South Cambs – Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine

Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 13 May 2022

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

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

All information previously shared can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpages.

Hosts also receive information from us directly related to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 (host) and £200 (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

Support for Ukraine Zoom meeting – yesterday evening

Yesterday evening we held a Zoom meeting for hosts and others supporting guests from Ukraine. Apologies to any of our newest hosts who may not have received an invitation to this event ahead of time. For anyone who was not able to attend, you can watch the event recording here.

Headlines from the session

  • We rely on hosts to inform us when your guests have arrived. We cannot make the £350 host / £200 guest payments until you have alerted us that your guests are living with you, and we also need to know they have arrived to be able to kick-start other processes and keep our records up to date. Please use this form to alert us once your guests have arrived at your home.
  • We are urging hosts to think about what support may be helpful to you in the coming weeks and months to help ensure positive ongoing relationships with guests, and to help hosts avoid burnout. Please try to have a think about what practical support you would benefit from and send your ideas to us by email to duty.communities@Scambs.gov.uk
  • It was great to hear first-hand from one of our current hosts, who spoke about the benefit of having an honest conversation up front about the host-guest relationship and their new situation. Since hosts and guests may often be from quite different cultures, they suggested that an open discourse is the best way to maintain a positive relationship in the coming weeks and months.

Updates to our welcome pack since our last email

A reminder that our ‘welcome pack’ for guests is digital and can be viewed on our website – where guests should be able to switch to view in their own language if they wish, and where we can ensure updates are added as needed. You canview our digital welcome pack on our guest webpages here. The remainder of this email update sets out only the latest updates to the welcome pack, so if you have not previously visited our webpages, we would suggest that is the best place to start for information for guests.

Cambridge4Ukraine – regular meetups in Cambridge for guests

The Cambridge4Ukraine initiative invites all Ukrainians that have moved to Cambridgeshire because of the war to visit our Ukrainian coffee and conversation meetings. These meetings are for the local Ukrainian community and all new arrivals to meet, share important information, and support each other. Meetings will take place in the Downing Place United Reformed Church cafeteria space (Downing St., Cambridge CB2 3EL) every Saturday at 12pm. Any changes will be communicated via Cambridge4Ukraine social networks (Twitter Cambridge4Ukr, Instagram @cambridge4ukraine). The meetings are organised by Cambridge4Ukraine initiative, in collaboration with Cambridge University Ukrainian Society.

Cambridge4Ukraine – employment support

Cambridge4Ukraine has also set up a small sub-group to offer support in finding work to people arriving from Ukraine. For further information please email jobs.help@cambridge4ukraine.uk. There’s much more information about employment support in our digital welcome pack for guests.

Mental health and emotional support

This week we have updated the digital welcome pack for guests with information about NHS mental health support, and an offer from the Refugee Council, which is providing one-to-one counselling, group counselling, and group outings (further information is also attached to this email in both English and Ukrainian). There is existing information available too about support from Barnardo’s and the British Red Cross.

Physical health – updates added this week

You will already be aware that Ukrainian refugees will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare on a similar basis as other UK residents. Easy-read information has been added this week on:

  • how to register with a GP
  • the support available from a pharmacy or minor injury unit
  • how to access medication and costs of prescriptions
  • maternity care and services
  • costs of dental care
  • and access to eye care.

Guests can contact Healthwatch Cambridgeshire if they feel that they are being denied the ability to access healthcare. The number to call is 0330 355 1285.

Education

Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for providing school places, and information about how to do this can be found as part of our digital welcome pack for guests (linking to the County Council website). We have, this week, added further information to set out early years provision (with explanations about different types of providers such as pre-school, childminders and day nurseries, as well as how places are funded and how to apply). Anyone who is encountering problems finding school places can email the admissions team: SPOS.Admissions@cambridgeshire.gov.uk 

Support from the Department for Work and Pensions

Attached to this email is a PDF from the Department for Work and Pensions which provides an easy-read introduction to topics such as ‘Applying for Universal Credit’, ‘Applying for Pension Credit’, ‘Applying for Personal Independence Payments’, ‘Applying for Child Disability Allowance’. It also outlines ‘What is a National Insurance number?’ and a raft of support that is available for any guests who are looking to work here. If your guests may find this useful, please feel free to share this with them.

Information and support on recognition of professional qualifications

Ukrainian people who work in a regulated profession may need to have their professional qualifications formally recognised in the UK. The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications provides a free service which explains whether a profession is regulated and any entry requirements. Call 0871 226 2850, or email offerwork@homeoffice.gov.uk

Immigration information for Ukrainians in the UK

On 9 May, the Home Office published new immigration information about the next steps Ukrainians need to take after arriving in the UK. This includes information about what Ukrainians need to do to confirm their immigration status, how to demonstrate their status to access work, and the benefits and services they are entitled to. Translated versions will be available in Ukrainian and Russian shortly.

Homes for Ukraine: Updated ‘Week one guidance’ published

The Government has produced new ‘Week one guidance’ which includes a shorter and more accessible guide to services Ukrainians may need in their first week in the UK. The Government has also updated the welcome guide for Ukrainians which includes information on getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.

Homes for Ukraine: new guidance published for organisations and businesses

Last week the Government published guidance as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme:

The government has also published guidance for businesses considering making offers of employment to people coming to the UK from Ukraine.

South Cambs – Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 29 April 2022

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

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 as new and relevant information becomes available, both to hosts in South Cambridgeshire, and to District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues. The idea is to share all the latest updates that we have on support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme. All information previously shared can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpages. Hosts also receive information from us directly related to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 (host) and £200 (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

You may be interested to hear that we have looked at the latest data published by the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and South Cambridgeshire as an area has had 372 visas issued as of 26 April. This is the tenth highest number of visas issued for any area in the country. This is also the highest number for a District Council area.  A big thank you from us to hosts and communities for stepping forwards so readily to support this programme.

Support for Ukraine: Zoom meeting: Thursday 12 May from 6pm to 7:30pm

As part of our offer around the Homes for Ukraine scheme, we want to engage with hosts (and eventually their guests) and facilitate various means of support. As you will by now know, we have started this via our new private Facebook groups (please see more about these groups later in this newsletter). 

In the same vein, we will be holding a Zoom meeting, for hosts, community support groups, guests and local district and county elected members on Thursday 12 May from 6pm to 7:30pm. Some of the content at the meeting is likely to be more focussed on hosts as we will run through our approach to the scheme and the processes we have been putting in place, as well as having partners from health and education, our own Business Support team and Cambridge University speak about access to services and support they can offer. However, the event should be helpful to a wide range of people. And of course, hosts are welcome to have their guests join them on the call.

We will also be asking what kind of support hosts and their guests would like to see from us in the coming weeks and months. We know from our experiences throughout the COVID pandemic that community groups have stepped forward to help and in many cases are doing so to support Ukrainian guests, and we want anything we do to complement that. We are proposing to facilitate some more local face to face meetings for hosts and guests, with information about what is available more locally, and where you and your guests can meet in person. You may have ideas about what would make such events useful to you and we’ll be inviting you to share these, as well as your other ideas, on the day.

The link to join the meeting is here.  The passcode is 558068 but it is not always required. Please contact us if you need help ahead of time with queries about Zoom and we will be happy to try to help. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bus travel for guests

We have been contacted by hosts who have been told by Stagecoach that local councils can provide bus passes or a code which will provide guests with access to free bus travel. I am sorry to say that this is not the case; there is currently no scheme in place that facilitates free bus travel for guests who are part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We understand from talking to Stagecoach that they had initially provided some limited free bus travel for a small number of guests, but they were unaware of the number of guests who could come to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which meant it was not feasible to do so for all of them on an ongoing basis. We are pleased to say that Stagecoach now has a better understanding of the local position on guest numbers, and they remain keen to support guests as they settle into their new home in a way that is viable for them as a business. They will be coming back to us as soon as possible with further information and we will share this with you as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, we are of course providing guests with a pre-paid Mastercard (the £200 per guest arrival payment) that could be used to purchase bus travel on-board. The Stagecoach website states: “Contactless payment cards issued for Visa, Mastercard and Maestro can be used. Pre-paid contactless payment cards can be used but please make sure they have enough credit on them before boarding.” We also have feedback that some guests have used the card for this purpose.

We are sorry for any mixed messages that may have reached hosts and guests on bus travel and caused confusion.

Visa applications

We have been contacted by a number of hosts regarding visa applications for their expected Ukrainian guests. The information we are provided by the Home Office only gives us very limited details of visa applications and therefore we are not able to provide any updates to hosts or guests. We would ask hosts and guests to be patient and contact the Home Office through the channels available in the application process. We have contacted our local MPs and the Local Government Association to ask them to convey local concerns around visas so better information can be provided to applicants.

In the meantime, we have also been in discussions with staff at the offices of the MP for South Cambridgeshire, Anthony Browne, and the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, regarding the visa process. Please remember that local parliamentary constituencies are slightly different to the boundaries for councils. Your local MP will either be Anthony Browne if you are in the South Cambridgeshire constituency or Lucy Frazer if you are in the South East Cambridgeshire constituency.

Any South Cambridgeshire residents who would like Anthony Browne’s office to raise visa concerns with the Home Office should email jamie.newgreen@parliament.uk

Any South East Cambridgeshire residents who would like Lucy Frazer’s office to raise visa concerns with the Home Office should email lucy.frazer.mp@parliament.uk

However, please note that due to the number of visa enquiries the Home Office is receiving, the response will not be immediate.

Finally, please note that the Ukraine Extension Scheme which opens on Tuesday (3 May) will allow Ukrainians already in the UK on temporary visas to extend their leave here.

COVID vaccines for guests: Guidance from NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group

Everyone in the UK, including people who have recently arrived in the country from Ukraine, is entitled to the free COVID-19 vaccinations they are eligible for from the NHS. Individuals who haven’t yet had any dose of the vaccine can simply walk in to get their first, second and booster dose(s) as appropriate at any of the walk-in clinics in our area. You can find these walk-in clinics via www.thevaccinators.co.uk – Patients who walk in for their vaccination do not need to bring ID and do not require an NHS number.

People who have had one or more doses abroad are usually expected to bring proof of these vaccinations to the vaccination clinic in order to evidence which doses they are now due to receive. However, we understand that many Ukrainian individuals may not have been able to bring proof of their previous vaccinations with them. If a person who has recently arrived from Ukraine cannot produce proof of their previous vaccinations, the vaccinating team will be able to restart their vaccination course. This means that they’ll receive a first, second and booster dose(s) as appropriate in the UK.

If a Ukrainian individual does have proof of their previous vaccinations, we would ask them to bring this to the vaccination site so they can continue their vaccination course.

Our processes: A timeline

We thought it would be helpful to set out the processes that we have in place and are following – at a very high level – as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The below table should help answer any questions about the stages at which these different steps take place. As the scheme got up and running some guests had arrived before some of these steps could be completed. But the table below shows our normal process now. But please do contact us if you have any questions.


The process
Home office informs us of your sponsor match – this is the first time we have any details for a sponsor or their proposed guests
 
We send an email to sponsors outlining important information
 
This email asks sponsors to instigate DBS checks online
 
Home inspections are arranged by us – contact is made by us to sponsor
 
Guests Arrive
 
Sponsors complete our data capture form to let us know who has arrived
 
Guest £200 payment is processed
 
Sponsor £350 per month payment is set up on our systems to pay in arrears
 
Welfare checks on your Ukrainian guests are arranged

Welcome flyer for guests

For your information, we are providing the attached welcome flyer to all new guests who have arrived under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The text is in the following order: English, Ukrainian (both on page 1), Polish and Russian (both on page 2).

Welcome pack for guests

A reminder that, if you are trying to find information to provide to guests as a ‘welcome pack’, please view our digital welcome pack on our guest webpages here. This set of online pages provides all the latest information for your guests, and will be regularly updated with any new information for guests too.

Laptops for guests

Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign has partnered with Laptops 4 Learning – a company that refurbishes tech devices obtained from companies and educational establishments and recycles them, cleansed and ready for use by people in need.

A guest or host (on behalf of the guest) under the Homes for Ukraine scheme can fill in a form once a guest arrives to request support and a device. The turnaround is around 2 weeks.

The scheme is still looking for more devices. You can contact Admin_TeamUkraine@cambridgerefugees.org if you or a company can support.

Private Facebook groups

As mentioned last week, we have recently set up two private Facebook groups as part of our support for the Homes for Ukraine programme. The first is intended purely for those individuals or families who are hosting guests from Ukraine. We are really pleased to see this group is being well used already, with some helpful discussion, ideas and points raised. The second group is intended purely for guests from Ukraine. These new Facebook groups are intended to be complementary to existing community Facebook pages, email newsletters and so on, and be more individually tailored for hosts or guests. We think they are of value given that the District Council is the only organisation with an over-arching view of all hosts / guests and can bring them together on a district-wide level. Existing and new hosts have been sent the links to these Facebook groups to join as a host or pass to their guests. If you are a host and have not received the links, or have misplaced them, please just email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk and we can provide them again.

FSB updated advice

In the latest advice from the FSB, find out how your small business can keep a close eye on operations and get advice as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to disrupt the global economy.

Thank you for your continued support.

South Cambs – Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 21 April 2022

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

If this is the first time you are receiving this weekly ‘Support for Ukraine community update’ from us as a host, please note that we send these out on a regular basis both to hosts in South Cambridgeshire, and to District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues. The idea is to share all the latest updates that we have on support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme. All information previously shared can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpage. Hosts also receive information from us directly related to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 (host) and £200 (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

Welcome pack for guests

If you are looking for information to provide to guests as a ‘welcome pack’, please view our digital welcome pack on our guest webpages here. This set of online pages provides all the latest information for your guests and will be regularly updated with any new information for guests too.

We are also currently in the process of creating a simple welcome flyer, that will be printed and provided to all guests. This flyer will contain information in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and English. It will provide some initial signposting and links to online information.

New Facebook groups

As briefly mentioned in last week’s update, we have set up two new private Facebook groups. These are intended as safe spaces, for either guests or hosts in South Cambridgeshire, to talk amongst themselves and connect if they wish. We are of course aware that there are many other platforms, such as other Facebook groups, email lists and WhatsApp groups, which bring together community groups, residents, and guests from Ukraine. These new Facebook groups which we have established are intended to be complementary to these efforts and more individually tailored for hosts or guests. We thought they would be of value given that the District Council is the only organisation with an over-arching view of all hosts / guests and is able to bring them together on a district-wide level.

The first new private Facebook group which we have created is intended purely for those individuals or families who are hosting guests from Ukraine. The idea is that the group will provide a closed forum where hosts can share experiences and suggestions to help support each other and your guests. Please note that there is no need to join the group unless you wish to – we won’t be using the group as a primary method of contact. Existing and new hosts will be sent a link to enable them to access this Facebook group if they wish.

The second group is intended purely for guests from Ukraine. The idea is similar in that the group will provide a closed forum for guests to share experiences and suggestions to help support each other. Again, please note that there is no need for guests to join the group unless they wish to – we won’t be using the group as a primary method of contact. Hosts will also be provided with a direct link to this Facebook group, so that they can in turn share it with their guests.

Free English lessons

Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) is offering free English lessons for people who don’t speak English as a first language. An information session specifically for Ukrainian arrivals is taking place via Zoom on Tuesday 26 April, from 1pm. Anyone who would like to register for this information session can do so via this Zoom link, or if you have queries you can email WEA directly.

How can your business support people arriving from Ukraine?

Did you know refugees from Ukraine have immediate eligibility to work? Can your business help support people arriving from Ukraine by giving them work? The Government has confirmed that Ukrainian refugees are able to work in the UK for up to three years.

We are asking South Cambridgeshire businesses to email the JobCentre Plus team if they have roles that they would like to promote to new arrivals from Ukraine. The team will coordinate offers and match them to emerging needs as people settle in the district.

Our website has a range of ways businesses and individuals can help as well as support services for Ukrainians needing help on arrival in the area. Both the Chambers of Commerce and FSB have published helpful advice to assist businesses and employees who may be affected by events in Ukraine.

Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions updated

The Government has updated the Ukrainian and Russian translations of the frequently asked questions document this week. All language versions of the FAQs can be viewed on the Government’s website.

South Cambs District Council – Update for those supporting refugees from Ukraine – 7 April 2022

Dear hosts, volunteer coordinators and parish council colleagues

Last week we shared the link to our short survey to capture what your community volunteers / groups / organisations are planning as part of the district’s support for hosts and guests. If you haven’t yet completed the survey, we would be grateful if you could complete our survey here.

Hosts will be aware that we have this week been able to start DBS and accommodation checks, as well as capturing information we will need to be able to make the £350 (host) and £200 (guest) payments. We are also working on providing welcome packs for guests – in the meantime you can always find all of the information we have collated so far on our Support for Ukraine webpage. The information in this update only covers new information that we have received / clarified over the past week since our last update.

Looking ahead

We’re also now turning our attention to how we can better support hosts and guests in the slightly longer term, once new arrivals have had a chance to settle in. Hosting someone in your own home for a prolonged period of time has the possibility of being challenging, but we have seen how communities have rallied together to support one another during the pandemic and anticipate similar support being coordinated for hosts and guests.

We plan to share some tools for hosts and community groups in the coming weeks. If you have any suggestions for this toolkit please send these to us. The more input from groups and hosts, the better. You could send us an idea about the support you’d be grateful for as a host. Or you may be a volunteer or run a community group wanting to make an offer of support to host households / guests. This could be anything from a cooked meal to take some pressure off; support for guests who don’t speak much English; or ideas to link local hosts together to build support networks. All ideas of what hosts or guests might need, what groups are thinking of offering, or what businesses or individuals feel may be needed are warmly welcomed. Simply email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk

Support in Ukrainian

There are a couple of options set out below (repeated from last week) to support guests who don’t speak any English. Please also bear with us as we work over the coming week to collate a pack of information specifically aimed at guests which we will provide in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish (as well as in English). We will let you know when this is available.

Cambridge4Ukraine

Cambridge4Ukraine – волонтерська ініціатива, заснована українською спільнотою в Кембриджі.

Cambridge4Ukraine is a volunteer initiative set up by Ukrainians in Cambridge, which is helping to match sponsors with those fleeing Ukraine as well as providing support to arrivals from Ukraine.

Council translation and interpreting

На цій сторінці ви знайдете корисну інформацію, але якщо вам потрібна будь-яка підтримка, пишіть на мейл duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk або телефонуйте 01954 713 070.

Щоб перекласти іншу інформацію на цій сторінці українською мовою, ви можете використати сайт Google Translate:

  • У вашому браузері, зайдіть на сайт Google Translate
  • Вгорі сторінки, натисніть на ‘Websites’.
  • Ми рекомендуємо залишити мову оригіналу, натиснувши на опцію ‘Detect language’.
  • У полі ‘Website’, введіть адресу сайту (URL)
  • Натисніть ‘Go’.

There is information on this page which should be useful, but if you need any support, you can email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk or call 01954 713 070.

To translate the rest of the information on this page into Ukrainian, you should be able to use Google Translate:

  • In your browser, go to Google Translate.
  • At the top, click Websites.
  • We recommend setting the original language to ‘Detect language’.
  • In the ‘Website’, enter a URL.
  • Click Go.

Government guidance

A reminder that the Government has created a Welcome Pack for Ukrainians arriving in the UK, which covers what they may need to know in their first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.

Via the same link above, the pack can now also be downloaded in Ukrainian or Russian.

Updated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Joining the library is free

Colleagues from Cambridgeshire libraries are asking hosts to encourage new arrivals from Ukraine to seek out local libraries as places to connect both locally and with the online community – reminding gusts that it is completely free to join the library, and no proof of address is needed.

Guests will then be able to:

  • Use our study spaces, WiFi, computers and printers
  • Browse books and borrow up to 12 items at a time
  • Read eNewspapers in many languages
  • Come to library events
  • Join a reading group
  • Join free story times and rhyme-times for children and their parents/carers.

People can also join the library online. You can see a flyer with more information – both in English and Ukrainian – attached to this email.

How can new arrivals open a bank account without proof of address?

To open a bank account in the UK, you usually need proof of permanent address. NatWest and RBS are now advising that for arrivals from Ukraine, this requirement for proof of permanent address may be waived – especially where a visa can be presented instead. Other banks are advising that they have colleagues ready to help new arrivals (HSBC and Santander). Other banks may also be able to help new arrivals. There is no expectation of guests to have set up a UK bank account prior to their arrival in the UK, but it would be a good idea to support guests to do this as soon as is appropriate after their arrival, once they are settled in.

How can guests receive their £200 payments if they don’t have a bank account?

We have sourced a provider of pre-paid cards which we will provide to new arrivals who don’t have access to a UK bank account. All hosts who have been matched with guests will receive, within two days of being matched with guests, an email from us requesting that both hosts and guests complete a data capture form. As part of this, guests can indicate that they don’t have a bank account to receive their £200 payments. Those guests who indicate they don’t have a UK bank account will be contacted by our team to arrange giving them a pre-paid card. If you are a host and have an urgent questions about this in the meantime, please contact duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk 

How can guests access English Language tuition?

Cambridge Regional College offers free English lessons for people who don’t speak English as a first language. There are different levels available and new arrivals should check which level is going to be most suitable for them.

A charity called Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) also offers free English lessons for people who don’t speak English as a first language. You can see information in an attached flyer about an information session for Ukrainian arrivals. This is taking place virtually on Tuesday 26 April, from 1pm. The coordinator at WEA speaks Russian and as some Ukrainians speak Russian, is offering to run the session in Russian as well as English. If your guest speaks Russian and you’d like a copy of the leaflet in Russian, please let us know.

And there are a number of English courses available through the Cambridgeshire Skills website – you can search for ‘ESOL’ courses in the search field. For further information email cambsals@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Support for guests’ health and wellbeing

We know that some of the individuals arriving from Ukraine will be traumatised by recent events and families may need some professional support. We are seeking guidance to support hosts in spotting any signs of PTSD, and also plan from next week to provide suggestions to help with guests’ wellbeing.

A reminder that Barnardo’s has set up a Ukrainian Support Helpline to provide a holistic support service to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Barnardo’s free helpline (0800 148 8586) is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, to offer support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine. The helpline is open Monday to Friday (10am to 8pm) and Saturday (10am to 3pm). Callers will be able to get help and advice on a range of issues. You can also email the team or find out more on the Barnado’s website.  

If you have any safeguarding concerns about any children, please contact Children’s Services. This could be because you think a child is experiencing, or is at risk of, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, exploitation, extremism or neglect. If at any time you have a concern about the welfare of any vulnerable adults, you can email Safeguarding@scambs.gov.uk for advice. In an emergency always dial 999.

Business support for arrivals from Ukraine

A reminder that refugees from Ukraine have immediate eligibility to work in the UK for up to three years. Our Business Support and Development team is asking local businesses to get in touch with colleagues at Jobcentre Plus (JCP) if they are able to offer job opportunities to new arrivals from Ukraine. JCP will coordinate offers and match them to emerging needs as people start to settle in the district. If you, your family or friends are aware of any suitable vacancies please email dawn.bere@dwp.gov.uk, and the team will add them to their list.

The Federation of Small Business has published some helpful advice to help employees who may be affected by events in Ukraine.

If a household currently subject to the spare room subsidy offers their spare room, will they no longer be subject to this?

The DWP has confirmed that if a host’s household is already subject to under-occupancy this will not be altered by the presence of a Ukrainian guest, so the under-occupancy will continue to apply. This is because we have been advised that this will not be treated as their main residence which also avoid the application of non-dependent deductions.

Will social housing tenancies be affected?

Anyone who rents their property – whether through a social or private tenancy – should check with their landlord about having non-family members residing with them to ensure this does not put their tenancy at risk.

South Cambs Update –

Assistance for those affected by the war in Ukraine – 3 March 2022

Dear volunteer coordinators, parish councillors and Members

As we watch the terrible events in Ukraine unfold, our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. The horrors of war, as shown in the photographs and videos on the news media, is impossible to overstate. The Council has pledged to support people fleeing the Ukraine and is calling for a national resettlement programme to be set up by the Government so that this can happen. Councillors have said that the Council will play their part and work to identify local homes for refugees leaving the warzone if needed. You can read the Council’s position in full here: pledge to support people fleeing Ukraine.

We hear and empathise with the anxiety and concern of residents who want to do something to help those affected and we want to help by signposting people who wish to offer support in response to the humanitarian crisis.

Donations

Local organisation Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action – which ordinarily works to take regular convoys of donated items to refugees in Calais – has advised that it is NOT currently collecting items for Ukraine. They suggest instead that donations of money is a much more effective way of helping the aid organisations that are working in the region.

In line with this recommendation, the Local Government Association (LGA) has provided Councils with this link to BBC News online where it suggests people should direct their support to organisations including:

  • The British Red Cross, which has launched an appeal to help the Ukrainian Red Cross to provide food, medicine, clothing and shelter, as well as first aid training in bomb shelters, and drinking water to villages in eastern Ukraine
  • The UNHCR refugee agency, which is funding emergency shelters, repairs for homes damaged by shelling, emergency cash assistance, psychological support and warm clothing
  • UNICEF, the UN’s children’s charity, which is helping to ensure families have clean water and food and that child health and protection services continue
  • Save the Children, which is providing cash assistance, food and other support to refugees crossing into Romanian and Lithuania, as well as in Ukraine itself.

Additionally, the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, has suggested donating money through the Ukrainian Embassy’s With Ukraine fund. The money will be spent on providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population and to purchase medical and military supplies for Ukraine’s army.

You may also have seen overnight that the UK Government has committed to matching the donations made by people in the UK to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which similarly provides food, water, shelter, healthcare and protection to people fleeing Ukraine.

Misinformation

In addition to donating, another practical thing that we can all do is to be careful not to unwittingly distribute misinformation or propaganda about the situation by sharing articles, images or videos that we see online which are fake or misleading. The Full Fact organisation has some useful tips on how to spot false information online and sharing these tips within our communities can help. Here are links to their posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Please note that this information was collated on Thursday 3 March 2022. Due to the fast-changing nature of the situation, it is clearly not possible to create an exhaustive list of the organisations supporting the local and national effort. If there are significant changes, we will share the information via social media or with another Community Update.

South Cambridgeshire District Council green bin collections

South Cambridgeshire District Council green bin collections: As we catch-up on collections in the district, we’re aware there were some streets in your area we didn’t reach last Saturday. However, we are planning to collect from these missed areas this Saturday

Please check the service announcements page at https://www.scambs.gov.uk/recycling-and-bins/bin-collection-service-announcements/ 

for further updates. It also includes answers to common queries we are receiving about green bin collections.

Catch-up collection for green bins this Saturday

Willingham’s missed green bin collections will be collected on Saturday (26 February) as part of the Council’s ‘catch-up’ collection rounds. Therefore please do bring in your green bins for the next couple of days. The green bins will need to be out by 6am on Saturday to be collected in the catch-up collections. Blue and black collections are not affected by this additional catch up collection for green bins.

Catch up green bin collections – Saturday 19 and 26 February

For the green bins that were not emptied between 7 and 18 February due to our staff shortages, we will be returning to empty these on the next two Saturdays. If all the green bins on your street were not emptied during this fortnight, please put your green bin out on Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 February, until it is emptied. Thank you for your continued understanding and support. For more information, go to www.scambs.gov.uk/bins

Green Bin Collections

 South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City Council residents are being asked to put their green bins out as normal from Wednesday 12 January, with waste crews working to empty as many as possible each day. The intention is to empty all green bins in line with the published schedule, but crews may not be able to reach all properties. While they work to bring the service back up to normal, it will not be possible to report any missed green bin collections in January. Find out more including your scheduled collection day and to read our FAQs: https://www.scambs.gov.uk/return-of-green-bin-collections/ See less

Lateral Flow Tests – update from South Cambs District Council

COVID community update on Lateral Flow Tests – 7 January 2022

As you will be aware, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has meant there has been a huge surge in demand for Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) and demand is currently outstripping supply at times. Although this is expected to be a temporary problem, obtaining test kits is currently not as straight-forward as it has previously been, especially since the most convenient source – local pharmacies – have not had a regular supply of test kits since the rise in demand.

For most people this will simply mean some extra patience when ordering tests online. The national system refreshes the delivery slots available every 30 minutes, so if you visit the website and no tests are available, try again in 30 minutes.
For those who urgently need tests and are able to travel, an alternative is to visit one of the rapid testing centres from where kits can be collected. In South Cambridgeshire there is a regular pop-up session in Cambourne, but all the details about the locations of these sites can be found on Cambridgeshire County Council’s website.

Perhaps the biggest concern is for those people who rely on LFTs so they can attend regular medical appointments but find it difficult or impossible to do so online. In such circumstances, people can still ring 119 to place an order. We would suggest that during this time it would be wise to place the order in plenty of time before it is needed – especially if a medical appointment is coming up.