This guidance contains sources of support available to sponsors.
First, thank you for becoming a sponsor. You have saved lives, given hope, and offered sanctuary to people in desperate need. Most hosts find the experience rewarding, but we know some hosts are facing challenges they are not experienced with, in welcoming people into your home, so it’s a good idea to know where to find support.
As a sponsor your main source of information should be:
In addition to this official guidance, there are other sources of support, and this guide sets out how to find them. We will update this page regularly.
Becoming a sponsor
If you are thinking about becoming a sponsor, the government has published a list of Recognised Providers. These are voluntary and community sector organisations that provide support, and help to link up sponsors with people coming to the UK from Ukraine.
Toolkits for sponsors
Organisations experienced in supporting new arrivals in the UK have produced toolkits to help new sponsors. These toolkits give a general overview and advice about being a sponsor and a host:
- RESET Homes for Ukraine Sponsor Toolkit
- RESET Thinking about your support
- BARNARDOS Advice for Host Families
- NAACOM Hosting Good Practice Guide
- NAACOM Hosting Good Practice Guide Pt II
- VITA Network
Training and advice
Training can help you to prepare to host people and understand how to deal with issues if they arise, so that you are better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of hosting.
Here are some links to videos and training courses:
- RESET training: courses, videos, articles and more, all designed to help you and the family you support
- The Sanctuary Refugee Support Course: essential basic training for all those living, working or volunteering with refugees, covering topics like safeguarding, trauma, cross-cultural communication and community integration
- Sanctuary Foundation webinars: learn about refugee welcome and refugee welfare. Sanctuary host regular events, and their previous events are recorded and posted on their website
- To Be Known: short films focused on how to prepare to host, and support throughout the hosting experience
- The Sanctuary foundation webinar on ‘Supporting Ukrainian Refugees – A marathon not a Sprint’: a 1hr 30 min video that covers cultural differences what it is like to be host, and how to be mindful of the trauma that your guests may have experienced while also looking after your own mental wellbeing.
After your guests have arrived
Communicating with your guests
Being able to communicate well with your guests is important to keep the relationship on track. Here are some links to communication resources:
- The Empowerment hub provides guidance and resources to help you to support your guests to empower themselves
- How to say Hello, Thank you and Goodbye in Ukrainian
- Ukrainian for Beginners - Learn the Basics
- 14 Basic Ukrainian Phrases
- Country Navigator: videos and PDFS about cultural differences in the way we communicate. It’s also useful as a cultural guide to hosting
- Communication boards: a PDF with images or symbols and related words that can be used to communicate health information or issues, general needs and charts for children in school. These can be downloaded or printed and given to your guests.
If you have a smartphone, you can download google translate which can provide real-time translation.
As a sponsor you might like to talk to and share things with others who are also sponsoring in your area. Your local authority or the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) might be able to help you find a local peer support group. They also offer drop-in sessions or may be able to direct you to a local support group that does
We also know sponsorship works best when the responsibility for hosting and supporting guests is shared. This guide shows you How to build a support group .
Sponsors and guests might need some time out or space from their living arrangement. This support varies across the country, but here are some good examples:
- Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) offer drop-in sessions or may be able to direct you to a local support group that does
- Your local council may also have organised activities for children over the school holidays. Check their websites for more information.
Helping your guests to find other sources of support
You will want to help your guests to understand where they can go for more help.
The British Red Cross
The British Red Cross has some useful videos in Ukrainian that you can share with guests including:
- How can I get the help I need in the UK?
- What do I need to know about life in the UK?
- What do I need to know about having my child in the UK?
They have a free helpline where you, or your guests, can ask for an interpreter and receive emotional support.
- helpline number: 0808 196 3651
- open every day 10 am to 6pm
Barnardo’s have set up the Ukrainian Support Helpline to provide a support service for a wide range of needs. Barnardo’s helpline for Ukrainians.
- helpline number: 0800 148 8586
- open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, and Saturday 10am to 3pm
- you can also email email@example.com
Finding a job is an important part of being independent and integrating into a community and your guests may want to find work soon after they arrive.
These links might also be useful to help your guests find work, open a bank account to receive their wages or claim benefits:
- Finding a job
- Opening a bank account
- Claiming Social Security Benefits
- United for Ukraine offer help to Ukrainians arriving in the North of England to access employment support (regional)
- Refugee Employment Network advertise vacancies and training for people with a refugee background
- Citizen’s Advice also provides information on employment and things related
English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
Understanding English is a big help when adapting to life in the UK. Ukrainians who are aged 19+ or older, and their family members settled in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine), can access training to gain more skills.
There are several ESOL resources you can access.
Your guests may need support to look after their physical and mental health. Here are some links that your guests might find useful:
- Sane Ukraine: trauma support for people from Ukraine, daily sessions at 7.30pm Ukrainian time
- Doctors of the world have a series of translated resources about the UK healthcare system
- Thrive LDN: guides for wellbeing for guests
Find out more about what childcare options are available to guests. This includes:
- children in England, Wales and Scotland
- children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
- Further education for young people aged 16 or older
Your council may also provide ‘Early Help’ services for families that need extra support.
Supporting your guests to access public services
Your guests can access public services and support around housing, there is more information in the welcome guide.
Your local council is also responsible for providing support to guests such as registering children with local schools, helping guests to access English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, and advising how to access local Job Centre Plus Services.
You and your guests can also access support from citizens Advice either at your local branch or online.
Housing, private renting and homelessness
Renting in the UK can be expensive and costs can vary depending on the region. London is the most expensive place to live followed by other major cities. People in these locations will often commute for an hour to get to and from work and live in smaller dwellings, often with no outside space.
Shelter is a charity in the UK that can provide advice about:
- private renting
- social housing
- tenancy deposits
Discussing next steps
The UK government now has guidance for sponsors and guests on what happens after the first six months of sponsorship:
Further information and disclaimer
If you can’t find the information you need, try your local council’s website. They have a duty to support people displaced from other countries and should be able to point you in the right direction as they work closely with local charities and community support groups.
While we hope that the information included here is useful, this guide has links to information created by charities and other voluntary organisations, not the UK government, and responsibility for the content sits with those organisations. Inclusion in this guide should also not be seen as endorsement from the UK government of the information provided.