Today, on Wednesday the 24th of August, Ukraine observes the six-month mark of the Russian invasion, as well as its 31st year of independence. The day will cast a spotlight on the country’s resilience and defiance, but also the need for our support as Ukraine and its people continue to face the daily horrors of war.
As the war rages on, so does the need for sponsors in the UK to open their doors. We are in daily contact with Ukrainians hoping to come to the UK, looking for safety and security as the winter months approach. We desperately need to help meet the needs of the Ukrainian people with UK sponsors.
As the war slips from people’s minds and from the front pages of our newspapers, it is important to stress the huge daily impact it continues to have. Shelling and the threat of air strikes are still a regular occurrence. Mass destruction of infrastructure has led Kyiv to fear many will have no access to electricity this winter, leaving people unable to heat their homes in a country where temperatures regularly drop to minus 10.
In addition to the thousands of Ukrainians we are already in contact with, as the severity of the Ukrainian winter kicks in, we are likely to see more Ukrainians leaving the country and looking for a safe place to stay. Therefore, we in the UK need to be prepared.
Working with Citizens UK, we have launched the Communities for Ukraine programme. The programme works closely with the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. However, our programme focuses on community networks, and we are looking for Lead Sponsors to help us grow these.
Lead Sponsors will each host a Ukrainian family or individual (if they are able to) and will vouch for and coordinate with at least 3 other host households in their community. The Lead Sponsor will be the linchpin of their community network, acting as coordinator, working with and supported by both USPUK and Citizens UK. All sponsors and their Ukrainian guests will be eligible for the all the benefits offered under the current Homes for Ukraine scheme
By working with members of their community, Lead Sponsors and their fellow hosts will be able to rely on one another, whilst also providing their Ukrainian guests with a community of both fellow Ukrainians and hosts on their arrival in the UK.
If you have the means to help, you could make the difference. So please, talk to your local friends and contacts, and sign up with us to become a Lead Sponsor.
Heather, Louise, and Nick