Ukraine – update and request for hosts

Please help spread the word on our campaign for more Hosts

By now, you may have seen the ‘Spare Room’ campaign to encourage more local people to join our current Homes for Ukraine hosts. This is now appearing on our social media channels, on digital indoor and outdoor signage, in local Sky television ads and in the local press, such as a news item on the BBC Look East bulletin on Tuesday evening.

Together with Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council have almost 500 hosts who have already been providing housing to guests but, with the war in Ukraine continuing, many of the families currently living here cannot yet return to their homeland.

Where their current accommodation is no longer available, we are keen to find them alternative hosting close to where they have been living. Anyone who can offer help simply needs to text ROOM to 88802.

Our messages on social media can be found on Facebook, at the top of our Council Facebook page,  Twitter and LinkedIn. Please do share and spread these messages so we can encourage more people to get in touch with us to explain what it is like to be a host and to see if it is a good fit for them. You can read more, and watch video stories from current hosts and guests, at  We would very much appreciate any help you are able to give us with spreading the word.

Learn to cycle safely on winter roads

Dark evenings and wet or icy surfaces require greater caution from cyclists using local roads. Bikeability is the Government’s national cycle training programme helping cyclists to learn practical skills and understand how to cycle on today’s roads.

There are several new Bikeability sessions available specifically for Ukrainian guests which can be signed up to online. The new adult sessions are being held at Lower Cambourne Cricket Pavilion, Woodfield Lane CB23 6FY, on December 3 & 17, running from 9am to 12pm or 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

Join in by helping out

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and to get to know your local community. It can change lives, fight isolation and improve wellbeing, confidence and skills, while making our communities better places to live. The experience of volunteering can even sometimes lead to or help with acquiring paid work.

Ukrainian guests who are interested in joining in community activities by helping out as volunteers can find useful information on the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Services website

CCVS is holding an online coffee morning on December 7 at 10.30am when there will be a chance to find out more about volunteering opportunities and to hear from the local volunteer coordinator for the children’s charity NSPCC. The coffee morning is free to attend but must be signed up for.

Reminder: Private Facebook page for young guests to ‘meet’ in a safe environment

A private Facebook group especially for young Ukrainian guests aged 13 to 19 is available for them to connect, chat and support each other.

Administered by South Cambridgeshire District Council and with an adult moderator ensuring it’s a safe and secure environment, it is designed for young guests who have arrived in South Cambridgeshire as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Please note, this is a group for young Ukrainians, not adults or parents. See

Reminder: Christmas Holiday and Food schemes

If your Ukrainian guests are in receipt of income-related free school meals, then they are eligible to apply to a Christmas holiday scheme.

The Christmas Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, run by Cambridgeshire County Council and funded by the Department for Education, gives up to 16 hours per child on the scheme, including a meal and snacks daily. Ukrainian and other refugee families can attend, as well as families struggling financially. Read details about the Christmas programme – click on ‘South Cambridgeshire Schemes’.


All hosts will receive information from us relating to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 monthly host and £350 one-off guest payments; plus additional ‘opt-in’ payments of £150 per month which we are paying to hosts in the district to help with extra costs such as rising energy bills. For questions not covered in this update or on our Support for Ukraine webpages, please email

Thank you for taking the time to read this latest update. We hope that it is useful for you and your guests, and we thank you for your continued support.

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities

South Cambridgeshire District Council