Information for potential hosts of Ukrainian families

Hosting

Things to think about before deciding to host a family

Information from City of Sanctuary UK – a trusted organisation https://cityofsanctuary.org/2022/03/21/things-to-consider-before-applying-to-sponsor

https://www.asylum-welcome.org/the-homes-for-refugees-scheme-info-pack-3/
Practical information for those thinking of sponsoring a Ukrainian family, or who are in the process of doing so

Questions about being a sponsor
https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/helping-hand-for-ukraine/sponsors/sponsor/

Questions about housing
https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/helping-hand-for-ukraine/sponsors/housing/

Questions about finance
https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/community-and-safety/helping-hand-for-ukraine/sponsors/finance/

Finding a family to host:

You need to register as a host on the Government website – https://www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine

These additional sites also have very useful information

Bringing personal items to the UK as a Ukrainian refugee

Visa sponsorship privacy notice

Uploading evidence

Applying for a visa

Homes for Ukraine, guidance for Councils

Frequently asked questions

For safeguarding reasons, we strongly urge people to use the official channels and established groups to find matches rather than privately via social media.

Established groups:

Homes for Ukraine
https://www.homesforukraine.org.uk/
Reset Communities and Refugees is helping register and match refugees from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK.

Refugees at Home
https://www.refugeesathome.org Excellent legal and additional resources on hosting. Like Sanctuary Housing, they will register applications from potential hosts of any global refugees.

Positive Action in Housing
https://www.paih.org Room for Refugees is the longest running refugee hosting programme run by a registered charity in the UK or Western Europe.

Sanctuary Foundation
https://sanctuaryfoundation.org.uk/

Sanctuary Hosting
https://sanctuaryhosting.org/ – Oxford based (housing in High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Reading & Oxford). Sanctuary Hosting will continue to host asylum seekers and refugees fleeing from conflicts throughout the world as well as provide temporary accommodation for those suffering from homelessness and destitution as a result of their immigration status and welcome applications from anyone in the Thames Valley with a spare room to offer and from those who would like to volunteer to support a hosting placement.

Organisations and groups set up specifically to match Ukrainian refugees and hosts.

Please note that MRA is unable to recommend these grous and currenty knows very little about them.

https://www.ukrainetakeshelter.com/
US students’ website for Ukrainians to find host families. Several offers of accommodation in Marlow are listed.

https://www.EU4UA.org
similar to above site, though it looks to be easier to use. They connect the host and refugee family

https://www.opora.uk/
in English and Ukrainian – provides a site where hosts and those seeking accommodation in the UK can register, as well as offering centralised information channels for Ukrainians and their families in the UK and providing direct emergency financial support to those in need as they attempt to reunite with their families. Opora is a newly registered UK company with both Czech and British directors.

https://shelter4ua.com/ua
A Ukrainian site for connecting hosts and Ukrainian families across Europe

Training:

https://resetuk.org/
Reset is a community sponsorship group learning hub. It was set up in 2018, so is well established, and provides useful training information.

Support/tips

Local Marlow group – Marlow Ukraine Collective – stated purpose is to unite people in need with local hosts, share knowhow and help with support. Also for families with Marlow hosts to link up.  See their Facebook group or email marlow.ukraine.collective@gmail.com if you have questions about the group or want to know more.

SIM cards – Vodafone is offering free connectivity for 200,000 Ukrainian refugees – MRA has submitted an application for 25 of these SIM cards (loaded with 20GB data per month for 6 months plus unlimited calls and texts). Three also has a Ukrainian support offer.

Flights from countries bordering Ukraine – Wizz Air is offering free flights up to 10 April for people with a Ukrainian passport (wizzair.com/#/rescue)

Help for Ukrainians before and after arriving in the UK – https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/get-help-as-a-refugee/help-for-refugees-from-ukraine amongst other information has a leaflet with contact information regarding benefits, health, schooling etc. (in English and in Ukrainian)

Based on the Home Office website a manual has been written in Ukrainian for the refugees’ side of visa application.

Talking to children about the situation in Ukraine. We have created a separate page with useful links

Facebook groups

  • Marlow Ukraine Collective https://www.facebook.com/groups/522891169268851 a support and information group for the people of Marlow and surrounding areas. Their purpose is to help local people who wish to take in Ukrainian refugees share information and gain access to local services and amenities for their refugee families.
  • Refugees Welcome in Wycombe – run by Wycombe Refugee Partnership, who have a lot of experience in welcoming and settling refugee families into the local community. Their site has some useful posts. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1069995593044656
  • Refugee Support Bourne End and Wooburns https://www.facebook.com/groups/519706313092278– a group that aims to coordinate offers of help/goods/needed items and act as a link to other groups. Several people on this group have said they have signed up to take refugees from Ukraine
  • Chilterns Support group for Ukraine https://www.facebook.com/groups/819842915345141 – this is a very active group which shares information on Ukrainians seeking sponsorship as well as goods needed, sharing tips/useful links etc
  • Marlow Life https://www.facebook.com/groups/717127425434053 has some posts regarding hosting refugees and a Marlow based Ukrainian lady (Oksana Irza) has offered help with overcoming the language barrier
  • A Ukraine-facing group called Refugees of Ukraine in GB (in Ukrainian) https://www.facebook.com/groups/5695673773793778 . Claims to be a group for people from Ukraine, a place where they can find a sponsor or meet other Ukrainians