Catholic Care | Helping Ukrainian refugees

Helping Ukrainian Refugees

Catholic Care has a lot of experience through being the Lead Sponsor of a number of Community Sponsorship groups.

We have decided that to optimise our resource and experience we will partner with an organisation called Citizens UK and around 15 others. This strategic partnership will enable all of us to scale up our operation and also ensure that we have safe and sustainable processes in place enabling matching and travel to the UK to take place.

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We recognise that people want to help, which is why we are regularly meeting with our partners to ensure information is current and we update our website. It is important that we make sure that both refugees and hosts are protected. So, we would recommend that you don’t use social media to try and get a match with somebody who is seeking to come to the UK, but use reliable, safe channels – which may take longer, because they following safe procedures. Our partnerships with both Reset and Citizens UK makes sure of that.

It is a huge commitment to welcome refugees into your home, so we are also looking at the support we can offer. You need to consider that people fleeing from Ukraine have very recently experienced intense trauma. They have fled their homes, livelihoods and are likely to have 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.

The minimum commitment you need to make is for 6 months. You will also be required to have a DBS check – as will all adult members of your household – and your premises checked. These checks will be organised by the local authorities.

Please think carefully before finally committing to hosting a family. You need to be realistic and ensure that as far as you are able you can commit to the support you are offering and you are entering into it with as much knowledge as you can.

In addition, to their housing needs, people may need help finding their way around the neighbourhood, registering for Universal Credit, setting up a bank account, all of which can be daunting in your own language, so we are also looking for people who can support the hosts, and want to help, we’re calling them “Welcome Teams”. We are also looking for people who speak Russian or Ukrainian and would be prepared to help with translation if needed. We will be offering information sessions for both hosts and these teams, so that you feel very supported. Citizens UK are also giving a weekly Zoom session for hosts and teams on a Friday from 1pm for an hour, which will be a mixture of answering questions and some information on particular topics.