News release from 03/03/2022
Assistance for those affected by the war in Ukraine
As we watch the terrible events in Ukraine unfold, our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. The horrors of war, as shown in the photographs and videos on the news media, is impossible to overstate.
The Council has pledged to support people fleeing the Ukraine and is calling for a national resettlement programme to be set up by the Government so that this can happen. Councillors have said that the Council will play their part and work to identify local homes for refugees leaving the war zone if needed. You can read the Council’s position in full here: pledge to support people fleeing Ukraine.
We hear and empathise with the anxiety and concern of residents who want to do something to help those affected and we want to help by signposting people who wish to offer support in response to the humanitarian crisis.
The Disasters Emergency Committee brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. You can learn more about their Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Additionally, local organisation Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action – which ordinarily works to take regular convoys of donated items to refugees in Calais – has advised that it is NOT currently collecting items for Ukraine. They suggest instead that donations of money is a much more effective way of helping the aid organisations that are working in the region.
Furthermore, the Local Government Association (LGA) has provided Councils with this link to BBC News online where it suggests people should direct their support to organisations including:
- 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, and drinking water to villages in eastern Ukraine
- 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's 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.
Additionally, the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, has suggested donating money through the Ukrainian Embassy’s With Ukraine fund. The money will be spent on providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population and to purchase medical and military supplies for Ukraine's army.
In addition to donating, another practical thing that we can all do is to be careful not to unwittingly distribute misinformation or propaganda about the situation by sharing articles, images or videos that we see online which are fake or misleading. The Full Fact organisation has some useful tips on how to spot false information online and sharing these tips within our communities can help. Here are links to their posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Central Government sponsorship scheme
The Government announced that it is launching a new sponsorship scheme to make sure that Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes have a route to safety in the UK.
Charities, businesses and community groups can come forward to sponsor Ukrainians who do not have already established family ties to the UK. The scheme will match people with sponsors. To find out how to sign up for updates on this scheme please visit the Government's website.
Please note that this information was first collated on 4 March, with the addition of the Government's scheme added on Friday 11 March 2022. Due to the fast-changing nature of the situation and number of different organisations providing support, it is not possible to create an exhaustive list of organisations supporting the local and national effort. If there are significant changes, we will share the information via social media or through our regular Community Update emails.