Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 19 January 2023

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

Welcome to everyone, and especially to new hosts. This regular ‘Support for Ukraine community update’ contains information for hosts in South Cambridgeshire, as well District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues.Newspreviously shared here can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpage and the Ukrainian Guest information hub which we encourage you to share with your guests who should be able to switch to view in their own language. Please also check-in on the important notes at the bottom of the newsletter.

Campaign for more Hosts

We continue to look for new potential hosts via our Spare Room campaign which appeals for anyone who would like to get involved to apply to re-match existing guests via the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Hosts receive up to £500 per month as a thank you payment.If you are interested in hosting, or know of someone else who may be interested, please take a look at our website for details of the support available to new hosts and text ROOM to 88802.

Can you help publicise the Spare Room campaign?

A reminder to Parish Councils, local organisations or individuals who have a small space on their roadside verge in a safe and appropriate location and are willing to help us publicise the Spare Room campaign by putting up an A2 sign (like those communities put up for village fetes).

Signs can be collected from our offices in Cambourne between the hours of 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday; there is no need to contact us first. If you need to collect signs outside of these times, then please make other arrangements by emailing to duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk  We can also supply posters for noticeboards and flyers.

Reminder to complete our Hosting Survey

On 10 January 2023, we sent an email to hosts asking you to complete an updated hosting survey so we can get an idea of how long you are able to host for. If you have not done so already, please could you complete this form as soon as possible. This survey also allows you to provide feedback to the council regarding the Homes for Ukraine scheme. If we do not receive a response, we will be in contact. If you are a host and you have not received this survey, please contact us on duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk

Employment Survey

We would be grateful if you could you make your guests aware of our Ukrainian Employment/Skills Survey which will help us assess how we can best support guests into suitable employment. Ukrainian refugees are able to work in the UK for up to three years and we are collaborating with local partners, communities, and businesses to ensure we understand the barriers they may face in finding suitable employment.

What next for young Ukrainians?

Form the Future is part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Region of Learning and offers help to unemployed Ukrainian refugees aged 15 to 24 years old to help them figure out what to do next in education or employment. 

Examples of the activities available are:

Guests should register their interest and if you have any other questions please call Form the Future on 01223 679 876, or email tpluck@formthefuture.org.uk

Still time to participate in January’s Healthy You Festival

January’s FREE, month-long online health and wellbeing festival Healthy You Virtual Festival 2023 runs until 31 January. We are running this in conjunction with Living Sport and other local city and district councils.

All activities are free, online and suitable for beginners, including sessions such as healthy eating workshops; wellbeing during the menopause classes; taster activities ranging from Pilates and Yoga to T’ai Chi and Salsa; strength training for the over 50s; and a chance to try out the exercise referral scheme which supports people with long term health conditions to get active. Pre-register online to receive the full timetable and updates about the festival programme.

Free bikes for guests

Please remind your Ukrainian guests they can apply for free bikes via the Council’s three partner charities Owl Bikes, Camtrust and Tag Bikes via our Free Bikes for Ukrainians scheme. See the Local Travel Support section of our Ukrainian Guest Information Hub. Hosts can apply online on behalf of their guests and the Council will put the applicant in touch with their supplier so they can arrange to collect their bicycle. If bikes are no longer needed, they can be returned to the supplier. Donations of more bicycles will be gratefully received by all three charities, as well as unwanted helmets, spare tyres and parts.

Free weekly English classes

In partnership with A Learning Place, the Council provides free, weekly English classes in the following villages:

Cottenham – Tuesdays 17.30

Sawston – Thursdays 16.15, 17.30 and 18.45

Waterbeach – Wednesdays 16.30 and 17.40

Adults and young people can enrol as learners; younger children are welcome to come along (toys and activities provided). New learners are always welcome and various levels of English can be accommodated. Please contact Amy on 07753 282967, hello@alearningplace.co.uk or complete our short form


All hosts will receive information from us relating to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 monthly host and £350 one-off guest payments from the Government; plus additional ‘opt-in’ payments of £150 per month from this Council which we are paying to hosts in the district to help with extra costs such as rising energy bills. Once hosts have sponsored a guest for one year, their £350 payment from the Government will increase to £500 per month. For questions not covered in this update or on our Support for Ukraine webpages, please email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk

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