How we can help the Ukrainian refugees - meeting, Friday 25th March 2022

On Friday, we held our first meeting, to discuss ways that we can support Ukrainian Refugees who will be coming to Derbyshire.

Everyone was welcome and 26 people attended the meeting. North Derbyshire Refugee Support Group has over 5 years of experience working in partnership with Derbyshire County Council (DCC) supporting Syrian & Afghan refugees.

The group is a member of the Derbyshire Black & Minority Ethnic Forum which is a partnership between Links CVS & DCC.  The Forum meets regularly and is facilitated by Links CVS.

In attendance

North Derbyshire Refugee Support Group – Jeannie Robinson, Barbara Sansome

Links CVS - Sandra Pink, Helen Scattergood

1 representative from North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC)

13 host families were represented – we are keeping their identities confidential to comply with GDPR.

7 people offered help including: translating & interpreting.

2 churches offered their premises for social meetings and or advice meetings.

Several people offered activities, friendship groups for host families & refugees.

Jeannie Robinson had been in touch with DCC who have now accessed the Homes for Ukraine Government Portal and she shared the following information.

 

Key points from Derbyshire County Council include:

  • Derbyshire County Council (DCC) has stated that so far, around 100 Derbyshire households have been accepted to open up their home to host Ukrainian refugees under the Government’s 'Homes for Ukraine’ scheme.
  • DCC will send out information to all registered hosts (they have asked for patience).
  • Adult Services Staff from DCC will undertake an initial vetting process of Properties and do safeguarding checks.
  • Each host will receive £350 per month which will be paid by local District Councils. Also there is an initial grant of £200 per family.
  • Each registered host will also receive guidance and information packs.
  • There are proposals to offer additional training support, to help hosts support their families, for example: registering and claiming universal credit.
  • Establish ‘drop in’ sessions across the county at key places across the county, on a weekly basis

 

General information

The following ideas were discussed as to how to help both families and the refugees themselves, once they arrive.

  • The use of Church halls as ‘day centres’
  • Offering mini breaks for hosts
  • The most active Ukrainian Associations are in Stockport and Mansfield.
  • Steve Lee from NEDDC said the Council was looking into bus passes. Their help line is 01246 231111
  • Baby Basics a local charity will be able to provide baby clothes and equipment
  • If people want to be kept up to date it was suggested that they send their email to Links [email protected] and they will be added to a mailing list.

 

Donations

Lots of people have donated items to the Ukrainian refugee appeals. Currently, aid agencies are requesting that people donate money to their websites, rather than donating ‘physical items’.

Due to lack of storage and the cost of transporting goods, the most accessible and immediate way to support people is by donating cash to registered charities and recognised international aid agencies.

Here are some of the organisations currently helping Ukraine:

How to Donate

Unicef: Donate to protect children in Ukraine

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): Donating to the Ukraine crisis

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal | Disasters Emergency Committee

UN High Commission for Refugees Ukraine emergency

 

Becoming a Host

Refugees at Home: About Us – Refugees at Home

Room for Refugess: Room for Refugess

Reset: Homes for Ukraine

 

North Derbyshire Refugee Group will send out appeals for any additional items required, once refugees have arrived. This has been a successful way of acquiring specific items e.g.bikes.

Links CVS will post notes of this meeting and any other meetings on their webpage www.linkscvs.org.uk 

They will also regularly update information as it comes in. Please do contact Sandra Pink on [email protected] if you have any offers of help or have any questions.

Next meeting

Here are the details for our next Zoom meeting - Friday April 8th, 4.00pm

Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86097945561?pwd=b1pDTEhQejFHZDV0V3NyRHpZcnlZdz09

Meeting ID: 860 9794 5561

Passcode: 526858