On behalf of an appeal from Chris Grayling and the CTiE, ChristChurch has been approached to support the local appeal for the Epsom Refugee Network (ERN). Please find their fact sheet below, on ways in which you can personally support ERN. If there are any questions please reach out to Greg Edwards or Gerald Wisden
We know everyone is anxious to hear more about the situation with Ukrainian refugees and so this is our first communication with information which we hope will answer some of your questions. We are also aware that things are moving very quickly and so some of this may be out of date within 24 hours of sending! Anyway, here goes….
Firstly, thank you to the HUGE number of people who have contacted us to offer help and support. We are trying to keep on top of e mails, we are sorry if you don’t get a full response at this time.
GOVERNMENT PORTAL FOR HOSTS:
The government portal (click here) has gone live for anyone offering to host Ukrainians within their home. We know a number of you have already registered with Refugees at Home and we know they are working with the government. If you want to register with both please do this
The portal is supposed to link you to someone who is looking for a home but it is still not clear how this will happen. We have been told that one of the NGO’s on the ground (Red Cross, UNHCR or similar) should be identifying people by the end of the week. We are really not sure how many without family ties in the UK may want to come here, if you want to read more information about where the largest Ukrainian populations are across Europe, click here.
We are hoping for more information about family sponsorship by the end of the week. We understand this will be a more formal arrangement for charities and community groups to sponsor a family who may need their own home but we don’t have the details at the moment. If you are a landlord with a property and would consider letting to a refugee family do get in touch. Jo and her husband Terry are landlords to a Syrian family and would happily chat to you about how this works and what a positive thing it is to do.
The response has been so huge that we are planning to host information evenings with people interested in getting involved. We will do this once we have more information. They will cover advise about hosting (from experienced hosts); volunteering with refugees; letting to refugees and any other questions you may have. If you are interested in attending please can you register via this link to give us an idea about numbers.
For some time we have wanted to look at better ways to support newly arrived refugee children and local schools. With the possibility of a large number of new arrivals it is now more urgent than ever.
Arriving in to a new country and speaking no English can be really scary for children and schools are already hugely over stretched and so struggle to give the 1 to 1 support to help children learn English and catch up with their peers in other subjects. We are planning to hold an Educators Forum for anyone working with children, either as a teacher or in a clinical setting maybe around trauma or other issues. If this is your background and you would be happy to join us to share your thoughts then please respond via this link. We also want to link in with local schools to be part of this process so please contact us if you work in a local school and can attend.
We are starting on a journey with refugees from a new region but are already supporting refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. If you want to see what help we need at the moment please click this link and go to the 'GET INVOLVED' section of our website.
We are also looking for someone who could join us as a part time volunteer coordinator for 1-2 days per week. This can be a volunteer or paid position. Please e mail us if you have relevant experience in this role.
If you are unable to offer space in your home or time to volunteer but want to support our work welcoming refugees then you can donate via this link .
We know many of you are keen to get going with helping the people from Ukraine but do bear in mind that processes do take time to set up properly. We urge everyone to be patient and use official channels and work with experienced organisations. Many Ukrainians will not want to leave the area close to their country at the moment, they will want to see if things resolve themselves and they can return home.
Jo, Nina and Rachel.