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Ukraine crisis

16 Mar 2022

Update: 26th March.
North Yorkshire County Council's resettlement manager has posted a list of legitimate links with information for potential hosts. You can view that HERE.

Some of the arrangements are not yet in place because of the speed and extent of the crisis.

For example, housing and safeguarding checks are delayed and the organisation of finance from the local authority is still in process.

Ripon City of Sanctuary wants to encourage people to stick to reputable links, such as those listed on the NYCC web page.  They warn that some websites claiming to match refugees with hosts are not legitimate and many are scams designed to defraud people or to cause harm.

There is a Zoom information meeting for people who want to help support Ukrainians on Tuesday March 29th, 7.30 - 8.30pm.  This is hosted by the reputable, national organisation, City of Sanctuary UK. You can register to join the meeting HERE.

16th March 
Ripon City of Sanctuary organisers have been in touch with our local community. 

They would like to share this advice in response to the wonderful offers of assistance made by lovely residents who have been enquiring how we can all help support Ukranian people during this time of crisis.

Ripon City of Sanctuary is part of a network that helps house and equip refugees.  They have decades of experience in doing this. They are the means through which we can help support Ukranian refugees efficiently and safely by either involving us in managed projects or directing us to the appropriate Government system.
You can visit their website at

At the moment, they need:
  • cash donations to help equip people who are being rehomed
  • volunteers who have good IT and organisational skills.

If you can fundraise or help with project management, please contact Ripon City of Sanctuary by email at:
Volunteer roles are also listed on their website, HERE.

Cash donations can also be sent to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which is working in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to support people displaced by the corrent conflict.

The system for hosting refugees, organised by the Government, is still in process.
It is absolutely essential that any hosting of refugees is done legally and safely through the Government portal.  At the moment, there is the facility to volunteer to be a host, but a system to link these offers with refugees is not up and running yet. 

Offers to host refugees can be logged at:

Please read the guidance carefully and note that accommodation should be available for a minimum of 6 months and that people will have the right to stay for up to three years. 

Ripon City of Sanctuary advise that most refugees settle in cities where there is public transport and where there are other nationals who can share the same language and experiences, all of which are vital for families who have been uprooted from their homes.

They share this checklist of advice for anyone considering hosting a family:

FIRST, think about timescales. The scheme asks you to commit to 6 months, but longer if you can. What will you do when this time is up? It would be unfair to make them homeless, so some careful planning and fair warning will be needed. Of course, it might go so well that you want to keep extending it!

SECOND, think about what will happen if you don’t see eye to eye… Living with someone else can be challenging 😅 They may raise their children in a way you wouldn’t, leave dirty pans in the sink, trek mud across the carpet, take all the hot water or play loud music. We’re all human!

THIRD, Ukrainians will be coming direct from a war zone and their journey here may also have been very stressful and dangerous. Could you cope with symptoms of trauma in your home at 3am (like night terrors, flashbacks, severe insomnia etc), and the effect on any young children in your home? Refugees from other countries, who come here on other government programmes, have already spent several years in a safe host country and have had time to do some recovery before they get here.

FOURTH, refugees usually want, and are encouraged, to become as independent as possible. They may or may not want to live as part of your family. You might need to think about times when they can have exclusive access to your kitchen, and set a fixed time when they can have the bathroom. They might need a lot of space and privacy to work through what’s happened to them. Contact with other Ukrainians will really help them, and you could support them by facilitating this. Are you in a location where this would be possible? Their desire to spend time with you may wax and wane from day to day, or week to week. One day they might really want your company, and the next day they might be in an awful mood and want to be left alone – just like any of us, really!

FIFTH, existing refugee hosting schemes often only accept applications from sponsors in cities, which does make sense because there will already be people from the same country as the refugee, along with cultural clubs and associations, interpreters, ethnic food shops, appropriate places of worship, etc. Where YOU live might be just the right place for a woman with small children to come to, but it might not – for example, they may be used to big-city life, or there may be very few other Ukrainians nearby; or they may have no English, or if you’re in a small village and they’re totally dependent on you to get anywhere. Can you offer transport aswell as a home?

SIXTH, can you afford it? The government will pay £350 per household, but if you take in a family of 4 then it's going to cost you more in heat, light and power than if you take a single person. The scheme doesn't allow you to charge them rent. 

FINALLY, and most importantly, applying for the scheme has to be about the refugee/s’ needs, not the sponsor’s need to have this experience. For example, you’d need to be careful not to ask any probing questions about what’s happened to them, and accept that if they don’t volunteer the information, you may never find out.

Your Parish Council is in touch with Ripon City of Sanctuary and Nidd Hub, who are working with all the appropriate agencies to offer advice and guidance on how we can all help.  All information received will be shared on the community website and on the fb hub.

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