Nearly three million refugees are believed to have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. That’s an enormous number of people, by any measure – and many of them are in need of all the help they can get.
Finally, the UK government has announced plans to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, saying that there would be ‘no cap’ on the number granted visas. They will initially be allowed to live and work in the country for three years, as well as have access to healthcare, welfare support and education.
Now ministers have also announced plans for a ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, which will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to house those refugees. In other words, if you live in the UK and you’re looking for a direct, tangible way to help those affected by the conflict, now’s your chance.
So, how can you get involved? Well, if you already know a Ukrainian or a Ukrainian family, you can sponsor them through the visa process. Alternatively, if you don’t know any fleeing Ukrainians, there are plenty of charities helping to connect potential hosts with refugees. The BBC has listed four charities working on this, including Refugees At Home, Room For Refugees, Shelter 4 Ukraine and Reset.
There’s also a third option. UK residents can go on the government website here and register their interest before the visa process opens on March 18.
All hosts will need to be able to host refugees either in their own home or another property rent-free for at least six months. Hosts will be compensated £350 per month – tax-free – regardless of the number of refugees housed, for up to 12 months. Local authorities, meanwhile, will receive £10,500 in extra funding per refugee.
It’s fantastically comforting to hear that tens of thousands of people have already signed up to the Homes for Ukraine scheme (so many, in fact, that the government website apparently crashed). For more information, see the official website.
Now discover 17 other ways you can help the people of Ukraine.