South Cambs – Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine

Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 13 May 2022

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

If this is the first time you are receiving this ‘Support for Ukraine community update’ from us as a host, please note that we send these out on a regular basis. They are issued as new and relevant information becomes available, 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 webpages.

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

Support for Ukraine Zoom meeting – yesterday evening

Yesterday evening we held a Zoom meeting for hosts and others supporting guests from Ukraine. Apologies to any of our newest hosts who may not have received an invitation to this event ahead of time. For anyone who was not able to attend, you can watch the event recording here.

Headlines from the session

  • We rely on hosts to inform us when your guests have arrived. We cannot make the £350 host / £200 guest payments until you have alerted us that your guests are living with you, and we also need to know they have arrived to be able to kick-start other processes and keep our records up to date. Please use this form to alert us once your guests have arrived at your home.
  • We are urging hosts to think about what support may be helpful to you in the coming weeks and months to help ensure positive ongoing relationships with guests, and to help hosts avoid burnout. Please try to have a think about what practical support you would benefit from and send your ideas to us by email to
  • It was great to hear first-hand from one of our current hosts, who spoke about the benefit of having an honest conversation up front about the host-guest relationship and their new situation. Since hosts and guests may often be from quite different cultures, they suggested that an open discourse is the best way to maintain a positive relationship in the coming weeks and months.

Updates to our welcome pack since our last email

A reminder that our ‘welcome pack’ for guests is digital and can be viewed on our website – where guests should be able to switch to view in their own language if they wish, and where we can ensure updates are added as needed. You canview our digital welcome pack on our guest webpages here. The remainder of this email update sets out only the latest updates to the welcome pack, so if you have not previously visited our webpages, we would suggest that is the best place to start for information for guests.

Cambridge4Ukraine – regular meetups in Cambridge for guests

The Cambridge4Ukraine initiative invites all Ukrainians that have moved to Cambridgeshire because of the war to visit our Ukrainian coffee and conversation meetings. These meetings are for the local Ukrainian community and all new arrivals to meet, share important information, and support each other. Meetings will take place in the Downing Place United Reformed Church cafeteria space (Downing St., Cambridge CB2 3EL) every Saturday at 12pm. Any changes will be communicated via Cambridge4Ukraine social networks (Twitter Cambridge4Ukr, Instagram @cambridge4ukraine). The meetings are organised by Cambridge4Ukraine initiative, in collaboration with Cambridge University Ukrainian Society.

Cambridge4Ukraine – employment support

Cambridge4Ukraine has also set up a small sub-group to offer support in finding work to people arriving from Ukraine. For further information please email There’s much more information about employment support in our digital welcome pack for guests.

Mental health and emotional support

This week we have updated the digital welcome pack for guests with information about NHS mental health support, and an offer from the Refugee Council, which is providing one-to-one counselling, group counselling, and group outings (further information is also attached to this email in both English and Ukrainian). There is existing information available too about support from Barnardo’s and the British Red Cross.

Physical health – updates added this week

You will already be aware that Ukrainian refugees will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare on a similar basis as other UK residents. Easy-read information has been added this week on:

  • how to register with a GP
  • the support available from a pharmacy or minor injury unit
  • how to access medication and costs of prescriptions
  • maternity care and services
  • costs of dental care
  • and access to eye care.

Guests can contact Healthwatch Cambridgeshire if they feel that they are being denied the ability to access healthcare. The number to call is 0330 355 1285.


Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for providing school places, and information about how to do this can be found as part of our digital welcome pack for guests (linking to the County Council website). We have, this week, added further information to set out early years provision (with explanations about different types of providers such as pre-school, childminders and day nurseries, as well as how places are funded and how to apply). Anyone who is encountering problems finding school places can email the admissions team: 

Support from the Department for Work and Pensions

Attached to this email is a PDF from the Department for Work and Pensions which provides an easy-read introduction to topics such as ‘Applying for Universal Credit’, ‘Applying for Pension Credit’, ‘Applying for Personal Independence Payments’, ‘Applying for Child Disability Allowance’. It also outlines ‘What is a National Insurance number?’ and a raft of support that is available for any guests who are looking to work here. If your guests may find this useful, please feel free to share this with them.

Information and support on recognition of professional qualifications

Ukrainian people who work in a regulated profession may need to have their professional qualifications formally recognised in the UK. The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications provides a free service which explains whether a profession is regulated and any entry requirements. Call 0871 226 2850, or email

Immigration information for Ukrainians in the UK

On 9 May, the Home Office published new immigration information about the next steps Ukrainians need to take after arriving in the UK. This includes information about what Ukrainians need to do to confirm their immigration status, how to demonstrate their status to access work, and the benefits and services they are entitled to. Translated versions will be available in Ukrainian and Russian shortly.

Homes for Ukraine: Updated ‘Week one guidance’ published

The Government has produced new ‘Week one guidance’ which includes a shorter and more accessible guide to services Ukrainians may need in their first week in the UK. The Government has also updated the welcome guide for Ukrainians which includes information on getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.

Homes for Ukraine: new guidance published for organisations and businesses

Last week the Government published guidance as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme:

The government has also published guidance for businesses considering making offers of employment to people coming to the UK from Ukraine.