Supporting Ukrainian Refugees

The current military conflict taking place in Ukraine has seen the humanitarian needs of its citizens escalate dramatically. Over 5 million people have now fled the country according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and many more thousands have been displaced from their homes within Ukraine.

Information on the UK Government’s response to the situation in Ukraine can be found here and the Red Cross have provided regular updates on their work supporting refugees within neighbouring counties, more details of which can be found here

The Refugees and Persons who Seek Asylum Project has produced an excellent practical Guide to Ukrainian and UK Culture for Ukrainian’s in the UK and UK hosts – available here: Ukraine_Uk-Culture-Guide-and-Supplement_June_2022_RAAS.

What can I do to help?

We have been contacted by people wanting to offer their support to refugees, which is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to support financially, we are encouraging people to give via the UK Disasters Emergency Committee international appeal to support front line organisations working to support the refugee effort. Details of this appeal can be found here: https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

There is still an urgent need for hosts, so if you are considering offering a room to someone fleeing Ukraine, please register through the Government portal available <here> and the local authority will be in touch about next steps. 

What is happening locally?

We are working with Citizens Advice Southampton to provide wraparound support to people who have come to the city under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. You can email them at HFU@sotoncab.org.uk or call them free on 0800 246 1911 for details of the support available in Southampton.

A number of other groups have also been set up by different people across the city. Southampton Ukrainian Community Support Group meet on a Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Vedic Society Function Room, 79-195 Radcliffe Road, SO14 0PS and Ukrainian Welcome meet on a Wednesday at 1:30pm at St James Park, Shirley, SO15 5LW (or at Make and Brew café if it is raining – based in St James Road Methodist Church, SO15 5HE)

Southampton City Council run a Welcome Hub by the entrance to Central Library, Civic Centre, SO14 7LY (open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 2pm) and there is also information, advice and FAQ’s on their website – here

Organisations and Schemes *

Homes for Ukraine scheme

The UK Government scheme sets out to:

  • Offer a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home;
  • Enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members, forced to escape their homeland; and
  • Provide accommodation via sponsors for as long as they are able, but the government has a minimum expectation of six months

Someone is eligible for the scheme if they are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.

The Government will welcome as many arrivals as possible, based on the number of sponsors.

The website is now available for people to register – see here.

If you are interested in applying, we would strongly recommend that you consider the things listed here and you read the frequently asked questions that have been published by the Government here.

SO:Linked have produced a leaflet identifying the procedure to offer a place to stay for a not-yet-known Ukrainian individual family or individual who has applied to come to the UK for refuge, with specific information for Southampton and Hampshire.

Other organisations working nationally to look at the Homes for Ukraine scheme include Sanctuary Foundation and RESET and they may be able to provide additional information.

Please note that CLEAR are not able to assist in the process to match those offering sponsorship to Ukrainian individuals and families.

Ukraine Advice Project UK
A group of volunteer legal professionals with immigration and asylum expertise who are providing a free service to connect Ukrainian citizens (and others fleeing Ukraine) with free legal advice on UK immigration, visas and asylum from qualified and regulated lawyers. Details available here.
IAS Services
IAS are offering free legal advice to all Ukrainian nationals and residents looking to migrate to or extend their stay in the UK. Details available here.
Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK. It is free to apply. It allows applicants to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds. The guidance has details of how to contact the Home Office helplines to find out more.

To apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme people must:

  • Be applying to join or accompany a UK-based family member; and
  • Be Ukrainian or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who is applying to the scheme; and
  • Have been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)

The family member must be one of the following:

  • A British national;
  • Someone settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence;
  • Someone from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who has pre-settled status and started living in the UK before 1 January 2021;
  • Someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.

You can apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa here.

* Disclaimer These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by CLEAR of any of the products, services or opinions of the organisation or individual. CLEAR bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.