If this is the first time you are receiving this ‘Support for Ukraine community update’ from us as a host, please note that we send these out on a regular basis. They are issued whenever new and relevant information becomes available to hosts in South Cambridgeshire as well as to District Councillors, community coordinators and parish council colleagues. The idea is to share the latest updates that we have to support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
All information previously shared can be found on our Support for Ukraine webpage – where you will also find our ‘Ukrainian Guest information hub’ which we encourage you to share with your guests. The online information hub is our equivalent of a ‘Welcome pack’ for guests (we are sharing information digitally so that we are able to keep our information regularly updated, and guests should be able to switch to view in their own language if they wish).
Please note that in addition to these emails, all hosts will receive information from us relating to DBS checks, accommodation checks, £350 monthly host and £350 one-off guest payments; hosts should already have received information from us about this through our welcome email.
For any questions not covered in this e-newsletter or on our Support for Ukraine webpages, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning opportunities to welcome guests, help them understand life in the UK and how to access the jobs market
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) is very supportive of our Ukrainian guests and is the only Combined Authority in the country to fully fund English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) provision, giving in the region of £1.2m to local education providers for the 2021/22 academic year.
To date, 307 Ukrainian refugees have been supported through ESOL in the region.
The WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) has set up online ESOL courses funded by the CPCA and is keen to welcome Ukrainian guests. The courses can be helpful in settling guests into the UK and helping to prepare them for a job and, even if their English is not good, they can still join.
Anyone interested in the courses below can register either online or by calling 0300 3033464. Please follow the link to the course page for more details. The courses are free to those Ukrainian guests on the Homes for Ukraine scheme if they claim benefits or are on a low income (under £21,000).
Start date: 14/10/2022, Fridays 10am via Zoom
This course is designed to help learners have a good understanding of British culture, history, traditions, laws and customs, and to feel confident about living in the UK. It will include the fundamental principles of British Life including: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and participation in community life.
Start date: 14/10/2022, Fridays 12:30pm via Zoom
The purpose of this course is to support students in successfully gaining a job, progressing in a chosen field, and preparing students for further study. It is designed to assist and give confidence to ESOL learners to progress from the course to find employment or to go into Further Education and also to develop their employment prospects and confidence.
Ukrainian guests may also be interested in the WEA’s Employability Skills course which will help those new to the UK to apply for jobs:
Start date: 20/09/2022, Tuesdays 10am via Zoom
The course will assist people who are new to the UK to navigate the jobs market, giving them help to compile a CV, understand where jobs are advertised and identify where they can find support. There will also be guidance and practice on developing interview skills and hints and tips on how to manage nerves and come across more positively in interviews.
Children’s messages of kindness and hope on Ukraine Independence Day
Children from our guest families and also children from local schools helped to mark Ukraine Independence Day yesterday (August 24) by sharing messages of kindness and hope.
Showing the impact of war, as seen through the eyes of a child, the powerful messages were shared on our social media platforms as part of our South Cambridgeshire District Council #StandForFreedom campaign – and some also featured in the local press.
One British six-year-old boy drew a blue and yellow heart and wrote a heart-warming message to families who fled Ukraine to live in Britain, saying ‘You are safe here’; while an eight-year-old Ukrainian boy, living with one of our South Cambridgeshire host families, drew a picture of an army tank with the words ‘We believe in our victory!’, and a nine-year-old Ukrainian girl, also living with a local host family, drew colourful pictures with doves, hearts and the national flower, the sunflower, to represent hope and peace for the future.
In addition, the Ukrainian flag was flown at our head office in Cambourne to show solidarity, and our Council Leader Cllr Bridget Smith shared a pledge of support for families living in host homes across the area, saying: “I’m immensely proud of the trailblazing work by South Cambridgeshire to welcome all our Ukrainian families to the district. So many people have been working extremely hard to help our new residents adjust to life in this beautiful part of the world. I want to send my best wishes to all our Ukrainian guests, especially those who have left family behind and those who have tragically lost people they love. Today and every day we #StandWithUkraine.”
In marking the day, the Council also wanted to take this opportunity to commend the many host families, volunteers and community groups who have warmly welcomed Ukraine families into the district and to thank them for their continued kindness and support.
H.A.Y. South Cambs! How Are You?
A reminder for host families and guests that the organisation H.A.Y. South Cambs! How Are You?, which promotes positive mental health in South Cambridgeshire, has a section dedicated to support for Ukrainian guests and host families.
You can find it at: Ukrainian Guests & Host Families – How Are You South Cambs (haysouthcambs.co.uk)
The website gives information on the support groups which guests and hosts can access in the local area, with details on what local volunteers and community groups are offering, from activities to practical help to employment opportunities and more, and an interactive map showing where different support groups are situated.
If host families know of other local support groups which currently don’t feature on H.A.Y.’s website, then please get in touch via the CLP@scambs.gov.uk mailbox.
TAG Bikes rides to the rescue
TAG Bikes, one of the suppliers we are working alongside on our ‘free bikes for Ukrainians’ initiative, rode to the rescue recently when a Ukrainian gentleman was having difficulties getting to his place of work.
His job at a local garage was 25 minutes away by cycle from his current temporary accommodation, but his bike had several issues having been supplied to him flat-packed. Without any other means of getting to work and faced with an onerous two-hour walk, he was concerned he would lose his job. TAG Bikes offered to replace his bike and included a new lock and helmet for his commute, while he in turn offered his previous bike to the charity for them to overhaul and hand on to someone else.
Our ‘free bikes for Ukrainians’ scheme continues to run and is proving popular. The scheme is available to any Ukrainian guests, including children, who are living in South Cambridgeshire under the Homes for Ukraine programme. Hosts can apply on behalf of guests.
Three suppliers are involved in the scheme and donations of bikes are welcomed – TAG Bikes, Owl Bikes and Camtrust. You can find out more in the Local Travel section of our Ukrainian Guest Information Hub. Applications for bikes can be made online at https://bit.ly/3BhXHBB and the Council will put the applicant in touch with the nearest supplier so they can arrange to collect their bicycle. If bikes are no longer needed, they can be returned to the supplier.
Many thanks for reading this latest bulletin, which I hope will be helpful for you and your guests. We are grateful for your continued support for the Homes for Ukraine programme.
Lead Cabinet Member for Communities
South Cambridgeshire District Council