6 April update: focus on hosting and welcome

I am amazed and humbled at the number of people in the Diocese who have been in touch with me (Nicola Thomas) to ask about hosting Ukrainians or offering other support and help. The first section of this blog covers hosting, but there is information below about other ways in which you can help.

If you know of people in Ukraine seeking sponsors in the UK, please encourage them to sign up using this form. It is linked from the official Homes for Ukraine website and is run by Reset which is partly-funded by the Government.

If you want to host in your own home or a property you own, see the information in the section below.

If you are a member of the clergy in tied accommodation who wants to host a refugee, or you are seeking to host in a property owned by a church or by the Diocese, please speak to your Archdeacon in the first instance and contact Nicola Thomas with any questions. Further guidance is below.

Clergy guidance on hosting refugees

Information for Ukrainian arrivals

The Government has now published a Welcome Guide in English, Ukrainian and Russian. This covers practical issues like how to open a bank account, and apply for Universal credit. There are also some helpful resources in Ukrainian available on the British Red Cross website.

29 March update: Homes for Ukraine information

The recording of last week’s information event on hosting refugees is now available. This includes information from someone with experience of hosting refugees in her own home.

The Government’s Homes for Ukraine website allows you to register your interest as an individual or an organisation.

This is what to do if you don’t know someone you want to sponsor.

If you know someone you want to sponsor, you can make an application. This is where to find Frequently Asked Questions about the scheme.

If you want to find someone to sponsor, you can sign up to Reset’s matching portal. Please do not use informal processes such as Facebook to find someone to sponsor as this could play into the hands of people traffickers. Always use a reputable charity, unless you are sponsoring contacts of people you know and trust.

There is further information in the Church of England’s Parish Toolkit on the War in Ukraine: responding webpage.

Download the toolkit

14 March update

The Government has now announced the first stage of the new Sponsorship Programme where individuals can offer Homes for Ukraine. If you have a spare room or separate accommodation that you are prepared to offer for a minimum of 6 months, you can sign up to host a refugee individual or family. At present this is an expression of interest: the full application process is due to be launched on 18 March.  According to the announcement in Parliament you will receive a monthly payment of £350 to cover expenses, which is non-taxable, and won’t affect your council tax or benefits. The Ukrainian(s) you host will have full access to benefits (except housing benefit), jobs, healthcare, schools and other public services. Further information is available on the Government website FAQs. The scheme is currently only for individuals who wish to host: details of the scheme for churches and community groups have not yet been announced.

At present you need to identify the person or family you want to accommodate and if you can do this they can apply for a visa from Friday 18 March. If you don’t know someone that you want to support, you can now sign up to Reset’s matching portal.  Note that this is just for matching and if you are matched with a refugee or a family you will then need to make a hosting application to the Government.

Donate Money

Unless you have specific contacts in a place, it is usually better to donate money rather than items as the money can be used for whatever is most needed and avoids sending unnecessary items into an already chaotic situation.

The first place to donate is the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal: DEC brings together 15 member charities including Christian Aid in response to humanitarian crises. Your gift will help to provide food, bedding and temporary accommodation for people who have fled the conflict in Ukraine. In addition, the Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging us to donate money  to the Ukraine Emergency Appeal in which the Diocese of Europe is a partner.  This will support the front line work of chaplaincies across Europe as well as Christian humanitarian work in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. You could also consider contributing to


A number of parishes in our Diocese are working to support refugees from Ukraine. If you are running a project and would like details posted here, please contact Nicola Thomas.  The White Eagle Club in Balham (the ‘Polish Club’) is sending truckloads of items to Ukrainian refugees in Poland and desperately need help. They are posting daily updates on their Facebook page and currently need volunteers every day in Balham and Croydon. Check their Facebook page for daily updates on what is needed and where to go. Be careful though to access only through their Facebook page as some organisations seem to have been contacting people claiming to speak on their behalf.

Stand in solidarity with ALL refugees

There are many refugees in the UK and around the world from other conflicts, and it is important that we do not forget them in the new horrors in Ukraine.  You can already offer to host someone in your own home or sponsor a refugee family. There is information in my previous blog about welcoming those who arrived in the summer from Afghanistan and about welcoming refugees, including the Nationality and Borders Bill.

Welcome is for everyone. Our hearts cry out against the injustice of racism on the Ukraine border. First and foremost, we are all children of God and we are all equal in the sight of God.  We speak out against prejudice of any kind whenever we encounter it.


Pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe who are living through a war that they don’t want, fleeing violence, and working to support victims.


God of strength and peace,
send your blessing on the people of Ukraine.
Sustain them in their struggles,
hold them in their fear,
protect them from all danger
and be for them the hope they desire;
for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Very Rev Andrew Nunn
Dean of Southwark Cathedral