Supporting Ukrainian refugees
This webpage provides information for residents in Suffolk about how they can provide support to Ukrainian refugees.
Both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have pledged their full backing for the Ukrainian people, with the offer of help for refugees arriving in the districts and support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Both councils are represented on Suffolk’s Ukraine Task Group alongside representatives from the county’s other local authorities, three Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health Outreach, Suffolk police, Suffolk Refugee Support, Anglia Care Trust and Community Action Suffolk.
The Task Group exists to ensure that refugees' arrival into Suffolk goes as smoothly as possible – considering how best to meet refugees’ health and wellbeing needs, what assistance can be provided with school admissions, and how we can offer support to help with integration and ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), particularly if there are lots of people arriving in dispersed, rural locations.
If you are interested in offering accommodation, you can find out more about the scheme and how to register at Home For Ukraine. The government have issued a Ukraine welcome pack that includes information you may find useful.
Information is also available on the Reset website which help you to register and match refugees from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK-
The Councils or Suffolk County Council will be in touch to confirm how to claim grants when more information is available.
You can sign up to receive a weekly email update by sending your details to Refugee Support.
Our officers are responsible for carrying out property inspections of homes where sponsors have been matched by the Home Office to a Ukraine family or individual. We will contact sponsors to arrange a visit, in order to ensure homes are appropriate and safe. NB: these property checks are separate to DBS checks, which are being completed with the help of Community Action Suffolk.
Property inspections can only be scheduled once we are notified by the Home Office of an official match.
We will carry out general health and safety facilities inspections. which include but are not limited to:
- Mains drinking water supply
- Kitchen facilities
- Smoke detector and other fire safety precautions
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm (If applicable)
- Heating systems
- Gas appliance service history and / or a Gas Safety Certificate
- Gas Boilers located within sleeping accommodation
- Electrical installation
- Damp and/or condensation mould?
- Entry level doors and windows locks
- Any other significant hazards
As part of the inspection our staff will also need to verify submitted forms of identification.
Why won’t you let us use a sofa bed – or swap our living arrangements around so we can fit more people in?
We appreciate that refugees are escaping dire conditions and that our residents will want to do everything in their power to accommodate as many people as possible. However, we also have to ensure that living arrangements are realistic for a long-term placement, between six to 12 month - for both hosts and guests.
It is important to ensure we are offering people a stable and safe refuge, and that they do not find themselves in the position of needing further changes and upheaval in 2-3 months’ time when cramped living arrangements – however well-intentioned – become untenable for either party.
For this reason we are likely to refuse applications that rely on the use of sofa beds in living rooms, and/or where adults cannot have their own bedroom space.
You can find out more about the government guidelines we use for housing checks.
Other information resources
- To help meet the needs of the Ukraine refugees, you may wish to support national and international charities such as The Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal | British Red Cross
- Suffolk Refugee Support are our local refugee charity, you can find out about their response to the Ukraine situation on their website: Response to the situation in Ukraine – Suffolk Refugee Support
- Further information on how to help can be found on the Disasters emergency committee website DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal | Disasters Emergency Committee.