Support for Ukraine
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
County Durham is a welcoming and inclusive place. We are doing all we can to offer our support to the people of Ukraine and anyone living in our area who has links to the country.
How you can help
There are several different ways you can support the humanitarian support effort in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
Government schemes to help Ukrainians fleeing conflict to come to the UK
The government has launched two schemes to support Ukrainians to come to the UK.
Ukraine Family Scheme
The Gov.uk: Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK. It is a free scheme and people coming to the UK through this scheme will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds. We have produced a guide to give information on how the scheme works and advice for people arriving from the Ukraine on how to access services and support:
The government regularly updates information and advice on Gov.uk: immigration information for Ukrainians in the UK, British nationals and their family members.
Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme
The Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme offers a route to individuals and families who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home. It will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for those forced to escape their homeland. Sponsors should provide accommodation for as long as they are able, but there is a minimum expectation of six months.
If you wish to become a sponsor through this scheme please register on Gov.uk: Homes for Ukraine - record your interest.
Please note that in the short term, the government is starting with applications for those who wish to come to the UK from Ukraine and who have a named sponsor in the UK willing to support them.
- Gov.uk: Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions
- Gov.uk: Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guidance
If you are thinking about becoming a sponsor, Reset Communities and Refugees: Homes for Ukraine is providing resources to help potential sponsors make informed decisions. Reset has also developed a Homes for Ukraine sponsor toolkit which you can access at Reset: Homes for Ukraine sponsor toolkit.
Information to help you in your decision-making is also available at:
The government is contacting everyone who has signed up as a sponsor but has yet to receive a guest or submit a visa application. This is to assist the process of rematching guests whose stay with a sponsor has not worked out for any reason. Sponsors yet to receive a guest or submit a visa application are being asked to update the information they have submitted online at Gov.uk: Homes for Ukraine.
We are working with local, regional and national organisations to develop our support for both sponsors and guests as they arrive in the county. This is an evolving situation and we are waiting for more detailed government guidance. The information offered here is therefore based on expectations arising from current advice and may change as further information is received.
Linking with someone from the Ukraine to sponsor them
There is presently no formal process within the scheme for sponsors to connect with prospective guests.
The government has published a list of Gov.uk: recognised providers - organisations who can help UK citizens become sponsors.
Helping someone in Ukraine find a sponsor
The government has published a list of Recognised Providers - charities who can help match people from Ukraine with UK sponsors at Gov.uk: Recognised providers - organisations who can help UK citizens become sponsors.
Weekly sessions for sponsors
Sponsors can attend free weekly online drop-ins with others who have taken in Ukrainian guests.
North East Churches Acting Together holds sessions every Monday from 6.00pm to 7.00pm, to allow people to chat to others going through a similar experience, and to provide a forum for advice and support.
The drop-ins are also open to anyone thinking about taking in Ukrainians.
Anyone interested in attending can register at Eventbrite - Homes for Ukraine Host Drop-in.
Guidance for charities and trustees
The situation in Ukraine is changing rapidly. The government recognises the complex challenge this poses for charities responding to the crisis at home or abroad and has developed Gov.uk: Ukraine humanitarian crisis - guidance for charities and trustees.
Make a donation
Donating cash through trusted organisations enables them to act quickly and effectively; monies can be transferred rapidly to places and people who need it, and aid organisations can use it to buy the most important resources, often purchasing from more local sources.
If you wish to make a cash donation to support those affected by the current situation, the Disasters Emergency Committee brings together a wide range of organisations working to provide support where it is needed. You can donate online at Disasters and Emergency Committee: Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Other useful links
The North East Migration Partnership: Ukraine site has been updated to include key links to pages and useful resources.