I know that many people across the constituency and broader Suffolk have been offering assistance and support to Ukraine and its citizens since Putin's illegal invasion of their country. I thank all those who have collected donations and supplies for those fleeing the conflict both individuals and businesses. Many have asked how they get involved further by offering their homes, sponsorship or employment, I therefore thought it would be helpful to outline what the Government are doing in response to the situation in Ukraine and what support is available.
The UK has rightly been leading the world in response to the unwarranted aggression from Putin, including providing Military equipment to Ukraine, implementing economic sanctions and delivering humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people. We will continue to work with our NATO and global partners to put pressure on Putin to stop this war, whilst supporting Ukraine in defending itself and providing aid to refugees fleeing the horror of the situation.
‘Thank you’ payments
In recognition of the generosity of British sponsors who have volunteered to share their home with Ukrainian people fleeing war, the £350 ‘thank you’ payments, will be extended from 12 months to a maximum duration of two years. The UK Government will also increase the minimum ‘thank you’ payments for hosts from £350 per month to £500 per month, once a guest has been here in the UK for 12 months.
This additional financial support is aimed at helping existing hosts to continue with their sponsorship, as well as new hosts who come forward to offer a home to a Ukrainian individual or family.
Some local authorities are already uprating ‘thank you’ payments using their own resource, and this is a measure we fully support. Our new package shows our strong desire to recognise the contribution made by sponsors, to help them with the rising cost of living and incentivise further sponsorships and rematching.
Funding for Local Authorities
Councils will continue to receive the existing year 1 tariff to support Ukrainians that have already arrived, as previously set out. From 1 January 2023, councils will receive funding of £5,900 for each new arrival to support guests and their sponsors (in addition to the ‘thank you’ paid to sponsors). Local authorities will continue to receive separate funding in 2022-23 for the Ukraine education tariff under the rates and terms previously set out (a per child tariff of £3,000 for early years, £6,580 for primary and £8,755 for secondary and payments calculated on a pro-rata basis); and the Ukrainians families will also continue to receive government support on skills training, job centre access and welfare payments.
Local Authority Housing Fund
Government has also launched a £500 million Local Authority Housing Fund, which will provide capital funding directly to English councils in areas that are facing the most significant housing pressures as a result of recent Ukrainian arrivals. This fund will also be used to provide homes for up to 500 Afghan families currently living in bridging hotels at a significant cost to taxpayers. Whilst helping to fulfil the UK’s humanitarian duties to assist those fleeing war, the fund will create a lasting legacy for UK nationals by providing a new supply of accommodation for councils with which to address local housing and homelessness pressures.
The UK Government continues to work with the Ukrainian government, the devolved governments, local authorities and charities and voluntary groups to deliver the Homes for Ukraine scheme and support sponsors and their guests.
Support for Ukrainian Refugees
If you are outside the UK and hold a valid Ukrainian international passport, you will no longer need to provide your biometric information from overseas to apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme. You will still need to complete an application online, but you will not need to attend an in-person appointment at a visa application centre.
The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK.
It is free to apply.
You will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.
If you need any assistance, please call the 24/7 free helpline +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK).
If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.
You must provide a valid email address when you submit your application as we will need to contact you with more guidance on the travel process.
To apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme you must:
be applying to join or accompany your 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)
You can apply if you’ve already arrived in the UK and meet the requirements above.
Your application will be subject to security checks.
UK-based family member
Your 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 must provide evidence that your UK-based family member is one of the following:
an immediate family member
an extended family member
an immediate family member of an extended family member
You will be asked to provide a copy of an official document that confirms your relationship to your UK-based family member. For example, a marriage or birth certificate if you have one.
Please note you can still apply if you are unable to provide this document, explaining why you are unable to do so.
Immediate family members
An immediate family member is your:
spouse or civil partner
unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least two years)
child who is under 18
parent (if you are under 18)
fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner
Extended family members
An extended family member is your:
parent (if you are over 18)
child who is over 18
grandchild or your partner’s grandchild
brother or sister
aunt or uncle
niece or nephew
mother-in-law or father-in-law
brother or sister-in-law
Immediate family member of an extended family member
An immediate family member of an extended family is the:
spouse or civil partner of an extended family member
child under 18 of an extended family member
parent of a child under 18 who is an extended family member
fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of an extended family member
If your UK-based family member is your (or an extended family member’s) spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner the relationship must have started before 1 January 2022.
Other family members will be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.
Homes for Ukraine scheme
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those with no family ties to the UK.
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.
Record your interest on the Homes for Ukraine webpage
There is no need for items and goods to be donated for refugees in Suffolk at this stage. However, this situation might change. Therefore, we are asking people who think they might be able to help to contact us in the first instance so that we have your details and we will get back to you if we are able to make use of your offer.
Private Accommodation Support
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can help.
To help meet the needs of the Ukraine refugees, you may wish to support national and international charities such as The Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal | British Red Cross
Suffolk Refugee Support are our local refugee charity, you can find out about their response to the Ukraine situation on their website: Response to the situation in Ukraine – Suffolk Refugee Support
Further information on how to help can be found on the Disasters emergency committee website DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal | Disasters Emergency Committee.