Ukraine support - FAQs
1. How can I support the humanitarian effort in Ukraine?
The best way to support Ukraine and its citizens is through cash donations to one of the below charities. This will enable humanitarian agencies to get assistance to affected people far more quickly. It also enables them to use it for the things which are needed in that moment, and to purchase them from local suppliers/providers which helps to maintain local economies and livelihoods.
However, if you do wish to send goods etc. you should research the efforts underway and check that they are linked with registered charities or have an agreed plan for where the goods will go. There are many other charities collecting donations, both financial and supplies such as food and clothing. The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have urged the public to ‘give safely’ to registered charities helping and supporting those affected.
Places to donate include:
2. How can I apply to host a Ukrainian refugee via the Homes for Ukrainians scheme?
The government Homes for Ukraine scheme is that either the UK sponsor or the Ukrainian guest once they have found a sponsor can apply to the government website.
3. How can I identify a Ukrainian citizen to match with?
The following hosting networks arrange accommodation in people's homes and are working to house Ukrainians:
- Refugees at Home
- Room for Refugees
- Reset - which works with communities and local councils and the Reset toolkit
We would strongly recommend that the people wanting to sponsor someone therefore get in touch with one of these charities in the first instance. We are aware people are using informal methods via social media to match with people; whilst this can be successful, we would urge people to ensure that they consider going through the charities above or other local Ukrainian networks so that support can be offered to all involved.
On 1 April, Reset Communities and Refugees, a charity leading UK community sponsorship since 2018, announced it is launching a matching and training service for sponsors and refugees under the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, with support from DLUHC.
It will bring together sponsors and refugees and assess their eligibility and suitability for the scheme. It will also provide training and advice to the sponsors and community groups.
Reset will also provide a training service, drawing on the expertise of Refugees at Home, for sponsors, councils, and community groups.
DLUHC has provided an initial grant of £300,000 to help design the matching process. Reset is also working closely with the Welsh and Scottish governments, as well as councils across England and Northern Ireland, to help them in matching sponsors and refugees.
4. Why isn't the government matching us with Ukrainians that need our help?
There is not a national matching process at this stage of the scheme (although it may be something that is developed). Ukrainians and UK citizens are finding ways to match with each other and then applying via the government portal. Either the Ukrainian guest OR the sponsor can register via the portal when they have a match.
We are exploring locally whether the county council can work with the Reset charity to support matching, but this will take time to understand if it is possible and establish processes if needed.
Please see the FAQ 3 for more advice on this.
5. What support will local councils be providing?
Once matched, the county and district councils will work under the umbrella of the Strategic Housing Partnership which covers the seven local authorities, clinical commissioning group and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Between them they will provide:
- A property check for the sponsor.
- A Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS) on all adults living in the household.
- A welcome visit to the guest
- A £200 upfront payment to the guest themselves
6. What are the next steps once we’ve completed the visa application?
In addition to checks prior to visas being issued, all households receiving guests from Ukraine will receive checks by the local council on the property and household. All households will be visited to ensure the accommodation is fit for purpose and suitable to receive guests.
The county council started receiving lists of hosts from the 28 March and have been working closely with our district council colleagues and other partners to set up the processes to carry out these checks.
We are starting to make contact with sponsors this week – if you have volunteered as a sponsor and have matched with a refugee from Ukraine, you should expect a call from either your district council or our “Gloucestershire Homes for Ukrainians team” team. This is a team of staff who are now working to contact all sponsors in the county to start the safeguarding checks. We receive our data from the Home Office and we have a long list of sponsors to work through and we will be in touch very soon. Please be reassured that the local checks are separate from the national process by which visas are issued, and will not slow down the visa process. Locally, we will be prioritising contacting sponsors whom we know have guests that are soon arriving/already arrived (as they have visas).
The Gloucestershire Homes for Ukrainians team will be checking some details about you and your guest, to enable us to start the process of DBS checks and will be making an appointment for someone to visit you and your guests once they arrive. During first visits the Gloucestershire Homes for Ukrainians team will be able to share some more information, including on how your guests can register for medical care and school places.
Districts council colleagues will be calling to make plans to carry out the property checks which are needed to make sure your property is suitable for the scheme and to talk through how we might be able to help if there are any problems.
7. What do I need to do to make sure my home is suitable for my guest?
All accommodation will be different and while there is no set expectation, your accommodation needs to be free from serious health and safety hazards. You should make sure your home is safe for your guests and that it is in a suitable condition.
You should also consider how many people you can accommodate so they have sufficient space. Two people should not be in one room unless they are: adult cohabiting partners; a parent and child; two siblings of the same gender if aged over 10; two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10. Individuals who didn’t previously know each other should not be given the same room.
Further to this we ask that accommodation:
- be kept clean and in a reasonable state;
- have adequate kitchen and bathroom space;
- have access to drinking water;
- have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building e.g., fire doors or escape routes as appropriate (further information on making a home safe from fire can be found Find out how to make your home safe);
- have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g., a coal fire, wood burning stove);
- have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature;
- have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have undertaken a Gas Safety check within the last year (see more information);
- have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure;
- be almost entirely free of damp or mould;
- have doors and windows at entry level that lock properly;
- be easy and safe to move around in, without excessively steep staircases that may cause harm.
❗ Dates and times may change due to it being a volunteer led arrangement ❗:
- 10am – 6pm Thursday 31 Mar
- 11am – 4pm Saturday 2 Apr
List of necessities and products (if an item is marked with a warning sign (⚠️), please only bring newly bought items:
- ⚠️ Bedding mats
- Personal hygiene products
- Toilet Paper
- Wet wipes
- Sanitary napkins
- Paper towels
- Medical spirit
- Disposable and wearable masks
- Hands sanitisers
- ⚠️ Baby bottles
- Artificial feed / powder milk
- ⚠️Underwear children / women / men)
- ⚠️ Dressings / bandages
- Plasters, medical tape
- Celox (or granules for bloodstopping)
- Gauze pads
- Tourniquets to stop bleeding (support bandages)
- Paracetamol / ibuprofen
- ⚠️ Microfiber towels
- ⚠️ Batteries of various sizes, flashlights
- ⚠️Power banks for a mobile phone
- ⚠️SAT phone
- ⚠️Drones Mavic DJI
- ⚠️Android devices
- All kinds of instant food, for example instant soups etc.
- Breakfast cereals
- Energy bars
- Dried fruits
- Canned meat and fish
- Instant oats
- Coffee and tea
- ⚠️Formula milk for children
- ⚠️Water bottles
- Food for children
9. Can I sponsor a young person or child from the Ukraine to live with me?
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will now allow children and minors under the age of 18 who have already applied through the scheme to come to the UK without a parent or guardian, subject to strict sponsor checks. As part of a robust safeguarding regime extensive sponsor checks will be carried out by local authorities ahead of any visa being granted, with councils able to veto any sponsor arrangements they deem unsuitable. Applicants must also have notarised parental consent, the sponsor should be personally known to the parents, except in exceptional circumstances. In recognition of the need to give children greater security, sponsors will be asked to commit to hosting for up to three years, or until they are aged 18 and the sponsorship has lasted six months - in line with the existing commitment for sponsors of adults or parents with their children.
This policy will initially apply to the 1,000 children who have already applied but are unable to travel as they are not travelling or reuniting with a parent or guardian.
10. I have sponsored a Ukrainian citizen and haven’t been contacted yet. Will this cause issues with the Visa process?
Please do not be concerned, the Visa process is separate; your Ukrainian guest can still get their visa and travel to you even if we haven’t been in touch locally yet. We have a high number of sponsors to get to and we will do so as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience.
11. How can I help my guest find a school place?
Although some schools will have places available throughout the year, the choice of school is likely to be limited by the fact that some of the most popular schools will be full when you are applying. The advice for Ukrainian families who need school places is to apply in the usual manner for in-year transfers.
Families should make applications directly to the school(s) of their choice by completing an In Year Application Form and taking this to the school. A paper copy of the In Year Application Form should be completed and sent directly to the preferred schools. This is available here (PDF, 272.5 KB) .
More information regarding In Year applications can be found through the web pages below:
Please be aware of the following:
- Although we are here to support parents and schools, the In Year process is not coordinated by the Local Authority (Gloucestershire County Council) and “Own Admission Authority Schools and Academies” (schools) make their own admission decisions.
- School places cannot be “held” for any family.
- All applications should be made directly to the school.
- The school has 10 /15 days to make a decision about an admission.
- Once offered, the place should be taken up within 15 days.
Over the next few weeks and months, we are expecting Ukrainian families with school-age children to move to Gloucestershire. We want to reassure you schools are working hard to adapt, so thank you for your patience.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank schools and education colleagues for their support and commitment to help children and their families during these challenging times. It is very much appreciated and recognised by Gloucestershire County Council teams.
12. How can my business help?
Thank you very much for considering offering employment for people arriving in the UK from Ukraine.
Government guidance asks employers who have vacancies to fill out a form so that job opportunities can be shared across the DWP Jobcentre Plus network and with the Refugee Employment Network (REN), a charity which works with organisations across the UK to support refugees into work.
13. How can I help prevent human trafficking?
Ukraine: Anti-trafficking resources
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority has produced a range of Ukrainian language anti-trafficking resources which you may find useful. This includes a checklist poster, a know your rights poster and a leaflet on the issue of workers’ rights.
Resources available in multiple languages:
The anti-trafficking charity Hope for Justice has also collated a suite of materials that will support organisations working with new arrivals from Ukraine. And as part of their ‘STAY SAFE, WORK SAFE’ campaign, Stop the Traffik have produced a helpful resource providing guidance on anti-trafficking and a series of wider issues, available in English, Ukrainian and Russian: