian Refugees In His Home
Benedict Cumberbatch highlighted the recent launch of “Homes For Ukraine,” a program to give British people £350 ($457) a month to house Ukrainian refugees and hopes “to be a part of that myself” in an interview at the British Academy Film Awards.
“It is a really shocking time for me to be a European two and a half hours flight away in Ukraine, and it’s something that hangs over us,” Cumberbatch said before the Sunday awards ceremony.
While he was wearing a badge with the Ukrainian flag colors on the red carpet and held a Ukrainian flag last week at the Santa Barbaria International Film Festival, Cumberbatch stated the need for more than symbolic gestures.
“We need to do more than wear a badge. We need to donate, we need to pressure our politicians to continue to create some kind of refugee safety and a haven here for people who are suffering,” the actor said. Reportedly, he may be partnering with the initiative to volunteer his own lodgings for refugees as well.
The UK Home Office, which is the governing body for immigration, reported through Housing Minister Michael Gove that it had granted 4,000 visas to Ukrainian families as of Sunday night, and through this new housing program, it could receive “tens of thousands” of more refugees.
However, there are apparently as many of 2.7 million total refugees that have fled Ukraine country as of the beginning of Russia’s invasion. The majority of those refugees, some 1.5 million approximately, are still in its Western border country Poland.
Gove also added that he was exploring the option of using the U.K, properties of sanctioned Russian oligarchs for “humanitarian and other purposes.” This includes, notably, Roman Abramovich, known as the owner of the football club Chelsea.