Date Published: 16 March 2022
The government has announced further details about a national sponsorship scheme that will help to bring displaced Ukrainian families to the UK.
On Monday 14 March, it was confirmed that the government had launched a new ‘Homes for Ukraine’ campaign, which includes a website where individuals, charities and organisations can register an interest providing accommodation for Ukrainians who are fleeing the Russian invasion: homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk.
Phase One of the new scheme will allow sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian person or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property. Individual sponsors will be asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free for a minimum stay of six months and will receive funding of £350 per month.
Ukrainians arriving in the UK under this new scheme will then be granted three years leave to remain, with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services. The government has indicated that the UK will welcome as many arrivals as possible, based on the number of sponsors who come forward.
“Councils are still waiting for the government to confirm exactly what our role will be as part of the new national Homes for Ukraine scheme. We will be working with the government to provide full wraparound support for Ukrainian families and their sponsors, but we don’t yet know how many sponsors have come forward from Rutland or when we might expect Ukrainian families to start arriving. We have already begun working with regional partners and Rutland’s local network of voluntary organisations to make sure we have a joined-up approach. Our advice to Rutland residents is to think carefully about whether you can provide the right kind of assistance – it will be a long-term commitment. If you can, then we hope people will register early through the new Homes for Ukraine website, so that we have a sense of how many sponsors and Ukrainian families may need our help.” Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
For Rutland residents who are unable to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, there are other ways to support Ukraine. You can donate through trusted charities and aid organisations, such as the Disasters Emergency Committee: donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal.
If you want to donate money to a charity and would like to check its credentials first, you can complete a quick online search through the UK Charity Commission: www.gov.uk/find-charity-information.
Some organisations across the UK are gathering clothes, first aid supplies and other essential items to help Ukrainian refugees. Charites with experience of responding to humanitarian disasters are being recommended as the best point to donate to those most in need. Rutland County Council cannot accept donations of goods or items as this diverts officers away from other critical work that must be carried out to prepare for the arrival of Ukrainian families.
Related to this crisis, veterans of the Armed Forces may have been particularly moved or troubled by the current situation in Ukraine. The charity Combat Stress provides mental health support for veterans and has added information to its website to help veterans and their families find ways of managing their feelings at this difficult time: combatstress.org.uk/about-us/news/ukraine.