Hosting & Supporting Ukranian Families

These notes are an extract from a meeting of Farnham Connects, which brings together voluntary, statutory and community organisations to problem solve, share information and avoid duplication across the town. This meeting was focused on support and hosting of Ukrainian families. 

Whilst there is a big focus around supporting Ukrainian families entering the country, we cannot forget those who are travelling from other counties in the world to the UK for refuge and the support they may need.

 

FAQs

I am interested in hosting a Ukrainian family, who in Farnham do I talk to?

  •  Farnham Homes for Ukraine

They have a website: https://www.fhfu.org/, where you can read specific information on hosting and how to become a host: https://www.fhfu.org/host-families-1

Kate Larmer and Tatyana Moskalenko set up this group to initially support Tatyana’s home town of Kharkiv. Full info on the group, including the latest updates on their work can be read here: https://www.fhfu.org/about-us

 

  • Farnham Stands with Ukraine

Email farnhamswu@gmail.com where they can discuss what you can offer; you can also join their Facebook Group here: https://m.facebook.com/farnhamstandswithukraine where they are sharing up to date information and donation asks. They have also set up a specific Volunteer Hub on Facebook.

The group is lead by Carole, who has worked for the refugee council and worked with Waverley to support Afghan refugees, and Otto a Ukrainian student at UCA. They are utilising connections with the university, meaning many of their translators are students and will be closer in age to some of the young people coming to Farnham. They are currently creating a page which details support for the families and presents who they are as a group.

 

I want to donate my time as a volunteer for when families arrive – where can I register this?

  • Farnham Stands with Ukraine have a google form where you can sign up to express volunteering preferences: https://forms.gle/kkVhee3pUsBdUmBt6, including teaching qualifications, befriending, translating.

 

Can I donate physical items?

  • Rowledge Residents Association are collecting offers of time and donations of items. Please email: rowledgeresidents@gmail.com with how you can help
  • Farnham Stands with Ukraine are accepting donations of specific physical items. Please see the attached donations.jpg that lists the needs and how you can donate them. If you would like to donate any larger items/items not on the poster, please email farnhamswu@gmail.com so they can note their offer and start to coordinate storage.

*Several groups have mentioned that money is still the most useful donation as this will allow families autonomy over choosing clothes and much needed items.

 

When will families arrive in Farnham?

This cannot be predicted due to visa waiting times.

 

What support will there be for the host families?

  • Farnham Maltings has secured Mental Health First Aid Training over zoom offer for hosts, that is not about counselling, but a deeper understanding. Any organisation or individual who is hosting, please get in touch to register interest.
  • Translators are being allocated to each family, some supporting in person, others remotely

 

What safeguarding checks are in place?

All host families will receive checks (including basic and enhanced DBS in certain circumstances) as soon as possible after a visa application has been made. In-person house inspections from Waverley Borough Council will take place either before or shortly after a guest has arrived to confirm that the accommodation is suitable and the guest is well and that there are no serious safeguarding, or welfare concerns.

Full info on safeguarding checks can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-guidance-for-councils#role-of-councils

 

Is there going to be support finding jobs for families?

  • Farnham Homes for Ukraine has partnered with the Four Seasons who are offering both jobs and accommodation
  • Farnham Town Council are liaising with Waverley Economic Development Team and Job Centre Plus around a new Jobs Fair, where they hope the timing of it can mean there are opportunities for newly arrived Ukrainian’s to find opportunities

 

How will children be linked to local schools?

40% of those currently coming are under 18yrs old. There are evolving conversations around this, as the situation is not yet clear. However, local schools are getting the latest information from Surrey County Council, and it looks like families will should apply for places via the normal route, and it might be that where legal, or made legal, extra school places are created.

 

Where can I give money on a national level that will reach people in Ukraine?

Red Cross https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

Disasters Emergency Committee https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

*there is a strong encouragement to send money rather than items, as they are overwhelmed with items and money is far more useful and can allow families to be safe whilst they wait for visa applications.

  

An ask to Farnham businesses…

Farnham Stands with Ukraine would be interested to know if any businesses are able to offer vouchers to newly arrived families to show what is on offer in Farnham at a discounted rate. E.g. could a hairdresser facilitate an evening haricut, a salon have a mum and daughter day, or a nursery offer some discounted play spaces; please email farnhamswu@gmail.com