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homes for Ukraine

We live in fast moving and strange times. Our Government has on one hand been trying for a year to pass a very restrictive Nationality and Borders BIll and on the other has just announced that people from Ukraine may apply for visas and be accommodated in homes all over the UK.

Whilst this is written as a blog I’ve put some helpful resources below and will try to keep it updated as things alter day on Day!

2nd April document Ukraine

details of welsh government scheme

details of the visa application

Homes for Ukraine FAQ

Housing Justice Cymru  

City of Sanctuary statement on Homes for Ukraine, details on hosting

Sanctuary – a Welsh Government site to help people understand their rights

Reset-  a host and guest matching scheme

You can also find guidance for sponsors here:

Please continue to check the campaign page for further updates.

Naccom Good hosting guide

Blog 17th March


HBTSR Trustees met on Wednesday 16th March  to think about our response to the Ukrainian crisis and Homes for Ukraine.
we agreed the following
1 That the situation was  changing quickly and that this is not something  for which we have particular expertise  or qualification but we are an established group with many links and could help.
2 That we would apply as a group who can offer support based upon the numbers locally offering accommodation
3 that even very isolated self contained cottages might be good for traumatised people so long as there was community support.
4 agreed that accommodation should probably be for related refugees and not for assorted individuals
5 consider an ‘adoptive family/ community model’ to ensure support is available to hosts and recipients
6 Ask language group to try to prepare some easy phrases and see if they can compile a list of Ukrainian /Russian speakers locally.
7 consider if we hold a series of Zoom talks to allow potential hosts and  supporters to  learn about  Ukraine, hosting etc.
8 see if other groups are doing similar or different things and link in.
9 How we ensure that we do due diligence upon any volunteers who might be offering services.
10 that we must still do what we can for people seeking sanctuary from all parts of the  world. Many people seeking  asylum  will have fled rather similar circumstances and will not be living with friendly supportive hosts, won’t have the right to work and may have their claims for asylum delayed still further.
In that regard please if you are considering offering a home to someone from Ukraine do look at other hosting sites.

Housing Justice Cymru have a great deal of experience, information and support and are running  information sessions . It’s not a bad idea to see how offering your home to share with someone for a few days or weeks works out in advance of possibly having someone to stay for months.
Refugees at Home have some good guides upon hosting.
Report from Accommodation lead Rowland on 16/03
Long term supporter Katy and two colleagues (all three of them are qualified and experienced Social Workers) have volunteered to help to work with prospective hosts. They could cover our area between them
Katy is drawing up a form to use to assess potential hosts. One of the three would have an initial phone call with each potential host, and if the hosting still seems viable, one of them would visit the home, to see the accommodation, and to talk to all members of the household. From this they would make a report about the suitability of the home for refugees, for at least 6 months.  That report could then be shown  by the host to the County Council if they are overseeing the placements or to other bodies making placements.
Any host would need to provide two references – one by a non-family member, in writing, and the other (which could be by a family member) either on the phone or in writing.
Rowland   is writing to all the people who have let us know they are interested in hosting , explaining the suggested process and asking for their consent to continue.
We have no official role but might be able to smooth the path.
If people from Ukraine do come to this part of the Uk we will need not just hosts but many people to help by offering friendship, English language conversation, transport, activities.
 Offers of help please to- 
1   accommodation list  Lead Rowland Jepson [email protected]
2 clothing, etc that might be needed/ lead Sue Richards [email protected]
2a Larger items needed or offered  Adil Gatrad [email protected]
3 Welcome packs-lead  Margaret Blake  [email protected]
4 Language support . lead  Mac- Admin Carola Tipton  [email protected]
5 Pastoral and well being support -lead  Janet Bodily   [email protected]
6 phones, IT etc offers of kit  and education – lead Bethany Hill  [email protected]
7 Arts and culture including books, games  – lead  Claire Armstrong [email protected]
8 sport and social activities  lead  Melrose  East [email protected]
9 Information to public/ to Ukrainians/ press Lead Mike Gatehouse  [email protected]
10 Transport-  lead John Anderson   [email protected]
11 Food-  lead  Lis Lifford  [email protected]

12 benefits and advice – lead  Jonnie Hill[email protected]

Megan Lewis Resettlement Project Officer Powys County Council has emailed us on 17th March

There are small ‘Ukrainian support groups’ springing up in most towns at the moment and there is a danger of duplication of effort and some confusion.  I was going to email you, and the other established groups that I know in Powys, to ask if all community ‘offers’ (other than accommodation) might be directed your way?  There is SO much goodwill and I am not going to be able to coordinate it – and in any event- I think it is best being independent of the LA to a certain degree.

The latest situation (as of a meeting I was in today with Welsh Gov and others) is:

Family Visa route – families can bring over eligible relatives.  As an LA we may not be notified of arrivals.

UK Gov portal ‘Homes for Ukraine’ – individuals can register and, if they have a family in mind’, they can bring that family over.  As an LA we may not be notified of arrivals.

Welsh Government scheme – details still being worked on, but this will link somehow with the UK Gov scheme, but work on the basis of bringing families initially to ‘reception/welcome centres’ across Wales and then ‘match’ to host families from there.  As an LA we will be notified of arrivals.

The situation is still developing.  As you can see there may be Ukrainian families arriving that we won’t know about.  The process/responsibility for carrying out property and safeguarding/security checks has not yet been clarified, nor arrangements for the proposed funding.

That said, we are doing all we can.  I have compiled a list of probably over 100 offers of accommodation across Powys to date.  We will move forward with these under the Welsh Government ‘matching scheme’ once this is in place – it may be a few weeks away yet.


and later on 17th March

‘I am emailing you in your capacity as a community organisation/group who may have an interest in supporting coordinating the effort to help Ukrainian refugees if/as/when they arrive in Powys.

My reason for emailing is that I am getting lots of individual requests about how people can help – other than offers of accommodation.  Eg. Help with befriending, transport, childrens’ groups etc.  I wondered if it would be acceptable to direct such requests to yourselves for your respective areas?

Those emailed here represent Newtown, Llandrindod, Machynlleth (Mid Wales), Knighton, Hay, Brecon & Talgarth, Llanidloes and Ystradgynlais (sort of), as well as Powys-wide (PAVO).

Michele, I am conscious that PAVO is Powys-wide – are you planning to coordinate any wider offers of help?  Can PAVO offer any support or guidance to the respective voluntary refugee support groups I have copied in? …..

It would be helpful to know what you are already doing, and what you might be able to do to help with coordinating all the community goodwill that is out there?’




detail about the Accommodation group meeting on 24th March

The meeting of the Ukraine Public information event 5-6pm on 24th March heard from
the Welsh Refugee Council, Harriet Prothero-Soltani Head of Communications and Engagement]

Contact us

Welsh Government,[John Davies- Head of Inclusion and Cohesion] Reset [ Carly Whyborn]
Housing Justice Cymru [ Bonnie Williams director ]
City of Sanctuary Uk Hayley Richards Wales Coordinator]
A recording will be made available

Basically this is a fast moving situation as the war only started a month ago and things aren’t set
up to move that quickly. Over 3.5 million people have fled from Ukraine and 6.5 million are
internally displaced.
There are 3 routes to the UK and all are complex and not as friendly as most European countries
who are not asking for paperwork or visas.
The first route is Ukrainian family which started on 4th March and is for immediate and extended
family. 15,800 have been given visas and 33,500 applications are in.
The second route opened on 18 March and is the Homes for Ukraine whereby people register
and commit to giving a home to someone for 6 months. Matching will be done via Reset or if
someone is known to you, you can sponsor them to come. Up to 200,000 people will be allowed in.
So far 150,000 sponsors have signed up with 10,000 in Wales. This scheme will pay £350/ month
to hosts and give Local authorities £10,500 for wrap around support. People coming by this route
will have 3 years’ leave to remain and be eligible to work and have benefits.
The third route is that Wales has signed up as a super sponsor to sponsor 1000 people initially
and will house them in welcome centres where they can be provided for immediate needs and
familiarised with Wales. They will have full wrap around support for health, education, language,
help to set up bank accounts and universal credit and jobs if appropriate. The idea is that people
would be in the welcome centre for a few weeks and be matched with hosts via Reset .
The Welsh government would like to try to find long term leases for self contained accommodation
but will consider stable hosting arrangements. Initially 1000 people will be accepted but this
number may well be increased as need dictates. The scheme opens on Monday. The point was
made that whilst this is a crisis the response is a marathon not a sprint.
Reset emphasised the concerns about random placement of traumatised people with inappropriate
hosts and that they work hard to ensure good matches. They screen the hosts and the guests to
ensure long-term success. They give advice to hosts and guests.
Housing Justice Wales run Sessions on Hosting and talked about need to ensure guests can
access local facilities and to build up networks and community support. People need their own
space and room with access to bathroom.
City of Sanctuary emphasised the importance of welcoming communities and networks. There is
an overall statement.
They have a meeting on 29th March as an introduction to the schemes

Supporting refugees: responding to the Ukraine crisis

7th April to discuss Local authority responses to

Overall everyone said hosting wasn’t for everyone but we could all play a part in welcoming
people. A participant Ian made the point that he’d helped a Ukrainian lady to complete the visa

applications via what’s app and then the following day she thanked him for his help but said she
was going to try to get to a more welcoming country than the UK.
Important to support DEC to help people displaced by the war and there will likely be an appeal to
help people coming to Wales.


Accommodation subgroup of HBTSR Ukrainian support
Met at 6.30 pm 24/3/2022
About 30 people joined this meeting and we skipped introductions in order to save time. Apologies
received from Charles Goddard, Lorna Olley, Sue Richards, Sally and Andrew Scott.
Rowland gave a brief update of the meeting above for those who hadn’t been able to join in. And
emphasised that we felt our role [ HBTSR] was probably working with the Welsh Super Sponsor
scheme and with our Local Authority to help provide some of the support and welcome people
would need. We felt this would give time for us to help hosts to consider how the placement could
work and to ensure that we could help to support hosts and guests. And to ensure safety for guests
and hosts. It is important to remember that HBTSR is NOT a ‘matching agency’.
Becky Funnell a supporter of HBTSR who has experience of hosting gave a helpful overview of
what she and her family has learned in their experience of hosting a young Middle Eastern man
in 2016.
She introduced us to A and her expectations and how these changed.
whoever you host, they are an individual and some individuals are harder to live with than others
and some may have character traits that you find annoying, or the person/people might have a
different idea about how to live in a space with other people – before they arrive think about how
you might create space for you and them – this relates to the point below….
*consider what your boundaries are before the person/people arrive and make sure these are
clearly communicated at the outset – I was so overwhelmed with feelings of compassion, that I
didn’t think about this until we had set some patterns that were problematic
*develop as much support as you can – we live in the country and without a car people can be quite
stranded. A network of people who can take the person/people out for the day, have evenings with
them or you and them (hosted in their homes rather than yours so you are not under even more
pressure) is invaluable
*take advantage of as many opportunities to connect them with other Ukrainian refugees –
obviously this is going to be very important for them emotionally, but also, the language barrier will
be hard work for you and them so you will probably all welcome getting a rest from attempting to
* on the language barrier point (because even if they speak English, it is not their native language
so there will be some degree of communication difficulty and it will be tiring for them to keep it up
for long periods), a thing that was extremely bonding for us was to watch a film in Persian with
English subtitles. We did this on a few occasions, and it really helped us to feel connected as we
were responding on an emotional level to the same stories with the same level of understanding
*remember that you will be hosting people who have been through something deeply traumatic and
you need to be prepared to listen and prepared to cope with potentially hearing some horrific
stories and to offer emotional support. If you have children, you may need to be careful about what
they overhear and this care around your children may need to be communicated to the refugees
because once something is said and heard it cannot be unheard. Communicated in a sympathetic
way of course!
A who lived with us, wanted to do lots of cooking for us. As we were working and had three
teenagers still all living at home, this was very helpful so we would sometimes take him shopping for ingredients, let him choose whatever he needed and pay for it, but then he would cook for us.
Any help that they can give you is likely to make them feel more in control of their situation and
more empowered and, as long as it’s help you actually want, can relieve the pressure of having
to look after a family/person. Can be awkward if it’s not help you want or if you can’t get into your
*potentially this is a lifetime commitment. They won’t live with you forever, but the bonds formed
through doing this are akin to family bonds. This is both positive and negative – we are still called
upon to provide a lot of support to A even though he hasn’t lived with us since 2016!
*although we were doing something in the spirit of helping, the whole experience came with a
surprising burden of guilt. Guilt that we prioritised our own children over A, guilt that we didn’t just
invite him to live with us forever which he was clearly hoping for, guilt that our lives have been so
easy and light on trauma in comparison to his, etc.

We heard from Sarah Shuffell who has used her previous experiences of living and working in
many countries with NGOs and the BBC and working with refugees ,to set up a quick Facebook
matching service. She has helped people to complete the extensive paperwork and found hosts.
She has placed about 50 families and has linked to councils to let them know that people are
arriving. The ongoing support is provided via councils. Sarah’s Facebook page:

Katy Cherrington  was delayed in speaking due to a malfunction of equipment. But was able to say that we hope
to look at how we can help to support hosting and the Local Authority by doing a mini home
assessment to help to ensure the placements are sound and will be good for the guest and host, to
ensure everyone in the house is happy to host, that the accommodation is fit for purpose for a 6-
month period and that there are realistic expectations. The process may be a short questionnaire,
a telephone conversation and then a home visit if the hosts want to go ahead. There will be a
request for 2 references and the assessment can be shared with the local authority.
We will as a group be looking at community support and drop-in groups.
A couple of final notes, things not mentioned in the meeting last night:
1. In order to be able to get the £350 per month that the government is offering, hosts will
need to have registered on the Homes for Ukraine government site.
2. If you are housing refugees in your home, most insurers have said that you do not need to
inform them, but I would suggest that it would be better to let them know anyway. If you are
housing refugees in a second home, or a separate self-contained unit, you will definitely
need to talk to your insurance company.
3. The Welsh Government spokesman yesterday said that if you have the 25% discount on
Council Tax for single occupancy, housing refugees should not affect that discount.
4. We are the Hay, Brecon and Talgarth group, and though we can spread beyond that area,
we do not have the resources or connections to work in north Powys, or really much north
of Builth. If you live in the north of the county and have registered with me, I will be writing
to you with a couple of other suggestions.
5. If you want to be in touch with Powys CC’s Housing Officer to register your interest in
hosting refugees, this is her address: [email protected]


from Government ‘ Homes for Ukraine’ on 29/3/2022

You can also find guidance for sponsors here:

Please continue to check the campaign page for further updates.