Council support for Communities welcoming refugees from Ukraine

Council support for communities welcoming refugees from Ukraine

There is still some detail that is unclear in relation to which local authority will undertake which elements of support. In this update you can see the information that we do have, as well as information on who to approach if you need support.

 

As has been the case during the pandemic, if hosts or community groups need questions answered, or help to solve a local issue, please email our Communities team who will try to help.

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We are currently seeking further clarity on:

  • Access to additional funding for community groups supporting refugees
  • Access to legal support for refugees
  • Access to interpreting services
  • Which Council will be undertaking safeguarding checks of host families
  • How and when welfare checks will be undertaken on the homes offered
  • What process will be put in place in case of a breakdown in relations between a sponsor and a guest/family to ensure housing can be provided
  • How hosts can support guests to access health and education services (although more information is provided below).

Feedback

During the pandemic, it was invaluable to hear from our local community groups and volunteers to share best practice with other volunteers in the district and we would like to do the same thing as we welcome refugees from Ukraine. Currently there is only a small Ukrainian population in our district but we would like to start by communicating with them and helping them to make connections.

Emerging case studies

We have already seen in a number of our communities a phenomenal response to the emerging refugee crisis and wanted to share one such case study. If your community is likely to coordinate a similar response, please let us know what support you think you are likely to need from us. We are here to help.

Open Arms in Shelfords/Stapleford (OASISS)

The community in Great Shelford, Little Shelford and Stapleford is working to establish how many people are likely to offer accommodation to Ukrainian refugees in their area, in order to plan the support needed, and to be able to invite the wider community to offer help even without being able to provide accommodation. The community group aims to help link refugees with local residents offering accommodation, but initially is putting out a request for information to ascertain how many local people are signing up to the Government scheme to offer accommodation.

The idea is that through a coordinated community approach, they will be able to provide the refugees in their community with “an immediate support network as they face the challenges of settling into a new environment and the sadness ahead that many may have to deal with if this war continues with more soldiers and citizens killed.” The organisers asked those planning to offer accommodation to answer the following questions:

  1. How many people can you accommodate? Single adult; More than one adult; Adults with children (if so, how many children); No preference
  1. What space can you offer (considering pressure on bathrooms and kitchens when you consider available bedrooms)? Rooms in a property with access to shared facilities; a self-contained annexe/ an empty property; single room/s; double room/s
  1. Would the space you offer be suitable for the very elderly or for someone with a disability in terms of access?
  2. Are you able to commit to six months? If not, how long are you able to commit to providing space in your home? This could be, for example, relief accommodation for other hosts or as interim housing.
  3. Do you mind telling us if you have a current DBS in place? We know that checks (quite rightly) will be part of any scheme.

Routes to the UK

Please always check the Government’s website for the latest UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals.

Government schemes to settle refugees from Ukraine

  1. The Ukraine Family scheme. The Government has introduced special rules to make it easier for Ukrainians to bring family members from Ukraine to safety in the UK; this is called being a ‘sponsor’. It will cost nothing to sponsor family members, it doesn’t matter how much the sponsor or the guest earns or whether or not they can speak English and family members don’t have to get a medical test to show they are free of certain notifiable diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB). Citizens Advice has some useful guidance here. If the host family is unable to provide accommodation, guests can approach the Council for support.

 

  1. The Homes for Ukraine scheme. Ukrainians who are fleeing Ukraine but who don’t have a family connection in the UK can also be sponsored by an individual/ family/ charity/ community or faith group or business. In this case the Government expects that the sponsor is able to provide accommodation, free of charge, to the specific named Ukrainian individual/family for at least six months. Sponsors can apply through the Homes for Ukraine scheme here. Charities such as Reset are helping to match sponsors with those fleeing Ukraine. For those leaving Ukraine, it is free to apply for this visa and applicants do not need to pay the immigration health surcharge or biometric enrolment fee for this scheme. Ukrainians can stay in the UK for up to three years. For further information please visit the Government’s Frequently Asked Questions. Hosts are expected to stay in touch with their guests prior to arrival, help them travel to the accommodation if needed, and to signpost them to essential services such as registering with a GP or finding a school place.

 

  1. Ukrainians already in the UK are able to extend their visa to stay

Sponsorship Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will providing accommodation mean that I am classified as subletting (because of the £350 payment from Government)?
    No, you will not be classified as subletting.
  2. Do I need to tell my mortgage provider that I am providing accommodation through these schemes?
    You should contact your mortgage provider to double check. They may ask you to sign a disclosure.
  3. Will receiving the £350 affect my Benefits entitlement?
    No, the Government has advised that this will not affect your Benefits entitlement.
  4. Will providing accommodation affect my entitlement to Benefits, for instance if my guest is able to earn an income?
    No, you cannot charge the guest rent, and the £350 is classified as a gift. The Department for Work and Pensions has said it is ensuring that those who have stepped up to sponsor a Ukrainian individual or family do not see their household benefit entitlements affected as a result.
  5. Will my home be checked?
    The Council’s Environmental Health or Housing colleagues will be conducting safety checks on accommodation.
  6. Will hosts be checked?
    Yes, DBS (a criminal record) checks on all adults (over 18) living in the property will also be undertaken – we do not yet know the process for this. 

Transport

The Rail Delivery Group is offering free travel to Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK on National Rail services. Passengers will need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing their arrival into the UK. The offer is valid across all train operators in England, Scotland and Wales, and they will have 48 hours from arrival in the UK to complete their journey. They will also be able to use London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services if their journey requires them to travel between London national rail stations. Find out more on the National Rail website. We hope to include more information at a later stage about travelling locally in and around South Cambridgeshire.

Ukrainian nationals entering the UK with their pets

The Government has put in place support for people fleeing Ukraine and entering the UK with their pets. Using an emergency licence, people fleeing Ukraine can bring their pets to the UK with any quarantine costs being met by the Government. The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick licence approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays. The Government will also be covering their vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising that many individuals from Ukraine will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pet on arrival.

I want to help, but can’t offer accommodation

In the coming weeks we hope to see many more practical ways in which residents can help support local efforts, once we have a better picture of how many refugees are likely to arrive in the district, and where they will be accommodated.

 

If you would like to volunteer to support refugees, please email our Communities team. The team will keep a list of willing volunteers. Please provide your location, as well as any skills you have such as speaking Ukrainian or Russian. Please be aware that we may share these details with your local community group leader. In time, we may be able to provide information about how to support with meals, interim accommodation, and helping refugees to settle in to your community. We will update our website when we have more information about this.

 

In the meantime, some information about how to offer support is available on our website – such as through donations to charitable organisations working on the ground in and around Ukraine.

Access to services

Our understanding is that people arriving under the two Government schemes set out above will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years and access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education and English language tuition.

 

It is important to remember that people arriving through these schemes may have been traumatised by the war and having to leave loved ones behind. Some may need support to process what has happened from mental health practitioners. Others may have physical medical concerns that have arisen or that have gone without treatment. It will be important that hosts are able to help signpost new arrivals to the right support systems and we will update our website when we have more information about this.

Mental health

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.

Physical health: free access to NHS healthcare

Ukrainian refugees will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare on a similar basis as other UK residents including the offer of COVID-19 vaccines and medical screening. This covers any NHS treatment that started on or after 24 February (the date the full-scale Russian invasion began) and includes NHS dentistry. When we have further information related local NHS providers, we will update our website. In the meantime please visit www.nhs.uk.

Benefits

Ukrainian refugees will be able to access Benefits on a similar basis as other UK residents. You can find out more about Universal Credit on the Government’s website. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs, which people may be eligible for if they are on a low income, out of work or cannot work.

 

Ukrainians will also be eligible for Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance, and Attendance Allowance. Please see the Government’s statement here.

Help for refugees who are at risk of homelessness

If someone is at risk of becoming homeless – for instance if a relationship between a guest and a host breaks down – it is important to act as soon as possible. Please contact our team. Additionally, if someone has become homeless, they need to contact our team for advice and support.

Housing costs

If a refugee/refugee family can’t afford to pay rent, they can apply for assistance with housing costs via Universal Credit although this can take up to six weeks to come through and might not cover all of the rent. Our Housing Advice team can work with families to support them to remain with family or to secure alternative accommodation. If help is needed to pay a rent deposit, or rent in advance, contact our Housing Advice team.

Employment support

The Government has confirmed that Ukrainian refugees are able to work in the UK for up to three years. If you already have a guest or one is arriving imminently who is keen to find work, please email . Our Business Support Team is collating information about local job opportunities, including for those people who either don’t speak English or have limited English and they will be happy to try to match guests with work placements in the coming weeks and months. You may wish to signpost guests to the local Job Centre for support. As we know more, we will update our website.

Education

The Government has committed to providing full access to schools. The County Council is the local authority responsible for education. When we have information about how any referrals for school places should be made, we will update our website. If you are welcoming a family with children in the immediate future, please let us know by emailing so that we can coordinate with colleagues at the County Council.

Map of local food banks and food hubs

Should individuals or families be in need of food (whether as a one-off or more regular support), please direct them to the Foodbank page on our website. This shows a map of different types of foodbanks or food-hubs in the area with opening hours and information about how to access support. Council staff can provide food bank vouchers – please email for information.

If you run a business and would like to offer support

If you run a business in South Cambridgeshire and would like to offer your support, please email our Business Support team. The team will coordinate offers and match them to the emerging need as people start to settle in the district. You may want to offer food boxes or other items that are identified as being needed; or perhaps you’d like to publicise job vacancies to help new arrivals find suitable work.

Is your business affected by the crisis?

You may have other questions about the effect of the war in Ukraine on your business – from rising fuel costs, or links to Russia in your supply chain, to cyber security (for instance, have you checked whether your business can continue to run if you experience a loss of IT – would you lose network access or the use of your business telephony)? Please email the team with any specific queries or take a look at our Business Support web pages, where you can also sign up to our monthly Business Support e-newsletter for the latest guidance and support.

 

Bill

 

Bill Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Whittlesford Celebrates 1000 Years

Whittlesford 2022 1000
A celebration of one
thousand years of village life

In 2022, our Parish Church is one thousand years old. (Well, bits of it are). We are taking this opportunity to celebrate our village’s past, present and future. We are celebrating in four ways:

If you would like to donate to the cost of the window or the costs of the Village Party or other 2022 events, details of how to do so are here. Thank you.

All our welcome to get involved in any of these events.

Please contact Alasdair Coles

Eco Whittlesford

Join us for an open meeting this evening (Wednesday 16th March) 8pm – 9.30pm

At Whittlesford United Reformed Church.

We will share together whats already happening and what we want to see happen to build a community of care, to support Biodiversity, live more sustainably, and encourage one another in it all.

If you’re just curious to see whats going on, or if you’re keen to do more, come along!

We are only just beginning!

Drinks & nibbles too.

Please contact Sue Ginsberg if you’d like more info at:

CEREALS 2022, Nr. Chrishall Grange, Cambridgeshire

 

 WEDNESDAY 8th – THURSDAY 9th JUNE (07:00 – 18:00)

 

Dear Sir/ Madam

Cambridgeshire is in the heart of the British agricultural industry, and we are very pleased to be working again with Robert Law in hosting and organising the leading arable event in Europe. Cereals attracts around 350 exhibitors and 18,000 farmers and industry professionals over the two days of the event.

 

We have introduced a routing and parking system for all our visitors this year to reduce the impact of the event traffic on local residents and commuting traffic. (Please see schematic plans at end of this letter) As part of our overall traffic plan, Cambridgeshire County Council are issuing Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders authorising one-way systems and speed restrictions on certain roads for the two days of the event and for the build-up and breakdown period of the event which extends from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 12th June.

We would like to highlight the following to you:

Please note, the show site is in a slightly different location and allows us to not implement so many road restrictions as in previous years.

  • 1) The Show Site will be set up in the preceding weeks and removed in the days immediately after. These vehicles will access the site from the ‘T’ junction of Chrishall Road and the A505 and exit along Chrishall Grange Road back to the A505. The Gate onto the site will be referred to as the South Gate. The North Gate on Grange Road is for Event Day Visitors Only.

 

·         Cereals Site Location

 

 

  • Residents located on Chrishall Road between the A505, and the Cereals Site entrance (South Gate) will have access for the whole period but are advised to exercise extra care as there will be large articulated vehicles using this route during the build-up and break down period.

The best route for access to the A505 from Chrishall Grange is to continue travelling northeast on Chrishall Grange Road and join the A505 at the ‘T’ junction nearer Duxford.

Please note that during the two days of the event (Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June) both Chrishall Road and Chrishall Grange Road will be very busy with inbound and outbound event traffic. There will be traffic light control at this junction to allow smooth ingress and egress from the South Gate.

We advise that, if at all possible, this road is avoided during the periods quoted.

 

  • 2) Grange Road [North – Duxford] from West (Chrishall Grange end) towards East (Duxford end) one way – From 06:00 to approximately 13:00 in a westerly direction (from Duxford) and then be reversed to run in an easterly direction from the site back to Duxford until 19:00 on both days, Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th The section of Grange Road from the east side of the M11 ‘over bridge’ to junction with Hunt Road / Ickleton Road at Duxford will be operated as a two-way traffic flow system to allow residents access to Bustler’s Rise and this east section of Grange Road. Residents on the section of Grange Road on west side of the M11 ‘over bridge’ will need to conform to the one-way system when leaving their properties.

The alternative route, from Duxford to Chrishall Grange, is via Hunt Road, north to A505 roundabout then follow A505 westbound over the M11 to first turning for Chrishall Grange.

 

 

 

  • 5) Temporary Speed Restrictions – will be in place on following roads:
    1. A 30-mph restriction will apply on the length of Chrishall Grange Road from its junction with the A505 to Chrishall Grange Cottages and with Chrishall Road from its junction with the A505 to the junction with Chrishall Grange Road. The 30mph limit will be from 06:00-19:00 daily on both days of the event only.
    2. A 40-mph restriction will apply on the A505 just West of the junction with Chrishall Road to just East of the junction with Chrishall Grange Road between 0600 – 19:00 daily, on both days of the

 

  • 6) Temporary Traffic Signals – will be in place at the following
  1. On Chrishall Grange Road at its junction with Chrishall Road (Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June: 06:00 – 19:00). This is to assist with inbound (exhibitors) and outbound event traffic using the South Gate from the Cereals site.
  2. On A505 at junction with Chrishall Road (Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June: 06:00 – 19:00). This is to assist with inbound and outbound event traffic using the South Gate for the Cereals site heading west to Royston and beyond. Please note traffic will not be able to turn right out of Chrishall Road onto the A505.

Please note these Temporary Traffic Signals will be ‘manually operated’ and only used when traffic flows determine it is necessary to implement traffic control.

  • Delays on approach roads may be experienced during the Inbound and Outbound peak periods of the show and for which we apologise for any inconvenience this causes. We are making contact with the school buses that require access in the mornings and afternoons to ensure access is as smooth as possible.

 

 

Thanking you for your co-operation. Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

Natasja O’Connor Operations Manager

Comexposium Cereals Exhibitions

 

Email:

Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

 

Your help is needed, now!

 

As you know, there are an unprecedented number of Ukrainians fleeing their country due to this horrific war.

 

We are organising a (large) lorry to take urgently needed supplies over to the Polish/Ukrainian border, asap. We are relying on the kindness and generosity of our community here in Shelford and the Cambridge area.

 

Please take a look at the long list below of the most needed items:

 

– Large blankets & bedding / pillows/ mats

– Sleeping bags

– First aid and medical supplies: plasters/bandages, antiseptic wipes, painkillers

– Toiletries: toothbrushes/paste, soap, deodorant (roll-on not aerosol), sanitary pads

– Warm clothes, hats/scarves/gloves, coats, vests, spare socks/pants etc

– Nappies, wipes, baby food

– Childrens soft toys and colouring

– Dry food: pasta/rice, biscuits and protein bars

– Tinned food

– Pet food

– Torches and batteries

 

We would be so grateful for anything, as much as you feel you can provide.

 

Please drop off donations at Shelford Memorial Hall this Sunday 6th March, open 8am-6pm. Items need to be either new or in excellent condition.

 

I am also in need of some volunteers to help sort through the donations and move items to storage, so please message me if you are able to help on the Sunday. 07909217003 or .

 

Please please forward this on to anyone you think might be able to help and get the word out there!

 

Thank you So much

Tom and Georgie Godsal