Suffolk’s Ukraine Task Group includes representatives from each of the districts and boroughs, three Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health Outreach, police, Suffolk Refugee Support, Anglia Care Trust and Community Action Suffolk. This group will adapt its membership as needed to meet the needs of the evolving situation.
We appreciate that this is an ever-evolving situation and plan to issue a weekly briefing going forward. Additional updates will be shared for any urgent information. In the meantime, the following information may be of use to help answer any queries you receive about refugees from Ukraine arriving in Suffolk.
If you get any enquiries about refugees, please encourage them to contact us via the dedicated email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Homes for Ukraine Scheme Homes for Ukraine – Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine (campaign.gov.uk) was launched on Monday 14 March to allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those with no family ties to the UK.
What we know so far about the Homes for Ukraine Scheme:
- There will be no limit on the number of Ukrainian refugees who can come to the UK for up to three years
- Refugees will be able to work, claim benefits, and access health and education provisions
- The portal for host households to offer accommodation either in their own homes or separate properties is now live and can be accessed at Homes for Ukraine: register your interest – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Arrivals will be split into two waves, with the first being host households who have already linked in with Ukrainian refugees and will submit a joint application, and the second consisting of refugees who have been matched to host households by charities and community groups
- Host households must commit to offering accommodation for a minimum of six months and will be entitled to claim £350 per month as a ‘thank you payment’ for up to one year
- Safeguarding checks will need to be carried out on adults in the host households
- Any accommodation offered will be assessed for suitability
- Once a host household stops accommodating the refugees, there will be an expectation for local authorities to help the refugees find alternative accommodation
We are still awaiting further detail on:
- How many refugees will be coming to Suffolk or where they will be living
- How the DBS, or enhanced DBS for any households where there will be children or vulnerable adults will operate
- What the criteria is for suitable accommodation to enable Suffolk’s local authorities to undertake the required assessments
We are working with partners to put necessary provisions in place for the above and will update you once we have more information about this.
We are conscious of the plight of Ukrainian refugees and want to do all we can to ensure that their arrival into Suffolk goes as smoothly as possible. To assist with this, we are already considering how best to meet the refugees’ health and wellbeing needs, what assistance can be provided with school admissions, and how we can offer support to help with integration and ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), particularly if there are lots of people arriving in dispersed, rural locations.
Work currently underway includes:
- A specific multi-agency task group to collaborate on support delivery
- Comms to the public, including regularly updated information on Suffolk County Council’s website Supporting Afghan and Ukrainian refugees | Suffolk County Council
- A dedicated email address (email@example.com) to facilitate information sharing with the public and community groups
- Liaison with government and regional partners
At the moment, we do not have any specific requirements for donated items here in Suffolk. If anyone wishes to do something practical, they could fundraise to raise contributions for charities working to support the refugee response. Details of some of those charities are below:
- To help meet the needs of the Ukraine refugees, you may wish to support national and international charities such as The Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal Ukraine Crisis Appeal | British Red Cross
- Suffolk Refugee Support are our local refugee charity, you can find out about their response to the Ukraine situation on their website Update on Ukrainian refugee situation – Suffolk Refugee Support
- Further information on how to help can be found on the Disasters emergency committee website DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal | Disasters Emergency Committee
The latest information from Government about the current national situation can be found here:Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Local FAQs are being prepared and will be available on our website in the coming days.
We are grateful for your support so far, and regular updates will include further information on how you and your communities can get involved, as we continue to work together as a county to do all we can to help those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.