Congleton Town Council continues to take an active role in the Congleton Area Ukraine Support Network. This group is based in Congleton and the surrounding villages and is a group of volunteers who want to make the lives of displaced Ukrainian Families a little better each day.
It seeks to promote joined up efforts by existing charities, local authorities, communities, and those in the scheme, and to develop a social network for sponsors and their guests so that all involved in the scheme can thrive.
The aims of the group are to support guests and sponsors in the Congleton area, involved in the UK Government’s “Homes for Ukraine” visa scheme. This starts with helping to match families to Hosts and then providing support in all areas to ensure the guests can feel safe and welcome, making a difference to their lives everyday.
The wonderful warm community of Congleton is looking at many ways to help and support people from the Ukraine. The Town Council are creating a database of Congleton people who are willing or interested in helping with any of the following:
- Hosting people from Ukraine – this needs to be for a minimum of 6 months
- Offering Transport
- Offering friendship and links to organisations, clubs or activities
- Wish to get involved in fundraising
If you wish to register an interest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact details and what support you can offer. If you have already agreed to host a person/people from the Ukraine and wish to be put in contract with other hosts please let us know and we can link you with the Congleton Area Ukraine Support Network (CAUSN)
There are already a number of places in Congleton offering space for Ukrainian guests and their hosts to meet including the front of the Town Hall and the Old Saw Mill. Look out of a programme of events.
IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT HOSTING
- Get informed about what it involves – Sanctuary Foundation provided a webcast that provides a very useful introduction. A recording is available here: https://youtu.be/4n-Wmru5LIA
- Register your interest on the government scheme website https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/
- Cheshire East Council will carry out DBS checks on all hosts that have been matched with a Ukrainian person(s). Anyone hosting children or vulnerable adults will have an enhanced DBS check. This will be paid for an organised by CEC – even if you already have had a recent DBS check.
- Cheshire East Council will also carry out home visits to check that the house is suitable, safe and appropriate for hosting.
- Get matched with Ukrainian refugees, this is best done through one of the charities leading this effort. Some local contacts have been working with Sanctuary Foundation (https://sanctuaryfoundation.org.uk/). One of the groups who they work with (Reset Communities and Refugees) have built / are building a matching site for sponsors and refugees. At present, only the refugee registration part is live but we will update this post as a soon as we know when the sponsor part goes live. The website is homesforukraine.org.uk. Another matching website that has been recommended is https://www.host4ukraine.com/
- Register on the government website with your matched refugee family.
- Once you are matched and the visas have been applied for, the Government will let Cheshire East Council know about your registration. Visas are taking a couple of week to sort out. Cheshire East Council will send you a text/letter with information about hosting.
- If you have opted for the £350 a month Government payment, this will be sorted via Cheshire East Council.
- Cheshire East Council will also give each evacuee £200 cash, trying to sort this within a couple of days of the Ukrainian’s arriving.
DONATIONS TO UKRAINE
The most effective way you can help is through financial donations to one of the charities working on the ground in Ukraine or the bordering countries. However specific requests do come through and locally this is being coordinated through Biddulph Rotary Club at Glebe Farm in Astbury.
They are still collecting for the following items: sleeping bags, sanitary products, nappies, wipes, food (that you could easily heat up at a campfire or just add hot water to), first aid supplies, toiletries, babies’ Nurofen, Calpol, baby food / milk, torches with batteries.
They store all deliveries on pallets and then call for volunteers on sorting days and then organise for containers to be taken out to where they are needed. Details are posted here: https://www.facebook.com/search/posts/?q=glebe%20farm%20astbury.
Financial contributions can also be sent to:
- Disasters Emergency Committee, Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which provides food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families. Donations will be match funded by the government up to a total of £20m.
- The British Red Cross, which has launched an appeal to help the Ukrainian Red Cross to provide food, medicine, clothing and shelter, as well as first aid training in bomb shelters.
- The UNHCR refugee agency, which is funding emergency shelters, repairs for homes damaged by shelling, emergency cash assistance, psychological support and warm clothing.
- Unicef, the UN children’s charity, which is helping to ensure families have clean water and food and that child health and protection services continue.
- Save the Children, which is providing cash assistance, food and other support to refugees crossing into Romanian and Lithuania, as well as in Ukraine itself.