Thousands of people have arrived in the North East under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme – and most of them are settling happily in the region.

However, nearly 50 Ukrainian refugees have been identified as homeless or at risk of homelessness since the scheme launched in March.

And the Echo has uncovered a raft of relationship breakdowns, unsuitable accommodation and safeguarding concerns that contributed to around 70 sponsorship agreements breaking down.

Refugee Nadiia Honcharenko says she found the perfect match living with Durham University professor Nicole Westmarland.

Read more: The sisters from Ukraine who made Darlington their home

However, some of her Ukrainian friends have not been so lucky and she has heard several horror stories about sponsorships gone wrong.

One of her friends, for example, found it difficult to find the space to adapt to her new situation, with a host family forcing her to attend “a lot of meetings with all of their relatives and friends which she unconditionally had to participate in”.

The Northern Echo:

Nadiia Honcharenko and Nicole Westmarland

Nadiia said: “At first, they seemed nice and my friend tried to adapt to their pace of life and not upset them.

“But they became angry when she wanted to rest and they introduced many rules.”

The girl’s happiness at finding a host family was reportedly short-lived as she realised they wanted her to curtail her freedom.

Nadiia said her friend was expected to rise every day at 8am, take long walks and clean the house and garden, no matter how exhausted she was.

She added: “For non-compliance with their rules, punishment was followed by shouting and reproaches over the fact she should be grateful because she lives in their house.”

Professor Westmarland said she had seen several reports online of relationships breaking down.

Read more: Ukrainian refugee on the first days of war

She said: “We’ve been lucky to have a perfect match, but I’ve seen others who haven’t been so lucky, both from a guest and host perspective.”

Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said hosting arrangements were inevitably going to encounter challenges in the long term.

He added: “It is so vital that the Government provides hosts and refugees with the right support, funding and advice and help to make arrangements for long-term accommodation so Ukrainians can live independently and avoid homelessness.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “In the minority of cases where family or sponsor relationships break down, councils have a duty to ensure families are not left without a roof over their head. Councils are being given £10,500 per person to cover costs and have access to a rematching service to find a new sponsor in cases under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.”