Support for Ukraine Community Update – January 11 2024

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

Contents

Happy New Year…………………………………………………………………1

Homes for Ukraine 2024 Host Survey……………………………………….2

Landlord Incentive Scheme..………………………………….….…….……..2

Reminder – Refugee Host Support Services………….……………..……..3

Happy New Year

We hope you all enjoyed the festive break with your guests. We reiterate our grateful thanks to you all for continuing to work with us in the Homes for Ukraine scheme in South Cambridgeshire, and we wish to reassure you of our support in the coming months as we hope and pray for a resolution to the conflict in 2024.

HfU 2024 Host Survey

South Cambridgeshire District Council is conducting a new host/sponsor survey for 2024. Following the announcement that host ‘thank you’ payments have been extended to year 3 of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, we wanted to give hosts a chance to update the date until which they wish to continue to host. This enables SCDC to plan to provide the support to guests who need to move on. There is also an opportunity to provide SCDC with your feedback on the Homes for Ukraine scheme so far.

If you have already completed this survey, we thank you for taking the time to do so. If you have not, then please follow the below weblink, the survey will take no more than 5 minutes to complete:

https://forms.microsoft.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Yr5uzntVNkShnHZ-yizUUR_M1KbWS3JBrj_q8hyWmkZUNVQyMjI3S0s4V1haNjFVVUU4RUFMRTNMNy4u

Landlord Incentive Scheme

South Cambridgeshire District Council has recently launched a Homes for Ukraine Landlord Incentive Scheme.

Landlords who provide properties in South Cambridgeshire to Homes for Ukraine guests who are resident in South Cambridgeshire will qualify for a financial incentive. These incentives differ depending on the size of the property, and if they provide the property at market rent or at local housing allowance. The landlord must also provide a minimum tenancy of 6 months from the outset. Please see the below table that details initial payments for a 6-month tenancy:

Number of bedroomsMarket rent incentiveLHA rate incentive
1 Bedroom£1,140£2,280
2 Bedroom£1,300£2,600
3 Bedroom£1,350£2,750
4 Bedroom£1,410£2,820

South Cambridgeshire District Council will help to source a Homes for Ukraine tenant if one is not lined up, and will also provide assistance with setting up the tenancy agreement if this support is required.

If you would be interested in signing up for this scheme, please complete the online form by following this link. Alternatively, you can contact the team at HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk or call them on 01954 713411.

Reminder: Refugee Host Support services

We’d like to remind you of the free service available to you through our partnership with the Refugee Host Support service. This free service provides help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It includes:

  • 24/7 assistance with unlimited access to accredited and qualified counsellors or psychotherapists.
  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy to help overcome common mental health problems.
  • Advice lines, including financial, legal, consumer and career advice.
  • Discounts at applicable brands.


Please look at this video tour to view the full package of support that this service offers. To sign up to the service, complete the online form using the reference word Anglesey 

You will then receive a welcome email giving you all the information you need. You will also have immediate access to the Supporter Plan brought to you by www.refugeehostsupport.co.uk

Your Homes for Ukraine guests also have access to a dedicated service tailored for them, and we would encourage you to let your guest know about this. They will be able to access 24/7 advice lines with Ukrainian speakers, online Ukrainian support groups, and have access to online therapy should it be needed. Details have been sent directly to all Ukrainian guests via email.

Thank you once again for your on-going support.

Best wishes,

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Support for Ukraine Community Update

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

We would like to wish all our hosts, and all the many organisations, groups and individuals who have worked so hard this year to accommodate Ukrainian visitors to our district, a very happy and relaxing Christmas.  We are very grateful for all the many things you do for guests to make them feel welcome. This festive season is very much a time for family gatherings and will undoubtedly prove to be another difficult period for Ukrainian visitors who are unable to see and spend time with their loved ones and are worried for the safety and wellbeing of family members who have remained back in the Ukraine. We offer our continuing support and prayers for a resolution to the war in 2024.

We would also like to remind you of the service offered by our partners at Refugee Host Support which provides help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is available to hosts and guests free of charge.

It includes:

  • 24/7 assistance with unlimited access to accredited and qualified counsellors or psychotherapists.
  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy to help overcome common mental health problems.
  • Advice lines, including financial, legal, consumer and career advice.
  • Discounts at applicable brands.


Please look at this video tour to view the full package of support that this service offers.

To sign up to the service, complete the online form. In the reference box, please use the word Anglesey. You will then receive a welcome email giving you all the information you need. You will also have immediate access to the Supporter Plan brought to you by www.refugeehostsupport.co.uk

My kindest regards and best wishes,

Bill

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Cost of Living Support for South Cambs Residents

South Cambridgeshire residents are being encouraged to ensure they take advantage of all the cost-of-living support they are entitled to this winter. With the weather getting colder and communities spending more on heating, the District Council is beginning a new campaign to urge residents to make full use of assistance available. Research suggests that around 25% of some benefits go unclaimed. The Council is therefore encouraging residents to check they are claiming what they are legitimately entitled to. The campaign also reminds people that local foodbanks – all listed on the Council’s website – are there when needed, and you don’t need a voucher to use most of them. There is also an appeal for residents to get energy-saving advice and find out about grants for home improvements to cut spending on energy bills during the winter. Read more on the District Council’s website.

Ukraine Community Update

September 21 2023

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

We would like to reassure hosts that while our communications on any updates to the Homes for Ukraine scheme may now be more intermittent, we are committed to continuing our support for you in this crucial role while the war in Ukraine continues.

This week we have one note for you regarding clarification on host payments and have also included some of the regular reminders we are sending to your guests for your information.

Host Payments – first and last months

Payments can only be made if the total number of days a guest is with their host in their first and last months combined is 16 days or more. The day the guest leaves is not included.

For example:

  1. The guest arrived on 30 June 2022 – payment would not have been made for June 2022. They leave on 13 July 2023. The guests are treated as being with the host for 1 day in the first month and 12 days in the last month. As this period is less than 16 days, the last month to be paid would be June 2023.
  1. The guest arrived on 26 June 2022 – payment would not have been made for June 2022. They leave on 15 July 2023. The guests are treated as being with the host for 5 days in the first month and 14 days in the last month.  As this period is more than 16 days, the last month to be paid would be July 2023.
  1. The guest arrived on 12 June 2022 – payment was made for June 2022 as they are with the host for the first month for more than 16 days. They leave on 15 July 2023. The guests are treated as being with the host for 14 days in the last month. As this period is less than 16 days, they will not receive a payment for July and the last month to be paid would be June 2023.

If you need further clarification on this, please contact ukrainepayments@scambs.gov.uk

Useful Information for your guests

We thought we would also take this opportunity to make you aware of some of the useful information which is available on the Council website for your guests. It can be found in the Guest Information Hub covering Financial advice and support, Local travel support, Access to health and wellbeing services, Access to education and childcare, Hobbies and leisure activities and Moving On.

A range of free or special offers are also available for Ukrainian guests:

We continue to be extremely grateful for your support of Ukrainian guests and thank you for taking the time to read this latest update.

Best wishes,

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities

South Cambridgeshire District Council

South Cambs Net Zero Now Course for Residents

Net Zero Now Overview

Following on from the successful Spring Programme of Net Zero Now, applications are now open for another Net Zero Now course for residents of South Cambridgeshire. This is a free, 6-week community climate action course designed to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to support your community on its journey to net zero. This challenge to net zero is a unique opportunity to build communities that are not just more sustainable but also healthier, happier, and more resilient. 

“Really enjoyed the course and found it very beneficial. … Great speakers and interesting, inspiring participants. It has been very informative and always interesting and engaging.” – Spring 2023 Net Zero Now Participant.

Run by Cambridge Carbon Footprint with the support of South Cambridgeshire District Council and the National Lottery Community Fund, Net Zero Now will give you the opportunity to connect with others working on community climate action in the area and discuss a range of themes including: how to communicate climate action effectively; engaging with volunteers; working towards a clear goal; and what support is available locally to you.

Not sure whether Net Zero Now is right for you? We are also going to be holding an online and informal Q&A on Wednesday 27th September at 7pm to answer any questions on the programme. More info here: https://cambridgecarbonfootprint.org/events/net-zero-now-qa-is-it-right-for-you/.

Applications close on Sunday 8th October. Find out more and apply now.

Who is the programme for?

This course is relevant to Parish Councillors and residents of South Cambridgeshire who are interested in supporting their community’s move to net zero but who are either unsure where to start or feel that they would benefit from gaining additional tools or confidence to increase the impact of their activities.

Why has the course been created?

The course is being run by local charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint with support from the South Cambridgeshire District Council Zero Carbon Communities Fund.

What have previous participants achieved?

As a result of attending the course, previous participants have supported their parish councils to declare climate emergencies and create climate action plans, improved biodiversity through planting wildflowers and trees, and connected with surrounding towns and villages to share resources and expertise.

What does the course consist of?

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the move to net zero where you live. The programme consists of six weekly workshops, a mix of online and in-person, bringing you together with other communities and individuals in the area to support and learn from each other to deliver effective carbon reduction activities, events, and communications.

The programme will cover topics such as how to find and keep volunteers, how to engage with your local community, and how to foster and support local climate initiatives from clothes swaps to community energy schemes. You will be supported to create an action plan and leave the course ready to take the next steps.

Bin Collection Changes – Add the dates to your mobile phone

Bin days have changed for many residents.

You can add your bin collection dates to calendars on your Android or Apple devices.

If you have previously used South Cambridgeshire District Council’s website to add your bin collection dates to your phone’s calendar, you need to delete the old dates from that calendar and re-add your new dates.

Find out how to do this – and check your bin collection days – at https://www.scambs.gov.uk/recycling-and-bins/find-your-household-bin-collection-day/

Bin Collection Day Changes from 18th September 2023

Bin collection changes

Many residents will have changes to their bin collections from week starting 18 September 2023. This could be a change to the bin day or to which bins are collected on a particular week. Bins may also be emptied earlier or later than they are now, so all bins need to be out by 6am on your collection day. The frequency of collections will not change. If your bin collections are due to change, you will receive a letter in the post. You can find out more and check when your collections will be at www.scambs.gov.uk/binchanges.

Cambridge Matters – May 2023

Welcome to Cambridgeshire Matters May 2023

Cambridgeshire Matters is our monthly newsletter which aims to share good news, highlights and updates from across Cambridgeshire to help our network of district, city and community members stay informed.

Find out about the great work that is taking place to support everyone in the county. Share this newsletter with your parish council colleagues and feel welcome to use any of the features in your own newsletter or on social media.

Two new county councillors appointed

Cambridgeshire County Council logo

Mike Black (Labour) and Bill Hunt (The Conservative Party) have been elected to Cambridgeshire County Council following by-elections held for seats in Arbury and Soham South & Haddenham. The by-elections took place on 4 May 2023 following the resignations of Cllr Dan Schumann and Cllr Hilary Cox Condron. Results for the by-elections are available here

New Chair and Vice Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council appointed

Cllr Kindersley and Cllr Bird

At the annual meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council on 16 May, Cllr Sebastian Kindersley was elected to serve as Chair of Council for the next two years. Cllr Gerri Bird was elected Vice Chair. Cllr Kindersley takes over from Councillor Stephen Ferguson, and will be serving his second term as Chair having previously held this office from 2015 to 2017.You can read more about the new appointments on the council’s website and watch the full council meeting on CCC’s YouTube channel

Extra commitment to tackle roads across the county

Sunny road in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire County Council has been provided with additional funding from the Department for Transport to help tackle road repairs.The funding will allow for a new proactive approach to be used to manage our response to the increasing number of potholes. The funding will be spent on additional programmes of work to ‘find, record and fix’ minor surface issues before they develop into potholes. Please continue to report any potholes or highways fault using the online tool

County Council offers greater protection for care leavers

Elle and Full Council

People who have spent time in care are to be granted ‘protected characteristic’ status by Cambridgeshire County Council. The unanimous agreement by Full Council on 16 May will give people of any age who are ‘care experienced’ special status to have their needs considered as part of any changes to Cambridgeshire services or spending decisions. This is already required by law for other groups who face potential discrimination because of their age, ethnicity, disability or gender.Cambridgeshire’s agreement was welcomed at the meeting by Cambridgeshire Care leaver Elle, who received a standing ovation after she spoke to Councillors. Cambridgeshire become the 3rd County Council and 30th local authority to recognise care experience as a protected characteristic. 

Council agrees motion to support child minders

Child playing with blocks

The County Council will be recommending to district and city councils that any new strategic developments which have restrictive covenants around childcare on domestic premises will be exempt where there is an identified need.The council agreed a motion put forward by Cllr Firouz Thompson to Full Council on Tuesday 16 May. Some house builders place restrictive covenants on their properties which prohibit residents living within them from running a business from home including childcare. As a restrictive covenant does not expire, it will be applicable indefinitely, even if the building is sold and the ownership changes.The motion also asked that district and city councils highlight the importance of such changes with developers and house builders to ensure that they are aware of the barrier that these covenants can cause.It was agreed to signpost childcare providers, and residents, to the appropriate support within the local authority when concerns are experienced.Childminders and nannies play an important role within the childcare sector, offering flexible childcare for families. It is the County Council’s duty to ensure there is sufficient and suitable quality early education and childcare places to enable parents to work, or to undertake education or training which could lead to employment and that there are enough places to meet current demand.

Help transform the lives of young people in Cambridgeshire

Man and young man having a discussion on a park bench

A new mentoring programme aimed at supporting young care leavers will soon be launched by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Goal 17 Ltd.The programme will recruit and train mentors from across the county to provide guidance, advice, and support to young care leavers as they navigate the challenges of adulthood. This will help young people to build self-esteem, develop new skills, and achieve their full potential.Local people are currently being invited to volunteer as mentors in this forward-thinking programme. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please email communications@cambridgeshire.gov.uk for more information. 

Foster Care Fortnight

Fostering Fortnight

Cambridgeshire County Council supported the Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight campaign this year to help find more people who can offer loving, stable homes for local young people in care. Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, and took place from 15-28 May. Over those two weeks, the council’s Fostering Service celebrated it’s ‘fostering communities’ by championing local carers and care leavers, organising foster walks to raise awareness, and hosting an event to welcome new carers.Listen to Tracey and Paul’s story about their experiences with fostering teenagers and why it’s important for young people to have good role models. More information on fostering for your local council can be found on the CCC website. Alternatively, you can contact the Fostering recruitment team by emailing fostering@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or calling 0800 052 0078. The council also holds regular sessions for those wanting to learn more about fostering – visit the CCC Fostering website for upcoming dates and to book yourself a free place. 

Mental health campaign for LGBTQ+ young people

#MyWaysToWellbeing with The Kite Trust

During Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May), Cambridgeshire County Council worked with The Kite Trust to deliver a campaign aimed at supporting young LGBTQ+ people in Cambridgeshire with their mental health. #MyWaysToWellbeing highlighted how individuals can use five different ways to keep themselves mentally well, whilst also stressing that there is no shame in accessing support.The five themes of the campaign were: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Give. Read more about the campaign here. The Kite Trust is a charity which supports the wellbeing and creativity of LGBTQ+ young people in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and the surrounding areas. Access support, useful information and resources on their website

Cambridgeshire Archives needs YOUR help!

Residents taking part in a street party

Cambridgeshire Archives are asking for Parish and Town Councils to donate any records of any event or activity carried out for either: the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Accession of King Charles III or the Coronation of King Charles III.Any council with photos or programmes of such events held in their parish are being asked whether they would like to donate these to the Cambridgeshire Archives, so that they may be kept and stored to be viewed by future generations.Councils wanting to submit photos or programmes for inclusion in the archives should do the following:Firstly, contact the Cambridgeshire Archives to inform them of what you are submitting. They can be contacted on 01223 699399, or you can email them on archives@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.You will then be advised on how and where to send your documents.By donating photos, you can ensure that a record of your celebrations are maintained for generations to come and may be looked back at as a significant part of history.So, if you have photos or programmes of these events, please use the above instructions to contact the Cambridgeshire Archives.

First Migrant Champion appointed

Cambridgeshire County Council logo

migrant advocate for Cambridgeshire has been appointed to support migrants and refugees living in the county.Cllr Alex Bulat will take up the new role which is part of a wide series of actions intended to make Cambridgeshire a welcoming place for people who have come here from abroad.The new Migrant advocate role will act as a political spokesperson for the council of asylum and migration issues and will correspond with political leaders at Cambridgeshire’s district and city councils on matters relating to asylum seekers and refugees. 

We want to hear from you: be a part of our summer campaign

Group of children playing games in a park

With summer just around the corner, we’re interested in finding out from our Parish and Town Councils about the free or low-cost events and activities you may have planned for the local community. We would love to feature these in a summer campaign to help promote physical activity and wellbeing in Cambridgeshire. If you have anything planned, or are thinking about organising activities in your area, then please email communications@cambridgeshire.gov.uk with the details. 

Are your residents eligible for cheaper broadband and mobile tariffs?

Social tariffs

If they receive benefit payments, they could be! Please spread the word that low-income families in your area could be eligible for discounted broadband and mobile phone services called social tariffs. Social tariffs are low-cost broadband and mobile phone package deals offered to customers on certain benefits and cost between £10 and £20 a month. As well as being much more affordable, social tariffs are usually on shorter-term contracts. Plus, there are no early exit fees – so you are not tied to the contract if your circumstances change, and you can leave without paying a penalty. Many providers offer reduced social tariffs to both new and existing customers claiming government benefits such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support – so they can pay less for internet access and mobile phone bills. The Connecting Cambridgeshire website has links to useful information about how to get reduced broadband and mobile tariffs or go straight to the Ofcom website for more details. Contact the Connecting Cambridgeshire team if you or your residents have any queries and concerns about broadband or mobile coverage. Email contact@connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk including details of the location and postcode, if relevant, to help the team investigate and respond as soon as possible.

Updates from the Communities Service

Cambridge City

Group of older people exercising

This month Jess from the Cambridge City team presented at the Adults and Health Committee Development Session, which provided the opportunity to showcase work the team have been delivering across the local community, including Wellbeing Wednesdays and the cost of living pop-up events. It was a great opportunity to network with colleagues from Public Health and Care Together as well as local councillors. The team received lots of positive feedback on the work they have been carrying out to help support our communities to live happier and healthier lives. 

East Cambridgeshire

Howard from Soham Men's Shed with a bird box

The East Cambridgeshire team have been busy making connections across the community this month to help support the health and wellbeing of local people. Wendy from the team supported a resident who was concerned about a friend who needed support from the foodbank but could not face the stigma of asking for a voucher. Wendy liaised with the foodbank for them to issue one discretely. In addition to accessing food, the person also accepted offers of advice and support in relation to finance and benefits. Wendy also visited a coffee morning at Townsend Manor Care Home in Soham and spoke with Howard from the local Men’s Shed about the work he is currently carrying out in the community. Howard has recently partnered with the home and delivers bird box making workshops to the residents. 

South Cambridgeshire

Histon & Impington Wellbeing Festival logo

This month Scott from the South Cambridgeshire team attended the Histon & Impington Wellbeing Festival, where he offered advice and support on parent carers through drawing on his own lived experiences. The festival, hosted by charity Friends of Histon & Impington Community, featured talks and workshops on a variety of different subjects, including mental health, exercise, storytelling, arts, cooking on a budget, CPR training and much more. 

Huntingdonshire

Young person holding the Pride flag

In April the Huntingdonshire team supported with the launch of the Pride in St Neots Youth Provision, which saw four young people attend the first session, followed by seven young people for the second. The provision is the first Pride youth group in Cambridgeshire outside of the work run by The Kite Trust, and has been supported by the Communities Service through access to the ‘Youth Provision in a Box’ (governance, policies, templates for membership forms etc.) The team have also directly supported the group by providing a space for the club to meet and four weeks of coaching for volunteers. 

Fenland

Wisbech Community Space decorative poster

The School Uniform Wardrobe Project rub by the Fenland team continues to be an extremely popular and well-used service within the local community.There are currently three libraries across the area acting as collection and drop-off points, and a range of volunteers are now onboard to help out with donated items. For more information about the scheme, including how to make donations or if you are in need of school uniform, visit the Communities Service Fenland Facebook page

Homes for Ukraine Newsletter No. 52 – May 11 2023

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

Contents

Guests Arriving and Leaving………………………………….….…………1

Nature Courses for Young Ukrainians……………..………………………2

English Lessons at Waterbeach……………………….……….…………..3

Storytime Event’s Big Welcome to Guests……………….….………..…4

Guests arriving and leaving

Please continue to fill out the leavers and arrivals form for the following scenarios regarding your guests.

This enables us to provide the best support and ensure the correct financial help is available at the right time.  It also allows us to keep up to date records and make the appropriate host payments.

Arrivals Form to inform us of your guests’ arrival:

  • When your guests first arrive with you
  • If they have been absent from your property for more than 4 weeks and they return

Leavers Form to update us when your guests:

  • Are no longer coming
  • Have vacated your property / moved elsewhere
  • Plan to be / have been absent for more than 4 weeks.

Nature courses to help wellbeing of young Ukrainians

If you are hosting guests with children or teenagers, then please do encourage them to look at the two nature-based courses we are offering especially for Ukrainian young people. We gave details in last week’s newsletter to guests.

The courses are specifically tailored for Ukrainian children and teenagers aged between eight and 17. They are designed to help improve their wellbeing and self-confidence.

For young people aged 12 to 17 years: At Wandlebury Country Park  starting 17 May and run by Find Your Wild with free outdoor activities in a woodland park setting. The sessions will be run by skilled activity instructors and youth workers with a Wellbeing officer who speaks Ukrainian. There are eight sessions on Wednesdays, 4pm to 6pm, running on 17 and 24 May, then from 7 June to 12 July. See the Council’s website for more information and to register for the scheme.

For children aged eight to 11 years: Forest School runs at Milton Country Park on Friday afternoons, 4pm to 6pm. The programme features bushcraft skills, playing games, making friends, building dens, pond-dipping, treasure hunts and more. The eight-week scheme is run by Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust in partnership with the Council. It will meet at the Wild Place at Milton Country Park from 4pm to 6pm on the following dates: 12, 19 and 26 May, 9, 16, 23 & 30 June, and 7 July. Young guests should register to take part by emailing ufs@cambridgesportlakes.org.uk

English Lessons at Waterbeach

If your guests are currently participating in the ESOL lessons at Waterbeach, please let them know that these will be ending on 28 June and no new students are being accepted onto these classes. 

Storytime Event’s Big Welcome to Ukrainian Guests

We have had news back of a successful event which welcomed Ukrainians to share in a garden Storytime event at Linton on 7 May with over 60 people and five families (some of them multi-generational) from Ukraine taking part, plus two young Ukrainian women who came from Cambridge to help tell the stories.

The Council helped to fund the event through our Small Grants scheme where up to £300 can be givento enable local groups to fund events which reduce social isolation for Ukrainian guests.

At the Storytime, there was bandura music from Sonya, a young Ukrainian musician currently living in Linton, Ukrainian snacks to try and a sunflower-themed mosaic-making activity.  Authors Isabel Thomas and Catherine Emmet shared story readings. Cambridgeshire Libraries distributed free books in Ukrainian. Some photos from the event were shared on Facebook

The Small Grants scheme is for activities, events and projects being run by organisations such as parish councils, but also community groups or projects set up by individuals (with the written support of their Parish Council or District Councillor/s for the project) providing the event or project extends into the wider Ukrainian community. For more information and an idea of the sort of projects which could be eligible, see our website.

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.

Thank you for taking the time to read this latest update, for your help in communicating this important information to your guests and for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities
South Cambridgeshire District Council

Support for Ukraine – Community Update

National moment of silence tomorrow to mark one year since Russian invasion of Ukraine

A national one-minute silence will take place across the UK at 11am tomorrow (Friday 24 February), marking a year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. South Cambridgeshire District Council invites you to join with us in this moment of reflection to pay tribute to the courage of the Ukrainian people. For more information please see: National moment of silence to mark one year of Russian invasion of Ukraine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Contents

  1. Moving On Events
  2. Support for Families with Younger Children
  3. Volunteer Fair
  4. Help for Victims of Abuse
  5. Project Worker Opportunity
  6. Bus Travel Scheme – ending March 31
  7. Free Rides on BizBikes
  8. History of the Ukrainian Language

Moving On Information events: 9 & 23 March, 2023

In last week’s newsletter, we gave you details of options available to all Homes for Ukraine guests when they are ready to consider Moving On to live more independently, or if their host has asked them to leave. We asked if you could share these details with your guests, and we also emailed guests direct. We are also holding two information events in March where guests can discuss their options and ask questions.

In person event:

Date: Thursday 9 March, 6pm to 7.30pm

Venue: Henry Morris Hall at Sawston Village College, New Road Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3BP

There will be short presentations in Ukrainian and English which will detail the Moving On options available. The remaining time will be set aside for a chance to talk to other guests and ask questions with Council officers. This event is principally for guests but hosts and relevant organisations are also welcome to attend.

We are planning to provide some snacks and refreshments. To help us cater for the right number of people, we would encourage you to complete the registration form if possible. Visit https://bit.ly/HomesforUkraine-MovingOnOptions

Online event:

Date: Thursday 23 March. Time: 6pm to 7.30pm

Venue: Zoom link to join (no need to book, just log on) –

https://bit.ly/HomesForUkraine-MovingOnOptionsVirtualEvent

Support for families with younger children

Leaflets in English and Ukrainian are available to support families from Ukraine with younger children to understand more about their childcare choices in Cambridgeshire.

In England, early years care and education is not compulsory and the leaflet explains the options available, from day nurseries to childminders, breakfast clubs, after school clubs and school holiday play schemes. Early years education follows a play-based approach and children spend their time becoming involved in lots of different play activities inside and outside. All early years provision follows government guidance which includes regulations about things like staff numbers and qualifications, how to keep children safe and the curriculum that is followed. 

If your guests have children of this age, then we would be grateful if you could please share the leaflet with them.

Volunteer Fair

If you or your guests have been considering volunteering, are already a volunteer and would like to do more, or want to try something different but don’t know how to go about it, the charity CCVS (Cambridge Council for Voluntary Services) has an online Volunteer Fair on 7 March.

You can attend the whole session or join in for a short time to hear from some fantastic local voluntary organisations which will be giving short presentations about the volunteering they currently have on offer. You will also have a chance to ask questions.

The groups involved all work to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and support the most vulnerable. They offer a mixture of face to face, online and virtual volunteering opportunities. Some offer training and require regular commitment, others are more flexible. 

Booking is essential to get the online joining link. 

Organisations presenting will include:
FoodCycle CambridgeEACH Help at Home ServiceStudent Community ActionCUH Patient and Public Involvement PanelDISHCambridge Rape Crisis CentreAge UK Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Healthwatch Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

CCVS is also running FREE Volunteering Workshops for Ukrainian refugees for them to learn how to become a volunteer. There are four free-to-attend and in-person sessions running today (23 February), and on 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 ellie@cambridgecvs.org.uk Following the sessions, attendees will be offered 1:1 support to find and apply to the right volunteering opportunities.

Help for victims of abuse

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre has translated its Rape Crisis Self-Help Guide for survivors into Ukrainian. The Centre offers free specialist support for women and girls across Cambridgeshire who have been subjected to rape and sexual violence, no matter when the abuse happened.

Other organisations which can help those affected by sexual abuse or sexual violence are:

  • Men’s Advice Line – helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.
  • Survivors UK – specialist service for male victims aged 13+ who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives.
  • Galop – which has recently launched the UK’s first ever dedicated helpline to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT+) victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse.
  • Childline – a free service for children and young people whenever they need support or advice.
  • Choices Counselling – for adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

Project Worker opportunity

The Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum (CECF) has been awarded a grant by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF) to run a project to support Ukrainian refugees. To help it deliver this project, it is recruiting a Project Worker on a 6-month part-time contract and would welcome applications from those of Ukrainian background. The successful applicant will provide advice and support to Ukrainians in Cambridge with a range of issues including accommodation, education and health, as well as access to immigration advice, ESOL, welfare benefits, information about the job market and volunteering opportunities. Closing date for applications is 5 March 2023.

Bus Travel Scheme – ending March 31

Previously when Ukrainian guests have arrived in South Cambridgeshire, we have been able to provide them with an initial welcome offer of free tickets for ten days of bus travel. This welcome offer will now come to an end at the end of March. We’d like to thank Stagecoach for working in partnership with local councils to provide the free tickets during the initial phase of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Free Rides on Bizbikes

Cambridge Electric Transport operates its Bizbike Community E-bike Services in several South Cambridgeshire communities and is offering free rides to Ukrainian refugees. The service is available in the towns and villages of Northstowe, Longstanton (at Park&Ride), Teversham, The Abingtons  and Hardwick. Ukrainians wanting to use the service should email info@bizbike.club indicating their refugee status and they will be sent full instructions and registered for free rides.

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History of the Ukrainian Language

The Slavonic Section of the University of Cambridge is hosting a lecture this evening on the history of the Ukrainian language by Professor Michael Moser (University of Vienna) titled ‘Revisiting the History of the Ukrainian Language’.

When: 23 February 2023, 17:30 

Where: Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College

Attendees do not need to book a place in advance

Part of the Rethinking Slavonic Studies Lecture Series, the lecture will examine the history of the Ukrainian language, looking deep into its medieval roots. Professor Michael Moser is a professor of Slavic linguistics at the Institute for Slavic Studies of the University of Vienna, the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, and the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest; and author of ‘New Contributions to the History of the Ukrainian Language’.

Thank you in advance for your help in communicating this important information to your guests, and for your continued support.

Gareth Bell
Communications and Communities Service ManagerSouth Cambridgeshire District Council

Support for Ukraine – Community update

February 16, 2023

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

National moment of silence to mark one year since Russian invasion of Ukraine

A national one-minute silence will take place across the UK at 11am on Friday 24 February, marking a year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. South Cambridgeshire District Council invites you to join with us in this moment of reflection to pay tribute to the courage of the Ukrainian people. For more information please see: National moment of silence to mark one year of Russian invasion of Ukraine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Contents

This week’s newsletter focuses on options available to all Homes for Ukraine guests when they are ready to consider Moving On to live more independently, or if their host has asked them to leave. We would be very grateful if you could share these details with your guests and help them to think about their options. Where we have the relevant contact details, we will be emailing this information direct to guests and will also be posting out printed versions to them in English and Ukrainian. We will also be running two information events where guests can discuss their options and ask questions, detailed here:

Information events: 9 & 23 March, 2023

In person event:

Date: Thursday 9th March, 6pm – 7.30pm

Venue: Henry Morris Hall at Sawston Village College, New Road Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3BP

There will be short presentations in Ukrainian and English which will detail the Moving On options in this document. The remaining time will be set aside for a chance to talk to other guests and ask questions with Council officers. The event is principally for guests, but hosts and relevant organisations are also welcome to attend.

We are planning to provide some snacks and refreshments. To help us cater for the right number of people, we would encourage you to complete the registration form if possible. Visit https://bit.ly/HomesforUkraine-MovingOnOptions

Online event:

Date: Thursday 23 March. Time: 6pm to 7.30pm

Venue: Zoom link to join (no need to book, just log on) –

https://bit.ly/HomesForUkraine-MovingOnOptionsVirtualEvent

Moving On

Support for Homes for Ukraine guests to move on to live more independently

The information below sets out the options available to all Homes for Ukraine guests when they are ready to consider Moving On to live more independently, or if their host has asked them to leave. This includes:

  • Applying for social housing
  • Rematching
  • Renting privately
  • Renting with another family
  • Lodging
  • Rent Deposit Scheme
  • Rent in Advance
  • Help with essential items
  • Council tax discounts
  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

Private rental in South Cambridgeshire is very expensive, and residents with moderate and sometimes good incomes still require some form of support. For those on lower incomes, and for people who receive Housing Benefit, this can be even more challenging. As this is the case, we would urge Homes for Ukraine guests to consider all the possible options to ensure you have thought about your circumstances and available budget to ensure it will be affordable for you. We recommend that you try to save money during your stay with a host, as this will make finding your own accommodation easier when you are ready to do so.

The maximum amount of housing benefit you can receive for a 2-bed property in South Cambridgeshire is £782.48 per month. This level is set by the Government. However, as rent for a 2-bed home is often in the region of £1,000, this means there is a shortfall between housing benefit and market rent.

The options and support listed below aims to try to help everyone access housing that will be affordable.

Applying for social housing

Social housing is rented to a tenant at a lower monthly rent than it would be if it was privately owned. Home-Link is the choice-based lettings scheme for Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk. Every week, Home-Link advertises the available Council and Housing Association properties across the area. To be considered for one of these properties, you first need to make an application to Home-Link to have your housing need and priority assessed (this is called your housing band). You can make an application online at https://www.home-link.org.uk/choice/

If your application is approved to join the housing register, you will then be able to bid on properties within Home-Link. It is important to remember that we have a waiting list for homes, and it is often wise to also consider other options as well as making an application.

You can bid on up to three properties per week. You may only bid on properties that are located within South Cambridgeshire, as you will have a local connection to South Cambridgeshire. You will only be able to bid on properties within Cambridge City and other surrounding authorities if you have a local connection with them. Please visit the Home-Link FAQ webpage which explains local connections. There is also more information on Home-Link about the prioritisation of housing and banding.

You can also contact our Housing Advice and Homes for Ukraine Liaison teams to discuss any questions you may have. Please email HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk.

Rematching

If your host has indicated that they can no longer provide you with accommodation and given you notice to leave, or if there has been a relationship breakdown between a host and guest, we can help to rematch guest/s to a new host. This option is best suited to those who are not yet ready to move on to live more independently. Please note that due to the lack of additional new hosts, it is very unlikely we will be able to rematch you to a new host in the village or town where you are currently living. We will do our best to find the best match we can from the hosts we have available.

As there is such a small number of potential hosts, we will only facilitate rematches where it is absolutely necessary. If you wish to be rematched for reasons that are not detailed above, we encourage you to approach local charities and community groups. If a rematch is sourced through this method, it is vital you inform us in advance of any possible move so we can ensure the correct checks are completed on the new host.

Please contact us on HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk  to discuss rematching.

Renting privately

As mentioned above, renting privately in South Cambridgeshire can be very expensive. To increase your chances of both finding a property and being considered as a prospective tenant, we recommend that you register your interest with several estate agents that cover the district. This will greatly increase your chances of finding a private rental property.

Renting a property is not just about paying the rent. Please consider the other commitments that come with renting a property, such as utility bills and other expenses.

There is financial support available for those who need it to help with some of the initial costs of moving into a private rental property. This includes us paying for the first months’ rent in advance, paying the deposit, support with essential items and discounts on Council Tax.

You can find further information on these under the ‘Additional financial support’ section.

Renting with another family

Renting a property with another family will reduce the cost and make it more affordable. For people claiming benefits, there is a significant gap between Local Housing Allowance (LHA – the maximum amount of housing benefit you can receive to rent a home) and the actual cost of renting privately. We have launched a buddying scheme to help connect families (up to a maximum of 6 people) to come together to rent one property. This is achievable as between the two families there will be sufficient housing benefit to cover the rent on a far wider range of homes and there is still enough left to pay bills and live on. The property will have to be rented under a joint tenancy for this to be able to work (this means both families coming together and both responsible for paying rent).

If you are a family who would wish to be buddied with another family, please get in contact with us at HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk so we can try to help you.

Sharing a home may also be a better option for working families, so anyone wanting to consider this option is encouraged to get in touch.

Lodging

The current Homes for Ukraine scheme provides thank you payments for up to 2 years to hosts for opening their home to guests. There is the option for hosts to become resident landlords if they chose to set up a lodging agreement, or an alternative to this for the guest to rent a room in the property from the host at the local housing allowance rate. This will involve setting up a tenancy between the host (who will be the landlord) and guest. The Government’s website has several webpages on how to set up a lodging agreement, more details about the scheme, and further information on tenancy types. You can visit the Government’s website for more information.

Additional financial Support

Due to the high cost of private rental in this area, we have allocated money received from Government for the Homes for Ukraine scheme to help guests access rental properties. The main schemes are:

     Rent Deposit Scheme

  • If you cannot afford the deposit for a private rental, we will pay this for you (up to a maximum of one month’s rent).
  • This scheme will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and has qualifying criteria.
  • The payment will be made directly to the landlord and/or agent.
  • The deposit we pay does not have to be paid back to the Council and will be paid back to you at the end of the tenancy (if there are no deductions to your deposit).

For more information contact us on HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk.

     Rent in Advance

  • Landlords or agents usually ask for one month’s rent in advance. If you are unable to pay this, we will pay it for you to help you secure the property.
  • This scheme will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and has qualifying criteria.
  • The payment will be made directly to the landlord and/or agent.

For more information contact us on HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk.

Help with essential items

We have created a scheme that will help guests with some of the costs of essential white goods and furniture needed to rent accommodation. An assessment will be carried out to consider the household’s income and expenditure to ascertain if a family is unable to meet the costs themselves. The maximum award per household is £2,000. The essential items we will consider funding are:

  • 2-seater sofa
  • 3-seater sofa
  • Double bed with mattress
  • Single bed with mattress
  • Wardrobe
  • Bedding (double and/or single), including pillows and duvet
  • Cooker, including fitting
  • Fridge freezer
  • Under counter fridge and/or freezer
  • Washing machine.

For more information contact us on HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk.

Other initial financial barriers to accessing rented accommodation

We can also consider other costs that might be a barrier to a guest accessing rented accommodation. This includes things such as moving costs. You can discuss these barriers and potential support with our Homes for Ukraine Team.

For more information contact us on HFULiaison@Scambs.gov.uk.

Council Tax discounts

Ukrainian guests are eligible for a discount on their Council Tax if their property is only occupied by those who have been living in the district under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Please contact our revenues team on Revenues@scambs.gov.uk to discuss this.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

  • Our Homes for Ukraine DHP fund has been set up to help Ukrainian guests who have a short-term period of hardship once they have already begun renting a home. The hardship will mean they are struggling to pay their rent.
  • We had an existing Discretionary Housing Payment scheme and the details and way you apply are the same.

To qualify for this payment, you must be in receipt of Universal Credit or housing benefit, and you have a shortfall in your rent.

Thank you in advance for your help in communicating this important information to your guests, and for your continued support.

Gareth Bell
Communications and Communities Service Manager
South Cambridgeshire District Council

Support for Ukraine Community – Update

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

Contents

  1. Which forms when? Clarification for Hosts
  2. ESOL Classes Online – new courses
  3. Creative Community Crafts Sessions
  4. Reminders

Which forms when? Clarification for Hosts

As part of our work within the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, we are obliged to ask our hosts to fill in a number of forms so that we can ensure the scheme is working as intended.  We appreciate this is a chore, but it does enable us to provide the best support for both hosts and guests and ensures the correct financial help is available at the right time. Below is clarification on when to fill out our forms to keep us updated on your guests and to receive or stop payments:

Arrivals Form to inform us of your guests’ arrival:

  • When your guests first arrive with you.
  • If they have been absent from your property for more than 4 weeks and they return.

Additional Host Payment to opt in to receive the extra £150 host monthly payment.

Leavers Form to update us when your guests:

  • Are no longer coming.
  • Have vacated your property / moved elsewhere.
  • Plan to be / have been absent for more than 4 weeks.

ESOL Classes Online – new courses

Please let your guests know that the WEA (Workers Educational Association) will start new ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) online evening courses via Zoom from March.

If guests are interested to join one of the new groups, they should register for one of the Skills Check meetings where friendly staff can help them find the right course and complete a few short tasks to see which is the best choice. The Skills Check meetings are on 6, 8 or 9 March. Please ask guests to register as soon as possible to secure a place:

Reference: C2229514 Date: 06/03/2023 11:00am

Reference: C2229515 Date: 08/03/2023 11:00am

Reference: C2229516 Date: 09/03/2023 9:15am

When registering, please quote the course reference either online at wea.org.uk or by ringing 0300 3033464. If you have any questions, please email cambs@wea.org.uk

Creative Community Crafts Sessions 

The Cambridge-based charity Rowan, which provides an arts centre and forest school for adults with learning disabilities, is welcoming all Ukrainian refugees to join them for a series of evenings of socialising, refreshments and opportunities to get creative.

The sessions, running over eight weeks, will start on 23 February and will continue to run on Thursdays from 18.30 to 21.00 at 40 Humberstone Road, Cambridge, CB4 1JG.

The sessions are FREE to attend. For further information and to sign-up, visit www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk or call on 01223 566027.

Reminders

 Free online support session for Hosts – February 15: Diary date – the next online hosts get-together session from the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT) is Wednesday 15 February from 19:30 – 21:00. Free tickets can be booked at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/support-for-hosts-of-ukrainian-families-online-event-tickets-528411201127

Updating contact details for guests: We would be grateful if you could remind your guests to return to us by tomorrow (10 February) the response form verifying their preferred means of contact.

Employment Survey: Please 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). Contact Amy on 07753 282967, email hello@alearningplace.co.uk or complete our short form

Volunteering: CCVS runs FREE in-person Volunteering Workshops for Ukrainian refugees who would like to learn how to be volunteers. The remaining sessions are today (9 February) and on 16 March, 10am-1pm, at 16-18 Arbury Court, Cambridge CB4 2JQ. For information or to register to attend, call 07840989719 or email ellie@cambridgecvs.org.uk

IMPORTANT NOTES

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

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.

Please do look out for next week’s newsletter as we will be providing a special edition on the options and support available to guests when they are ready to think about moving on to living more independently.

Bill

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Communities

South Cambridgeshire District Council