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).


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. 


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


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.


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 Handley

Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health and Wellbeing

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Notice of Election (28th March – 5th April 2022)


Nomination papers are now available on our website:


Just to remind you, nomination papers will be accepted on any working day between 28 March and 5 April. Please advise candidates that nomination papers must be delivered, by hand, to the offices of South Cambridgeshire District Council in Cambourne (CB23 6EA) between the hours of 8.30am and 5.30pm. Nominations must be received by 4.00pm on 5 April. Please be aware that consent to nominations must not be signed more than 1 calendar month prior to the close of nominations.

An appointment can be booked by emailing which we encourage you to make to avoid having to wait. We also recommend bringing nominations in in bulk which is often something a parish clerk can do on behalf of the candidates.

After close of nominations on 4th April we will publish as soon as possible a statement of persons nominated on the webpage linked above. On 5th April we will make direct contact with any parish clerks where there parish is going to poll with further instructions.


I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Kind regards,


Jo Cox | Electoral Services Officer

South Cambridgeshire Hall | Cambourne Business Park | Cambourne | Cambridge | CB23 6EA

Notice of Election (28th March – 5th April 2022)

  1. Forms of nomination for parish or town council elections may be obtained from the Clerk of each Council or South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for any electoral area prepare a nomination paper for signature.


  1. Nomination papers must be delivered by hand to the Returning Officer, South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA on any day after the date of this notice (between 30am and 5.30pm) but no later than 4pm on Tuesday, 5 April 2022. An appointment for delivery may be made by emailing


  1. If any election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday, 5 May


  1. Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by midnight on Thursday 14 April Applications can be made online: vote.


  1. Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA by 5pm on Tuesday, 19 April


  1. New applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA by 5pm on Tuesday, 26 April 2022.


  1. Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election on grounds of physical incapacity or for work/service reasons must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA by 5 pm on Thursday, 5 May The physical incapacity must have occurred after 5pm on Tuesday, 26 April 2022. To apply on the grounds of work/service, the person must have become aware that they cannot go to the polling station in person after 5 pm on Tuesday, 26 April 2022



Liz Watts Returning Officer 28 March 2022


Printed and published by the Returning Officer, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6EA

Notice of Election (28th March – 5th April 2022)

Notice of Election

Election of Parish & Town Councillors for the South Cambridgeshire parishes and towns listed below:




Parish/Town Councillors to be elected  


Parish/ Town Councillors to be elected
Arrington Seven Histon Eleven
Babraham Five Horningsea Seven
Balsham Nine Horseheath Seven
Bar Hill Thirteen Ickleton Nine
Barrington Thirteen Impington Eight
Barton Nine Kingston Five
Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth Fifteen Landbeach Nine
Bourn Nine Linton Fifteen
Caldecote Nine Litlington Nine
Cambourne town Nineteen Little Abington Seven
Carlton Seven Little Chishill parish ward One
Castle Camps Nine Little Eversden Five
Caxton Seven Little Gransden Five
Comberton Thirteen Little Shelford Nine
Coton Nine Little Wilbraham parish ward Five
Cottenham Fifteen Longstowe Five
Croxton Five Madingley Five
Croydon Seven Melbourn Fifteen
Dry Drayton Seven Meldreth Nine
Duxford Eleven Milton Twelve
Elsworth Nine Newton Five
Eltisley Seven Northstowe town Fifteen
Fen Ditton East parish ward Six Oakington & Westwick Nine
Fen Ditton West parish ward Three Orchard Park community Nine
Fen Drayton Nine Orwell Nine
Fowlmere Nine Over Eleven
Foxton Ten Pampisford Seven
Fulbourn Fifteen Papworth Everard Thirteen
Gamlingay Fifteen Rampton Seven
Girton Fifteen Sawston Nineteen
Grantchester Nine Shepreth Seven
Graveley Five Shudy Camps Five
Great Abington Seven Six Mile Bottom parish ward Two
Great Chishill parish ward Six Stapleford Eleven
Great Eversden Five Steeple Morden Nine
Great Shelford Fifteen Stow-cum-Quy Seven
Great Wilbraham Seven Swavesey Eleven
Guilden Morden Nine Teversham Eleven
Hardwick Nine Toft Seven
Harlton Five Village (Thriplow) parish ward Five
Harston Eleven Waterbeach Fifteen
Haslingfield Eleven West Wickham Seven
Hatley Five West Wratting Seven
Hauxton Nine Weston Colville Seven
Heathfield parish ward Four Whaddon Seven
Heydon Five Whittlesford Eleven
Hildersham Five Wimpole Five
Hinxton Seven

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:

District and Parish Council Elections 2022

District and Parish Council Elections

Elections will be held on 5 May 2022 for all seats on South Cambridgeshire District Council, and for all Parish and Town Councils in South Cambridgeshire (except for Longstanton and Willingham).

Advice and guidance for candidates and agents can also be found on the Electoral Commission Website


Notice of the Election will be published here on 28 March 2022.

Nomination papers will then be accepted on any working day between 28 March and 5 April. Nomination papers must be delivered, by hand, to the offices of South Cambridgeshire District Council in Cambourne (CB23 6EA) between the hours of 8.30am and 5.30pm. Nominations must be received by 4pm on 5 April.

Nomination papers for both District and Parish candidates can be found below. Please be aware that your consent to nomination must not be signed more than 1 calendar month prior to the close of nominations.

Nomination Papers – District Council Elections [PDF, 0.2MB]

Nomination Papers – Parish Council Elections [PDF, 0.5MB]

At the time of writing, the offices remain closed to the public. Special provision will be made for anyone delivering nomination papers. Over this short period the team will receive a nearly 1000 nomination papers. Help us by booking your appointment – email .

A list of our District Wards and Parishes that are up for election can be found via the elections page on our website.

Registering to vote and voting by post or proxy

For more information about registering to vote, or about postal or proxy voting, please visit the dedicated pages on our website.

The following is a list of Polling Station Addresses. [PDF, 0.1MB]Please be aware that an elector can only attend the polling station for their particular village as will be indicated on their poll card.

Current vacancy

There is currently a vacancy for Harston and Comberton Ward due to the resignation of Councillor Fiona Whelan.

Notice of Vacancy. [PDF, 58Kb]

As there is less than 6 months to the usual election date a by-election will not be held and the position will remain vacant until the date of election on 5 May.

Working in partnership with Anglian Water to help your vulnerable parishioners


We’re delighted to be working with Anglian Water to let you know how they can support the people in your community who need it most.


As the cost-of-living crisis is affecting many of your parishioners, it’s more important than ever that people who need help paying their bills are being supported.


Anglian Water’s specially-trained Extra Care support team can create personalised payment plans to help your parishioners budget, give them some breathing space if they need some extra time to pay, as well as guide them towards other help and benefits available.


With different tariff options, your parishioners could be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on their water charges, depending on their situation.


Anglian Water’s Priority Services Register is in place to help lots of people with different needs and is completely free. By signing up, Anglian Water can:


  • Prioritise their needs if there’s an interruption to customers water supply
  • Help protect customers against bogus callers
  • Communicate in different languages, including British Sign Language
  • Send bills in alternative formats, including large print, audio and braille
  • Knock and wait, giving customers longer to get to the door


We want to encourage you to promote the support services to your parishioners, who may not know what’s available. Anglian Water can provide you with a range of resources to help get the message out to your community, including:-


  • Content for your newsletters and website
  • A5 support flyers
  • A4 posters for your parish notice boards
  • Social media posts
  • Anglian Water representative to speak at one of your parish council meetings


You can contact Anglian Water to request any of the above physical resources by:



In the meantime, please circulate the attached poster with your community. If you share on social media remember you can signpost to Anglian’s support pages on their website, ‘’ so those who need help can find out more from Anglian Water about the Extra Care Support and Priority Services available.


The Library Presents ‘Spring 2022’ Season

The Library Presents is delighted to announce the launch of our Spring Season of exciting arts events which will run from April to July 2022. The season will see workshops and performances taking place across Cambridgeshire’s Libraries and community locations.


Full details of the programme, along with booking information can also be found at


If you would like to receive a hard copy of the brochure please email


Please share this email with your colleagues and with any contacts who may be interested in the programme.


Best regards,


The Library Presents Team



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