Cornwall Council Message on the Ukraine Crisis and how to help
Cornwall like all other areas of the UK continues to be shocked and saddened by the harrowing stories of the war in Ukraine. Many of our residents have already provided practical support through the various national charities. Many of you, I know, will be receiving calls from residents asking how they can help the people of Ukraine and asking for further details of the schemes that are being set up by government to support those fleeing the conflict.
Following calls with government officials today, I wanted to give you an update on the schemes and reassure you that Cornwall Council will work proactively with government to see how we can best provide support for the people of the Ukraine and support the government’s initiative to offer hospitality to refugees, given the harrowing situation they are facing.
Whilst details are now emerging about the schemes that are being put in place, given the complexity of the situation and the fact that this is a fast moving situation, we will keep you updated in the coming weeks as we receive more details from government. We will also be providing regular updates on the Council’s dedicated webpage: Support for the people of Ukraine – Cornwall Council, and you may wish to share the attached list of charity contact details.
Homes for Ukraine can be found here: Homes for Ukraine – Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine (campaign.gov.uk)
This scheme will open on Friday 18 March for visa applications from Ukrainians and immediate family members who already have named people willing to sponsor them. They do not need a family tie to take part in this scheme, but they must be sponsored by an individual or organisation in the UK.
So far more that 130,000 people across the country have registered for more information in the few short days since opening, which is brilliant news. You can record your interest as an individual or as an organisation (for example charity, business, community group). You can read details and FAQs first before recording your offer of support, and, once registered, you will be regularly updated as the scheme opens and develops. Some frequently asked questions are:
Who can apply to host a Ukrainian refugee?
People in the UK will be able to apply to host a refugee or refugees through the government website (homes for Ukraine) – link above.
You have to be able to host them in your own home or in another property, for at least six months.
Charities, businesses and community groups will also be able to apply.
Those offering to host a refugee will be vetted by the government and Ukrainian applicants will also undergo security checks before they are matched with a host.
The government says there will be no cap or upper limit on the number of Ukrainians who can come under this scheme.
Do you have to know the refugee you want to host?
No, you will not be required to know them in advance.
You don’t have to name an individual or a family you want to host when you fill in the form. Once you submit it, you will be matched with Ukrainians who are seeking refugee in the UK.
It is not yet clear how and where the refugees wanting to come to the UK will be able to apply.
How will the scheme be funded?
Households in the UK will be offered £350 a month to open their homes to refugees.
The government has so far not specified whether this is the amount offered to hosts per refugee, but it is implied that this funding is per home offered.
Local authorities will also receive £10,500 in extra funding per refugee for support services, with more for children of school age.
What rights will the refugees have?
Ukrainians welcomed under the scheme will be eligible to work, access state benefits and public services for three years.
Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons are among UK retailers who have offered to employ Ukrainian refugees.
The government has also said it will look at options to provide support to Ukrainian nationals who want to come to the UK with their pets.
All accommodation offered will be subject to the relevant safeguarding checks and will be carried out at a local level on a case by case basis.
The Ukraine Family Scheme Visa application process can be found here: Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Ukraine Family Scheme opened from 4 March, allowing applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK. It is free to apply and so far, approximately 5500 visas have been granted. Successful applicants will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds. To apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme people must:
- be applying to join or accompany their UK-based family member; and
- be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme; and
- have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine
- There is a 24/7 free helpline +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK). If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.
As Members and trusted leaders in your communities, you can help by sharing this information as widely as possible, and asking people who want to help to register their interest in Homes for Ukraine in the first instance, so that we can ensure that we are able to provide help to those in need as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Council will continue to liaise closely with Government to understand the number of residents interested in taking part in the scheme. We will not be keeping a separate data base of people offering accommodation and all offers should in the first instance be made through the government’s website.
Cllr Linda Taylor (she/her)
Leader of the Council
Cornwall Councillor for the St Ives East, Lelant and Carbis Bay Division
www.cornwall.gov.uk | ‘Onen hag oll’
County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY