South Cambs – Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 21 April 2022

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

If this is the first time you are receiving this weekly ‘Support for Ukraine community update’ from us as a host, please note that we send these out on a regular basis both to hosts in South Cambridgeshire, and to District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues. The idea is to share all the latest updates that we have on support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme. All information previously shared can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpage. Hosts also receive information from us directly related to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 (host) and £200 (guest) payments – hosts should already have received information from us about this through our welcome email.

For any questions not covered in this e-newsletter or on our Support for Ukraine webpages, please email

Welcome pack for guests

If you are looking for information to provide to guests as a ‘welcome pack’, please view our digital welcome pack on our guest webpages here. This set of online pages provides all the latest information for your guests and will be regularly updated with any new information for guests too.

We are also currently in the process of creating a simple welcome flyer, that will be printed and provided to all guests. This flyer will contain information in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and English. It will provide some initial signposting and links to online information.

New Facebook groups

As briefly mentioned in last week’s update, we have set up two new private Facebook groups. These are intended as safe spaces, for either guests or hosts in South Cambridgeshire, to talk amongst themselves and connect if they wish. We are of course aware that there are many other platforms, such as other Facebook groups, email lists and WhatsApp groups, which bring together community groups, residents, and guests from Ukraine. These new Facebook groups which we have established are intended to be complementary to these efforts and more individually tailored for hosts or guests. We thought they would be of value given that the District Council is the only organisation with an over-arching view of all hosts / guests and is able to bring them together on a district-wide level.

The first new private Facebook group which we have created is intended purely for those individuals or families who are hosting guests from Ukraine. The idea is that the group will provide a closed forum where hosts can share experiences and suggestions to help support each other and your guests. Please note that there is no need to join the group unless you wish to – we won’t be using the group as a primary method of contact. Existing and new hosts will be sent a link to enable them to access this Facebook group if they wish.

The second group is intended purely for guests from Ukraine. The idea is similar in that the group will provide a closed forum for guests to share experiences and suggestions to help support each other. Again, please note that there is no need for guests to join the group unless they wish to – we won’t be using the group as a primary method of contact. Hosts will also be provided with a direct link to this Facebook group, so that they can in turn share it with their guests.

Free English lessons

Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) is offering free English lessons for people who don’t speak English as a first language. An information session specifically for Ukrainian arrivals is taking place via Zoom on Tuesday 26 April, from 1pm. Anyone who would like to register for this information session can do so via this Zoom link, or if you have queries you can email WEA directly.

How can your business support people arriving from Ukraine?

Did you know refugees from Ukraine have immediate eligibility to work? Can your business help support people arriving from Ukraine by giving them work? The Government has confirmed that Ukrainian refugees are able to work in the UK for up to three years.

We are asking South Cambridgeshire businesses to email the JobCentre Plus team if they have roles that they would like to promote to new arrivals from Ukraine. The team will coordinate offers and match them to emerging needs as people settle in the district.

Our website has a range of ways businesses and individuals can help as well as support services for Ukrainians needing help on arrival in the area. Both the Chambers of Commerce and FSB have published helpful advice to assist businesses and employees who may be affected by events in Ukraine.

Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions updated

The Government has updated the Ukrainian and Russian translations of the frequently asked questions document this week. All language versions of the FAQs can be viewed on the Government’s website.