Support for Ukraine

Many of us continue to be shocked and saddened by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The news and pictures we are all seeing across our TVs and social media are difficult to process, and something that we hoped never to see in our lifetimes.

Sheffield continues to stand in unity and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and our thoughts are with them. Councillor Terry Fox (Leader of the Council), Councillor Douglas Johnson (Leader of the Green Party) and Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed (Leader of the Liberal Democrats) previously released a joint statement about the situation in Ukraine.

How you can help

As a City of Sanctuary, Sheffield is committed to our values and heritage of offering a warm welcome to those seeking safety. We continue to welcome Ukrainian refugees, and show the same compassion and support to them, as we do to all those forced to flee conflict or persecution.

There are different ways to help, including registering to welcome refugees through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

You can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Appeal to help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.

You may also want to donate to a number of other organisations supporting the international effort for Ukraine, including the British Red CrossUNICEF and Save the Children

Other organisations supporting Ukraine that you can donate to:

  • City of Sanctuary Sheffield has information about ways to offer support to those caught in the Ukraine conflict
  • The UNHCR Refugee Agency emergency appeal is to help ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe
  • Nova Ukraine seek to provide humanitarian aid for Ukraine and help ordinary people and families with children affected by war
  • Ukraine Charity are a UK registered charity, supporting with medicines and medical equipment
  • British-Ukrainian Aid supports people suffering from the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine by aligning UK and Ukrainian efforts

There are also many local community-led projects happening as, again, voluntary and community sector organisations and volunteers step forward and give their support.

Regulators have urged the public to give safely to registered charities.

What we are doing

Our Ukrainian community continues to grow, with over 300 new arrivals to Sheffield in recent months. 

We are working hard to help those arriving from Ukraine and a huge effort is continuing to offer tailored support to our new arrivals and ensure that appropriate services are available.

To achieve this, we are working closely with partners across the city including education, health, the Department for Work and Pensions, voluntary, community and faith sector, and with members of the local Ukrainian community.

Within the council, we have set up teams to focus on each of the main areas of work: infrastructure, education, family support, social care, accommodation and safeguarding, health along with support for Ukrainian refugees and support for sponsors who are generously opening their homes to host.

Homes for Ukraine

The Homes for Ukraine scheme is a sponsored visa route for those without family connections to the UK. Families and individuals can be matched with sponsors who offer them accommodation for a minimum of six months.

Non-British citizens who want to host must have leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months.

Potential hosts and their accommodation will need to pass mandatory checks.

The host will receive a ‘thank you’ of £350 per month, paid in arrears for accommodating an individual or family in their home.

Arrivals on this scheme will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years, and access benefits, healthcare, and other support.

You can register for the scheme on the Government website. Further information is available at GOV.UK: Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions.

Letters to sponsors

The Sheffield community have shown their heart and generosity in the response to the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We thank all those who are offering a safe place to stay for those who have found themselves in unimaginable circumstances. 

We know that becoming a sponsor is a significant commitment. We want to work with you to ensure that your hosting arrangements are successful and that your new arrivals, and you, are supported through this journey.

You can read the letters to sponsors, sent from Janet Sharpe, Director of Housing.

Home checks

Like all local authorities, Sheffield has a statutory duty to ensure the safety of any property used for the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

This is done through a Health and Housing Safety Rating System (HHSRS) inspection. Further information is available on the Government website.

This document is for hosts, it explains the accommodation check process and what happens when the checks are completed.

DBS Checks

All adults (16 years and over) residing at the hosting address (excluding Ukrainian guests), will require a DBS check.  We will make contact to gather all details for everyone requiring a check.  This information is passed to Sheffield City Council HR corporate support to initiate the process.  From here, an email containing the application form and details of what ID is required and how to submit this will be sent to everyone requiring a check (if this does not arrive in your inbox, please check your junk/spam folder). 

Until everyone in the household (16 years and over, excluding Ukrainian guests) has a clear DBS check, we cannot process the government ‘thank you’ payment.  Please note you do not have to submit your certificate to us, we will be notified of a clear check directly.

Payments are made in arrears to the registered sponsor upon completion of a passed property check and a clear DBS check for all resident adults (16 years and over) at the hosting address.

Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme is for those with a Ukrainian family member in the UK. It allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK and it is free to apply.

Those arriving on this scheme will be able to live and work in the UK for up to 3 years, and access benefits, healthcare, and other support.

Unlike the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the Government have not made any financial provision for those hosting family arriving on the Ukraine Family Scheme. This means that family hosts are not eligible for a monthly ‘thank you’ payment, and new arrivals through this route also do not receive an initial payment.

Sheffield City Council and our partners are working to ensure that once in the city, provision of all other services is consistent, along with provision of wraparound support, regardless of scheme.

The commonality across those arriving via either route is eligibility for Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance, and Attendance Allowance as appropriate.

Useful information

In the Supporting information you'll find links to the following information:

  • The Government have produced Frequently Asked Questions for the scheme
  • As a sponsor, your refugees will likely look to you for advice and support to help establish their lives in Sheffield. RESET has some useful information for those thinking about sponsoring, as well as those who are ready to, or have welcomed new arrivals into their home
  • NACCOM have produced an online ‘good practice’ resource for people and organisations interested in hosting refugees
  • City of Sanctuary have produced Ukraine: useful resources with information for both hosts and guests. This also includes links to Ukrainian translation resources
  • The Red Cross have produced information specifically for Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK
  • Refugee Action Good Practice (RAGP) have developed an online resource and guidance to help those responding to the Ukraine crisis

Organisations supporting the Ukrainian community

Organisations offering help to the Ukrainian community include:

  • Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) is the largest representative body for Ukrainians and those of Ukrainian descent in the UK. It exists to develop, promote and support the interests of the Ukrainian community in the UK
  • Refugee Rights Hub based at Sheffield Hallam University can offer free legal advice and support for those wanting to bring Ukrainian family members to the UK
  • Ukraine Advice Project UK provides free UK immigration advice for those wishing to leave Ukraine

The ‘Help Yourself Hub’ and ‘Saturday Social’ continues at St Mary’s Church on Bramall Lane.  For more information, please contact Olga or Lena on 0114 2230223.

Claiming benefits and finding work

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has produced a resource with information about the support available from DWP with details on claiming benefits and finding work.

For certain jobs, a DBS check will be required.  As the requirements of DBS cannot be provided by new arrivals, it is possible to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from the Ukrainian Embassy.  Apply via https://vytiah.mvs.gov.ua ,and a confirmation letter will be issued by the Embassy on the basis of the record obtained.  

In the case of having insufficient relevant documents, there is also a fingerprint method. DBS checks for asylum seekers explains this along with further information about DBS checks.

Help and advice on money issues

Many people are worried about money at the moment, important costs like energy, food and fuel are rising steeply.  If you're worried about being able to afford to live, you're not alone and there is support available.  Help and advice on money issues | Sheffield City Council

School places

We are working hard to make sure that we allocate school places as quickly as possible and are aiming to meet the statutory timeframe of 15 school days as a maximum for allocation of places. 

Upon arrival, please email Ed-Resettlement@sheffield.gov.uk with a name and contact and we can arrange to complete the application with them and process this as quickly as possible. 

We are very aware that the location of some hosts means that families may not receive their first preferences of schools, but we will ensure that every child is allocated a school place.

School Uniform

Some families may require support to access school uniforms.  All schools and education providers in the city have been notified by the City Council that they will receive reimbursement for helping Ukrainian children purchase appropriate uniform.  They have been asked to discuss requirements with new arrival families and provide uniform if needed.

School transport

Each school in Sheffield has a designated catchment area from which it admits its pupils.  Living in a catchment area does not guarantee a place at that school. 

We know that not every child will be able to attend the school closest to their host home.  Free school transport provides information about eligibility for help with the cost of transport.

Pre-school children

Preschool children aged 2-4 years may be eligible to some free provision:

There are also a range of free regular activities delivered by Sheffield Family Centres. 

Family centres | Sheffield City Council.

For certain jobs, a DBS check will be required.  As the requirements of DBS cannot be provided by new arrivals, it is possible to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from the Ukrainian Embassy.  Apply via https://vytiah.mvs.gov.ua ,and a confirmation letter will be issued by the Embassy on the basis of the record obtained.  

In the case of having insufficient relevant documents, there is also a fingerprint method.  This is explained, along with further information about DBS checks, here: http://www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk/dbs-checks-for-asylum-seekers.

Other education resources

In the Supporting information you'll find links to other educational resources:

  • Children in Need have a bank of resources and organisations that can help with talking to children about Ukraine and Russia (mostly aimed at UK children, but useful to share)
  • Twinkl (resources for Primary School aged children) has a number of Ukrainian Dual Language Resources
  • Links to Ukrainian textbooks and schooling (Resources supporting Ukrainian children’s right to education - Newsroom on Children's Rights)
  • Links to educational resources for Ukrainian children (Free educational resources for Ukrainian children - Education without backpacks)
  • Ukrainian Language Resources for children (Ukrainian Language Resources at bilingualkidsrock.com)
  • Sheffield Children's University deliver a range of exciting activities and events together with Learning Destinations and other partners. 

Summer provision

Children and young people who are eligible for free school meals, can choose from a range of fun, free activities happening across Sheffield throughout the holidays.  Activities include arts and craft, music, sport, dance and nature, with new activities added frequently.  Children can be dropped off at most of the sessions (although you should check with the organiser first), and attendees will also receive a free school meal.  To register, visit the Sheffield Healthy Holidays websiteThe parent of a child/children will need to create an account on the website and then book the required activities.

Many schools offer summer schemes for children, although often these are on a paid-for basis.  Please contact your local school/s to find out details if required.

Sheffield Libraries also have a wide range of events and activities throughout the summer.  

ESOL (English to speakers of other languages)

In August, three new ESOL courses for adults will commence, based on different levels of attainment.  Located at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane, courses are four weeks in duration and will run twice weekly.  Various childcare will be available: onsite creche for 0-5 years, summer club for 6 -10 years.  Parents of children aged over 10 will need to arrange their own provision.

Whilst it is anticipated that approximately 40 people in total will benefit from these initial courses, further courses will be added as required.  For further information about adult ESOL please contact kevin.straughn@sheffield.gov.uk

There are also other providers of English classes in the city, including the Sheffield College. The SPRING Project will be able to signpost. Additionally, Learn for Life are offering free English classes.

Travel

Concessionary travel is available to those under 18, those over 66, and people with disabilities.  Further information is available from Travel South Yorkshire.

Out of hours support

For out of hours support, please use the following contacts as appropriate:

If you have immediate concern about an adult or child, the above contacts do not replace calling the emergency services. For non-urgent matters requiring Police attention ring 101.

Privacy notice

When we collect personal data, we are required to make sure you are clear what data we need and why, what we intend to do with it, what your individual rights are, and who you can contact for enquiries or concerns about the use of your personal data. This is called a privacy notice and we can do this verbally or in writing.  Privacy notices relevant to both hosts and guests are attached.

Contact the Ukrainian Resettlement Support Team

Supporting Information

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