Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 01 September 2022

Dear Parish council colleagues and volunteer coordinators

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 whenever new and relevant information becomes available to hosts in South Cambridgeshire as well as to District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues. The idea is to share the latest updates that we have to support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

All information previously shared can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpage – where you will also find our ‘Ukrainian Guest information hub’ which we encourage you to share with your guests. The online information hub is our equivalent of a ‘Welcome pack’ for guests (we are sharing information digitally so that we are able to keep our information regularly updated, and guests should be able to switch to view in their own language if they wish).

Please note that in addition to these emails, all hosts will receive information from us relating to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 monthly host and £350 one-off 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 duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk

Update on emails concerning ‘Expressions of Interest’ in being hosts

Over the past week, you may have received an email from the Home Office with regards to Expressions of Interest in the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This email asked you to complete a form to notify the Home Office if you are still interested in becoming a host. There is no reason to be concerned by this email. If you have received this email and are already hosting a Ukrainian guest, there could be a duplicate Expression of Interest record for you in the Home Office system.

South Cambridgeshire District Council sent out a similar email on Wednesday 24th August to hosts who have signed up for the Homes for Ukraine scheme but have not yet been matched with a guest. Our email asks you to complete one of two forms, either to notify us if you wish to be considered as a potential host, or to let us know if you wish to be removed from the scheme. These forms are for different purposes and will reside in different databases, so please complete one of the forms circulated by us on the 24th August AND respond to the form from the Home Office. This ensures that records are as up to date as possible across the board.

Leavers form for when guests depart

As current hosts will be aware, when your guests arrive at your home, we ask you to complete an online form to notify us that your guests have arrived. This initiates the process of welcome payments and also allows us to track who is here. We have now created a ‘Leavers’ form, which will work in the same way as the arrivals form, but is a place for hosts to report that their guests have vacated their property. If your guests are no longer with you, and you have not yet informed us, please complete the form by clicking this link.

More learning opportunities for guests

Last week, we gave information on three courses run by the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) which can help Ukrainian guests settle into the UK, understand their new surroundings and give them the tools with which to access the jobs market and improve their employment prospects and confidence.

The WEA courses are supported and funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA). Applicants must be aged19+ as of 1st August 2022. All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Schemeare immediately eligible to join the courses if they are claiming benefits or are on a low income (under £21,000).

Courses include: 

Community Interpreting Pathway – Initial Assessments for Community Interpreting level 1 and level 2 – via Zoom

Date: 07/09/2022 Time: 09:30 to 12:30 https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2022/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C2228989

Date: 07/09/2022 Time: 18:30 to 21:00


Date: 08/09/2022 Time: 14:00 to 17:00


Vital to the support and growth of the community, interpreters enable others to have a voice and to feel safe and understood. The Community Interpreting courses will help you learn the skills and abilities to become a community interpreter and to support those around you. Attending one of the above mentioned online sessions for initial assessment will help to gauge your level of English and your motivation to see if you are able to complete either the ‘Understanding the role of a Community Interpreter’ (Level 1) or ‘Preparation for Work in Community Interpreting Level 2’.

Career Guidance Session for Ukrainian refugees (in partnership with the Cambridge Russian Speaking Society)

Date: 13/09/2022 Time: 11:00 in person at St Andrews Street Baptist Church in Cambridge. From this session, it will be possible to progress to the

Employability Skills Course Online (CV writing, interview skills, job market) C2229068 mentioned in last week’s newsletter: Dates: 20/09/2022 – 18/10/2022 Tuesdays 10am, 5 sessions for 2 hrs per session via Zoom, designed to help students who are new to the UK to apply for jobs by giving support and guidance to compile a CV and covering letter and to practice interview skills. Students will be fully supported to apply for jobs and will be guided in the best places to find job advertisements.

More ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) Courses


08/09/2022 Ref: C2229004

209/09/2022 Ref: C2229005

12/09/2022 Ref: C2229006

These are initial assessment sessions which are required before joining the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses and are conducted online.

Face to Face ESOL courses will be available soon.

Courses are also available as part of the Schools and Parenting Pathway –

Introduction to Support and Teaching in Schools (L1 non accredited)

Dates: 02/11/2022 – 14/12/2022

Other courses starting in September will include Introduction to Specific Learning Difficulties, Child Psychology, Introduction to ADHD, Introduction to Speech, Language and Communication needs, Helping with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Other courses which may also be of interest are:

Digital Skills:

21/09/2022 Taster: Marketing for Starting Your Own Business Ref: C2229040

28/09/2022 – 02/11/2022 Marketing for Starting Your Own Business Ref: C22229041

09/11/2022 Taster: Web Design for Starting Your Own Business: Beginners Ref: C2229042

16/11/2022 – 14/12/2022 Web Design for Starting Your Own Business: Beginners Ref: C2229043

Health and Wellbeing:

04/10/2022 – 18/10/2022 Combating Loneliness course Ref: C2229126

08/11/2022 – 13/12/2022 Creativity for Wellbeing course Ref: C2229126

Anyone interested in the WEA courses can register either online or by calling 0300 3033464. For more details, search by reference number for the courses mentioned above at https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk

A reminder of other courses mentioned in last week’s newsletter are:

Cambridgeshire – Welcome to the UK C2229132  

Start date: 14/10/2022, Fridays 10am via Zoom

Designed to help learners have a good understanding of British culture, history, traditions, laws and customs, and to feel confident about living in the UK.

Cambridgeshire – Supporting Employment Opportunities for ESOL Learners C2229133

Start date: 14/10/2022, Fridays 12:30pm via Zoom

Designed to support students in successfully gaining a job and give confidence to ESOL learners to progress from the course to find employment or to go into Further Education and to develop their employment prospects and confidence.

Free courses in Cambridge and Huntingdon

Cambridge Regional College, which has campuses at Kings Hedges Road in
Cambridge (CB4 2QT) and California Road in Huntingdon (PE29 1BL), also has free courses available.

They include ESOL courses, Skills for Employment, and Training and Skills Qualifications. The Huntingdon courses are particularly handy location-wise for those living in South Cambridgeshire parishes closer to Huntingdon who may struggle to get into Cambridge.

The college has online brochures in Ukrainian as well as in English.  Details of the courses and how to apply can be found at https://www.camre.ac.uk/student-support/refugee-and-resettlement-support/

Conversational English Café

The Council is collaborating with local bi-lingual volunteers to establish conversational English cafés where guests are invited to come and chat to improve their spoken English.

Unfortunately, due to the summer vacation, we have not had many volunteers come forward.  We are putting out a final call for volunteers.  If you or anyone you know  speaks English/Ukrainian/Russian and is eager to volunteer once a week in the Waterbeach area to begin with, please let us know by emailingDuty.Communities@scambs.gov.uk.

Summer School for Ukrainians

A seven-week Summer School for Ukrainian guests at Ickleton Village Hall, which started at the beginning of August, will continue to run for the next few weeks. It is a daily in-depth English language course running Monday to Friday with three separate classes being conducted by a Ukrainian teacher, Inna from Mariupol. Inna has lots of materials to help with conversational English and grammar and structure too.

Class 1 – Absolute beginners, 1 hour long, small class size (currently 2-3 people taking part) to ensure deep learning

Class 2 – Beginners who can read, 2 hours long (about 8 people)

Class 3 – Intermediate, 2 hours long (about 9 people).

Some scheduling may change as children go back to school next week, but classes are currently in the afternoons. For more information, contact Steve Parsons (in English) at steve_parsons@hotmail.com or Inna (in Ukrainian) at innaakul15@gmail.com

Enjoy a free group visit to Wimpole Hall

The Wimpole Estate, a National Trust property to the south-west of Cambridge, is offering local community groups free admission to the estate and its facilities. A visit to its gardens, the estate and Wimpole Hall provides an enjoyable day out as well as promoting health and wellbeing.

The Community Group Admission Pass will give free access to the Estate for up to 16 people and can be used on any day except bank holidays and the weekends preceding bank holidays.  

Those working with or running community groups for Ukrainian guests and their hosts are asked to email wimpolehall@nationaltrust.org.uk or call the estate before coming, stating the name of your group, the number of people and approximate time of arrival.  Please complete an application form, which can be found here, and return it with your email. Where practical, community groups are encouraged to visit during weekdays as Wimpole can get very busy at weekends when there may be less scope to cater for additional needs. 

Wimpole Estate consists of a historic mansion, beautiful gardens, a show farm and extensive parkland, there is plenty of free parking for cars and minibuses, a visitor reception centre, electric buggies to assist people with limited mobility, as well as cafes and shops.  For more information visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wimpole-estate.

Many thanks for reading this latest bulletin, which I hope will be helpful for you and your guests. We are grateful for your continued support for the Homes for Ukraine programme.


Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities

South Cambridgeshire District Council