Caritas Portsmouth have collected resources from a number of organisations who have been prominent in their work in previous refugee crises and are offering their expertise and advice again to us now.
Please read this information carefully and use their work to help you decide what role you would like to play in helping.
Not everyone will be able to open their home to a Ukrainian family; being part of a welcoming parish hall volunteer group, fund raising and offering prayer may be your valued contribution; everything you can do will be greatly appreciated.
As our parishes and schools mobilise, we will bring their stories here to inspire you.
CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) is the umbrella organisation to which Caritas Portsmouth belongs. It is an organisation that is funded by the Catholic Bishops Conference England and Wales.
CSAN have been pivotal in the development of the Catholic response to the Syrian Community Sponsorship Scheme and also to the Catholic response to the Afghan ARAP scheme.
CSAN CEO Raymond Friel says:
“One key piece of advice to parishioners who are applying to host is to link with an organisation with refugee experience. “
The link above will take you through to the CSAN tool kit.
CSAN recognises that the UK Government faces challenges in policy and Departmental readiness to support refugees and others in poverty, including:
- A backlog of asylum claims unprocessed by the Home Office
- Adequate fulfilment of the UK’s international obligations in law and practice
- Investing greater trust and management of welfare spending in local public bodies and community organisations, where this can realise a more humane welfare system.
The UK Government has so far announced two schemes to support Ukrainian refugees – a family unification route, and a scheme for individual households to host refugees in return for a monthly cash payment. A further announcement is expected on plans for churches and other charities to resettle refugees over a longer term, through a new Humanitarian Sponsorship scheme, which will be different from the current Community Sponsorship Scheme for Syrian refugees.
Information from the UK Government website on the link below:
Advice from this toolkit:
Potential sponsors should be fully aware of what they are being asked to do, and whether this is something that they are able to commit to. You will need to consider the impact that offering a room in your home could have on your life and what it may take to support an individual or family. We recommend that any potential host researches the support that people fleeing conflict may need and what is available in their area, or build connections locally to offer support prior to sponsoring.
We recommend that any household applying to host through Homes for Ukraine should be in contact with a local refugee action group and/or a charity that works with refugees and asylum seekers. The Reset charity, which already works with the Home Office on community sponsorship of refugees, has now set up a matching service to connect refugees and hosts for Homes for Ukraine.
You can register to host and be matched with a Ukrainian refugee on Reset’s website.
CSAN and Caritas Portsmouth are signposting parishioners to Reset to find out more about being a host as part of Homes for Ukraine.
World Health Organisation (WHO) have produced a document about Psychological First Aid.
Anyone who is considering helping within the Homes for Ukraine scheme, either by offering to be a host or a supporter, is strongly recommended to read this guidance.
Find it on the button below.
Reset is the UK’s Community Sponsorship learning hub. We were set up in 2018 to coordinate the growth of the Community Sponsorship movement across the UK to ensure it realises its full, transformative potential.
Homes for Ukraine
We welcome the recognition that individuals and communities in the UK can play in a key role in opening their doors to those urgently in need of safety having fled from the conflict in Ukraine.
We’ve seen through Community Sponsorship that when communities come together, they make a powerful difference in helping refugees to feel at home, and able and confident to access what they need as they find safety in the UK. We know that friends and neighbours around those who provide hosting will play an important part in welcoming and supporting families who arrive in the country.
The Refugee Council
In response to details revealed regarding the UK Government’s new ‘Homes for Ukraine Scheme’, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council said:
“As an organisation with seven decades of experience working directly with refugees to help them rebuild their lives after the trauma of war, we are concerned that people from Ukraine are still not being recognised as refugees and being asked to apply for visas when they just need to be guaranteed protection. This programme falls short of enabling any Ukrainian, particularly the most vulnerable such as children who are alone, to seek safety in the UK and access the full support they urgently need.
We are also worried about ensuring the safety and well-being for Ukrainians who have fled bloodshed, and the level of support available for their sponsors. We are talking about very traumatised women and children whose experiences are unique, and the level of support needs to match that. It’s like asking people to be foster carers without any robust checks, training or having a social worker in place to support them.”
“Those coming here who have already had their lives turned upside down, will also not have full rights to benefits, so there is a real risk they could end up homeless if they have to leave the sponsors or extended family home which would be completely devastating. It’s vital they can quickly access GPs, mental health services and schools to ensure they have the support they will so desperately need to rebuild their lives in the UK.”
Jesuit Refugee Service
The UK Government have launched a new scheme to offer welcome to Ukrainian refugees Homes for Ukraine. This is a brand-new scheme and some aspects of how it will work remain unclear.
Welcoming a refugee – or a refugee family – into your home is a truly wonderful thing to do. Thank you for thinking of offering the hospitality. JRS UK have co-ordinated a small hosting scheme for refugees for nearly a decade: we have experience of matching and supporting volunteer hosts and refugee guests, and seeing the transformative difference it can make to someone’s life – both for refugee guest and volunteer hosts.
This said, it isn’t something to be entered into lightly.
We’ve collated all the information we know so far about the government’s scheme, and some considerations for you and your family, on these pages in the form of FAQs. We’ll keep these pages updated as we learn more about the government’s scheme.
North Devon with Ukraine
This is a very useful group website who have already thought out the processes needed to successfully welcome Ukrainian refugees into the UK and into their community.
Read all about it on the button below.
We have no more information than what is on the government’s website about the scheme at this stage. We expect it will be updated regularly.
We encourage you to take a read of their FAQs here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions
It is worth remembering that people fleeing from Ukraine have very recently suffered intense trauma. They have fled their homes, livelihoods and likely left family members behind in a situation of extreme uncertainty and danger. You should be prepared for the possibility of the refugee(s) you are hosting experiencing psychological trauma which may require medical attention.
See more on their web site: https://www.jrsuk.net/news/lets-extend-welcome-to-all-refugees/
As a UK-wide network of frontline charities, including 31 hosting organisations, providing accommodation and support to destitute people in the asylum and immigration system, we welcome further details of the Government’s newly-launched ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme for Ukrainians wishing to come to the UK.
We know from the vital work of our members the important role that hosting can play in providing safe, temporary homes to people fleeing persecution, trauma and conflict who are in need of urgent protection and stability. The ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme speaks to this need, as does the overwhelmingly positive response from the British public in wanting to open their doors and communities to those seeking a safe haven.
Click on the link to read NACCOM’s hosting guide.
City of Sanctuary
City of Sanctuary UK coordinates, supports and grows this network of welcome. From community groups to schools and universities, local councils to libraries and theatres, we work with individuals, groups and organisations in every area and in every sector to encourage inclusivity, compassion and solidarity.
From coordination, collaboration, practical training and opportunities for people with lived experience of the asylum system, to vital resources and unmissable webinars, we do all we can to support and grow these networks of welcome.
Read more in their guide on the link below: