More than 14 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine following the Russian invasion. The Diocese of Oxford is working with Citizens UK to resettle Ukrainian refugees in our diocese through the UK government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.
It's now a busy time of matching hosts and guests and supporting them through visa applications. As of the start of July, we've made 82 matches - which equates to 150 Ukrainian adults and 59 Ukrainian children.
Below are some ways you can help. If you have any questions, get in touch.
Ми сподіваємося, що ви добре влаштувалися у своїх спонсорів і відчули теплий прийом від ваших нових сусідів в Оксфордській єпархії.
Ми хотіли б запросити вас підписатися на електронні листи від нашої Координаційної групи з питань біженців з України. Ми надсилатимемо вам інформацію про майбутні події та ресурси, які можуть допомогти вам під час вашого перебування тут, і триматимемо вас в курсі того, як просувається програма з пошуку житла від Оксфордської єпархії.
Якщо ви хочете отримувати ці листи, перейдіть за посиланням нижче та введіть свою адресу електронної пошти, своє ім’я та поштовий індекс спонсора. Потім виберіть варіант 3 і натисніть жовту кнопку «Зареєструватися».
Ви можете будь-коли передумати отримувати ці повідомлення та відмовитися від розсилки, натиснувши «Скасувати підписку» внизу будь-якого електронного листа.
Ви також можете зв’язатися безпосередньо з нами, коли вам потрібно, надіславши листа на електронну пошту email@example.com, і Таня, наш працівник з питань підтримки українців за програмою «Житло для України», зв’яжеться з вами.
Ви можете ближче познайомитися з Танею та радником із питань соціальної справедливості від Єпархії Ханною Лінг у цьому відеоінтерв’ю.
The matching and hosting process has brought to light problems with wider systems – claiming benefits, registering with GPs and dentists, getting visas in the first place, and longer term settlement plans. We want to work with our partners in this process, Citizens UK, to work with you to find ways forward.
To that end, Citizens UK and the Diocese of Oxford are offering a series of sessions, which will include training, to hear you and support you locally. This training will introduce tools of Community Organising and give you an opportunity to meet and work with other people in the Diocese of Oxford to see God’s Kingdom come through even the challenging times we face today.
We would like to invite you to five evening sessions to help move the issues around Ukrainians and refugees forward through excellent training and community engagement. We recommend attending all five sessions, though the form gives you space to say which ones you are available for. The classes are online and start at 7pm. They take place on 5 October, 9 November, 23 November, 30 November and 11 January. We hope to see you there.
The government's initial Homes for Ukraine hosting period covered six months, but it is now clear that many Ukrainians will need to stay in the UK beyond that as the war continues. This means our support needs to continue too - here are a few ways you can help...
If you've been matched with a Ukrainian guest and are now hosting through the Diocese of Oxford and Citizens UK scheme, we'd love to hear your plans for after the first six months.
Fill in the form linked here and answer a few quick questions so we know how best to help you and your guests going forward.
Bucks County Council have supplied some great guidance on the options available to hosts, which you can read here.
Christian Concern for One World are hosting a great webinar on 22 September, which will include discussion time on issues like finding work and housing.
The government's advice for hosts reaching the four to six-month mark is available to read here.
If you're still willing and able to host, thank you! We know the wait has been frustrating but having you on our list is a huge help in itself to ensure we can find the most suitable home for every Ukrainian who wishes to come here.
If you haven't already, please make sure you've sent us your full details so we know everything we need to know about your household. You can do that via the form you received shortly after signing up for emails, or by clicking below.
You can also share the link below with any friends or family still interested in hosting - we'd love to hear from them too.
We get it - it's been a long time and a lot will have changed in the last six months. If you no longer wish to be considered for matching and hosting with a Ukrainian guest, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
If you'd like, we can swap you onto the non-hosting support list instead - just let us know.
It's not too late to apply to host. If you're considering it, check out these FAQs, then click here to register. You'll then be added to our mailing list and emailed a longer form so we can collect your details - check your spam if you don't see this within a few days! You can watch the diocesan introduction session here.
There are loads of other ways you can help - whether it's picking up a family from the airport, helping with paperwork for the GP or local schools, or being a friendly face they can talk to in a difficult time.
We are co-ordinating the support across the diocese with the help of deanery leads - the go-to person for hosts and helpers in each deanery. Most deaneries now have a lead person, and all hosts who have already received guests have been linked with their deanery lead where possible. We are in the process of connecting deanery leads with people who have offered support, and they will be in touch.
There is some exciting training on the horizon for hosts and supporters that will be offered in the autumn and delivered by Citizens UK. The aim of this training is for us to learn how to harness the knowledge we have gained through supporting Ukrainians and begin to address the problems we have encountered to ensure that all newly arrived people get the best welcome possible.
Please watch out for more information about this and book a place – it will be delivered online.
If you'd like to help in any way, we would love to hear from you! We can connect you with a local group who are hosting a family so you can give support where it's most needed. Let us know you're interested. If you speak Russian and/or Ukrainian, we'd love you to join our growing team of volunteer translators and interpreters - let us know you're interested.
CUF Small Grants Programme for Refugee Support
Church Urban Fund has launched a Refugee Support Small Grants Programme to support Christian projects helping refugees arriving in England from Ukraine and Afghanistan.
Registered Christian charities and members of Churches Together in England are all welcome to apply for small grants of between £500 and £5,000. More information is available on CUF’s website.
Helping Hand in Buckingham
The Helping Hand team in Bucks are available to help individuals or families in need, those on low incomes and those who are experiencing a financial emergency or crisis.
There has been an increase in Ukrainian families visiting food banks to receive food support. Families can contact Helping Hand, who will evaluate the resident’s situation and see what food support routes are best.
Every Friday at 1pm, Citizens UK have a different themed Lunch & Learn with guest speakers.
It’s a place for you to meet with others, get advice on the themes below and ask any questions you may have. Some sessions will be repeated, and a recording of each will also be made available.
Sponsor Refugees, a Citizens UK programme, also run Lunch and Learn sessions which cover a number of useful themes for hosts. Register here.
Resources for hosts & guests
- Diocesan introductory session for hosts
- Slides from the Zoom session
- Download the transcript
- Questions for you and your family to consider.
- Introduction to hosting and briefing for hosts- City of Sanctuary
- Things to consider - City of Sanctuary
- Wellbeing resources - British Red Cross
- Tips for those wishing to host refugees and asylum seekers - Sanctuary Hosting
- Toolkit for hosts - Reset (including info on empowerment, power, and boundaries; prepping your property; financial matters; safeguarding; integration support)
- Staying on the right side of the law - VITA Network
- A guide for hosts - Ukrainian London
- Diocesan guidance (housing considerations)
- Accomodation guidance and checklist - NCIs
- Basic provisions list for hosts - VITA Network
You might also like to Google home safety checklists for foster parents in your area - these can give a good idea of things to consider practically when hosting children and vulnerable people.
- USPUK visa support - translated form into Ukrainian; consultants can help in English, Ukrainian & Russian; chat bot
- Visa Qs in English and Ukrainian
- Guidance for completing the visa application (in English)
- Don’t have a passport? Find a visa application centre
- Guidance on how to fill out the visa form – video, Krish Kandiah
- Free UK immigration advice for people fleeing Ukraine, Ukraine Advice Project UK
- For Ukrainians who need assistance with the application process, there is a free 24/7 helpline +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 or +44 (0)175 390 7510 for those in the UK)
- Advice - from Sanctuary Foundation and thirtyone:eight
- Paragraph on Safeguarding - Reset
- Anti-trafficking advice for Ukrainians and Safety tips for those travelling - Red Cross
- Eurostar - offering free journeys from any of their Eurostar stations.
- Once in London, bus, tram, tube, and DLR can be used for free
- National Rail - free travel across all National Rail train operators, light rail services and the majority of bus and coach services in England, Scotland, and Wales (you will have 48 hours from arrival in the UK to complete your journey)
- In Oxfordshire – Comet for those who can’t get public transport
- Welcome pack – for the host to complete for Ukrainian guest to provide important info, Vita Network
- Suggested timeline for when Ukrainians arrive and what things need to be done
- Information sheet for arriving Ukrainians - Red Cross (also in English)
- Support line (for Ukrainians in the UK) - Red Cross
- Video about life in the UK - Red Cross
- Welcome guide - UK government (what you need to know in your first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services)
- Christian Concern for One World hosted a support session, discussing Ukrainian culture, history and traditions. Listen to the podcast here.
- Learn English for free as a Ukrainian on Duolingo
- Tarjimly translation app - set up in 2017 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. This app enables you to request a translator for a particular language. You will be connected via live chat with a translator, and can send text, documents, and start a phone or video call for free.
- Google Translate (the app is handy – you can even translate documents using your camera!)
- Free self-taught English language resources - OU
- NHS and Job Centres are legally obliged to provide an interpreter for prebooked appointments if they are aware
- Charity Translators list of translation services.
- Translators for Ukraine also has a list of translators
- More resources to learn English or Ukrainian from CCOW
- English language support - Clear Global
Babies and children
- Children’s equipment safety information - Baby Basics
- Checklist for expectant mum/babies aged 0-4 months - Baby Basics
- Checklist for children aged 4 months – 2 years - Baby Basics
- Checklist for children aged 2 – 5 years - Baby Basics
Healthcare and mental health
- Sane Ukraine – daily online trauma and resilience support sessions
- Tips for accessing healthcare - The Pickwell Foundation
- Wellbeing resources (dealing with trauma, coping with a personal crisis etc) - Red Cross
- How the NHS works info sheet - Ukrainian | Russian - Doctors of the World
- Citizens Advice has some guidance on the various things refugees can apply for, as well as giving an idea of the kind of questions the various forms will ask.
- Opening a bank, work, and applying for Universal Credit (including what to do whilst waiting), The Pickwell Foundation
- Tips for preparing and applying for school places - The Pickwell Foundation
- Refugee Welcome Schools
- How to apply for school place
- Diocesan advice on school applications
Resources for supporters
Google Translate is an excellent tool to help you with basic conversation - and if you donwload the app, it can live translate signs and forms using your camera.
The Open University have some free English courses available online that you could work through with a refugee or refugee family.
Citizens Advice has some guidance on the various things refugees can apply for, as well as giving an idea of the kind of questions the various forms will ask.
Read some diocesan advice on school applications.
You might also like to write a short summary of your village, town or city, explaining the amenities and how to use them, and use Google Translate to help you.
Check out the Church of England toolkit for parishes looking to respond to the crisis.