Update Tuesday 15 March
Homes for refugees
Local individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can now record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war through the government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Phase One of the scheme will allow sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property. The applications for refugees will open this Friday (18 March)
To register interest in housing a refugee from Ukraine visit www.homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk.
You can record your interest as an individual or as an organisation (for example charity, business, community group).
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
As well as lighting up the Epsom Clock Tower in the colours of the Ukrainian flag in support of the people of Ukraine, we are also flying the Ukrainian flag from the Town Hall.
We will be guided by central government as to the best ways that we can help as the situation continues to develop. The council also stands by to support the local community in their efforts to support those fleeing conflict.
Update Friday 11 March
Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine refugees
Following the invasion of Ukraine, the government is launching a new sponsorship scheme to make sure that Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes have a route to safety in the UK.
The sponsorship plan is expected to allow suitable host individuals or organisations - such as families or church groups - to provide accommodation for those fleeing the conflict.
Full details are expected to be announced next week
Customs easement to help Ukraine aid exports
A simplification of customs processes will apply to goods intended to support those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine which are exported from GB. Provided the goods are not exported to, or through, Russia or Belarus, then these simplified processes apply to qualifying goods regardless of the destination to allow maximum flexibility to get aid to where the need is greatest.
The Government still recommends that organisations and people who would like to help, donate cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it’s needed and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what’s most needed.
However, businesses, charities and community organisations sending aid from GB ports will be able to make a customs declaration by speaking to customs officers or simply by the act of driving through a port.
Anyone requiring advice about transporting humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees can contact the free-to-use Export Support Service (ESS) or the ESS helpline 0300 303 8955 which can be used by individuals, businesses or charities.
Update Friday 4 March
The Council is showing its support to the people of Ukraine by currently lighting up the Epsom Clock Tower in the Ukrainian flag colours of yellow and blue.
Accommodating Ukrainian refugees
On 1 March, the government announced that a package of humanitarian support will be introduced for people from Ukraine and that it would include a humanitarian visa route which will allow sponsors, such as communities, private sponsors and local authorities, to bring people to the UK from Ukraine.
Further details of the scheme have yet to be announced.
How you can help
Government advice is as follows:
One of the best ways to help is by donating cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what is most needed. Unsolicited donations of goods, although well-meant, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent life-saving assistance from getting through.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is an umbrella group of UK charities which coordinates and launches collective appeals to raise funds to provide emergency aid and rapid relief to people caught up in disasters and humanitarian crises around the world.
By donating to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, you'll help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.
The UK Government will match donations to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal from the public pound-for-pound up to £20 million, meaning your support will go even further.
To make a donation visit https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal
The UK Government, Ukrainian Government and others have been sharing messages of support on social media using the hashtag #StandForUkraine
Take care what you share! There is a lot of false information about the conflict circulating online – this is often called misinformation and disinformation. You can do your part to stop the spread:
- Ask yourself – does this look right? Does this sound right? Does this information come from a source I recognise?
- The SHARE checklist can help you decide if information can be trusted, before you interact with or share it on your social media channels
The following may helpful:
- The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has issued new guidance for travelling to and from Ukraine and the neighbouring countries
- The Home Office has issued new visa guidance for on the support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members
- The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator has issued guidance on how to ‘give safely’ to registered charities helping and supporting those affected by the invasion of Ukraine
- For anyone wanting to contact loved ones in Ukraine, BT, EE and O2 are making calls, texts and data to and from the region free or removing roaming charges. Check with your phone provider for details.