Ukraine update

February 03 2023

Support for Ukraine community update for hosts in South Cambridgeshire, as well as District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues.


  1. Free online support session for Hosts – February 15
  2. Grants for local groups connecting people
  3. Online event to learn about volunteering
  4. Reminders

Free online support session for Hosts

The next online hosts get-together from the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) will be on Wednesday 15 February from 19:30 – 21:00. These virtual meetings are designed to connect you with other hosts, share experiences, and ask questions about the whole hosting experience.

The exact content of the session will be decided on the evening by those who come but may include self-care, preparing for your guests to arrive, challenges and opportunities of hosting, accessing resources in your community, thinking about the impact of trauma and help with anonymised specific challenges. Free tickets can be booked at:

Grants for local groups connecting people

CPSL – the local arm of the mental health charity MIND which covers Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire – has a Good Life Fund which is offering grants of up to £1,500 to people in local communities to help set up groups that connect people. These could be book clubs, craft classes, or activities that encourage people to learn new skills  – and Ukrainian groups are welcome to apply. To find out more, visit CPSL Mind. If you would like some inspiration about what is happening in other communities, take a look at How Are You South Cambs (an NHS funded website) which has a wide variety of groups, activities, clubs and things to do that boost mental wellbeing throughout the district.

Online event to learn about volunteering

The charity CCVS (Cambridge Council for Voluntary Services) has a free-to-attend online coffee morning on 08 February at 10.30 for anyone interested in hearing how they can make a difference by volunteering with local charities. There will be a presentation from the volunteer coordinator at Cambridge Online. If your guests would like to attend, then places for the event can be reserved at

CCVS is also running FREE in-person Volunteering Workshops for Ukrainian refugees for them to learn how to become a volunteer. These will run on 23 February, 2 March, 9 March and 16 March, from 10am to 1pm, at 16-18 Arbury Court, Cambridge CB4 2JQ. For further information or to register to attend, call 07840989719 or email Following the sessions, attendees will be offered 1:1 support to find and apply to the right volunteering opportunities.


 Updating contact details for guests: We have emailed guests via the addresses provided as part of their visa application with requests for them verify their preferred means of contact by completing a response form to be returned to us by 10 February. This is so we can ensure they will continue to receive the best level of support for the next phase of their stay in the UK. The email and form are translated into Ukrainian. Please help your guests or complete it on their behalf if you can.

Employment Survey: We would be grateful if you could make your guests aware of our Ukrainian Employment/Skills Survey which will help us assess how we can best support guests into suitable employment.

Free weekly English classes: In partnership with A Learning Place, the Council provides free weekly English classes in Cottenham – Tuesdays 17.30; Sawston – Thursdays 16.15, 17.30 & 18.45; and Waterbeach – Wednesdays 16.30 & 17.40. Adults and young people can enrol as learners; younger children are welcome to come along (toys and activities provided). Contact Amy on 07753 282967, 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

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.

News previously 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.

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