We're used to seeing a yellow and blue flag flying from the spire of St Albans Cathedral. But this week the flag was a little different: not the Cross of St Alban, but the yellow and blue of Ukraine.

In England, we haven't been invaded since before the cathedral was built almost a thousand years ago.

Herts Advertiser: MP Daisy Cooper reflects on the invasion of Ukraine a year agoMP Daisy Cooper reflects on the invasion of Ukraine a year ago (Image: Courtesy of Daisy Cooper)

So I just can't imagine what it must be like for the people of Ukraine to have woken up to the news, a year ago, that the Russian military had launched a full-scale attack.

Here in St Albans, we were shocked, and we did what we could to help. We sent aid, we sent money, and we welcomed refugees from Ukraine, throwing open our doors for them to come and live with us.

Under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, more than fifty thousand Ukrainians found homes with UK sponsors.

But it was always a temporary solution, with guarantees initially given for six months and then renewed for another six.

Now, a year on, there are problems with it that need solving. That's why I asked a question in Parliament this week to highlight the crunch point that the scheme has reached.

Ukrainian families that now need to find accommodation in the private rented sector are finding it tough, because they don't have the right credit history or references.

My plan, for the government to act as guarantor, would enable them to find the homes they need - rather than ending up homeless.

The government said it was a constructive point. I wait to see if those warm words are backed up by action.

This is part of a larger question. As the war drags on, how do we take an emergency scheme and turn it into a long-term plan that allows people to get on with their lives - particularly if they need to build new lives here?

There have been vigils and silences across the world this last week as we mark the first year of the full invasion of Ukraine - I attended the one here in St Albans on Friday. We have to do everything we can for Ukraine.

And that means not just flying the flags of welcome but making sure that those who found a safe home here a year ago, have continuing security.