**NEW ** Calling all host families. I will be holding an online meeting on Friday 16th September for all Ukraine host families in my constituency. This will be supported by West Sussex County Council. It will be an opportunity for you to tell me anything that you wish me to share with our local councils, ministers or ask of the Government. You must register for the meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. **
The terrifying events in Ukraine over the last six months have changed our world in ways that it is not yet possible to fully comprehend.
West Sussex has residents and visiting workers from Ukraine, Russia, Poland and other impacted countries. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them at this time. To be clear, it is Putin’s actions that we condemn, not the people of Russia who are also victims of this situation.
As well being a human tragedy, it is intensely sad for all of us of an age that revelled in the values of freedom and self-determination that the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 saw flourish across our continent.
I am proud that the UK is playing a leading part in the global support for Ukraine as a Permanent Council member of the United Nations, the G20, NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).
The government is providing a range of economic, humanitarian and defensive military assistance to Ukraine, and is imposing additional sanctions on Russia and its ally, Belarus. This includes:
- providing additional humanitarian aid for vital medical supplies and other help, including supporting non-governmental organisation responders by match funding £25 million of public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine humanitarian appeal
- changing the immigration system to support British nationals and their families who usually live in Ukraine, and Ukrainians in the UK and their families
- providing defensive military aid to Ukraine, continuing to work with international partners to supply vital weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces
- coordinating with partners on sanctions aimed at starving the Russian government of funds to further its unprovoked war against Ukraine, imposing wide-ranging sanctions on Russian businesses, banks and individuals, including a joint decision by all G7 countries to remove Russian banks from the SWIFT system, in addition to our existing sanctions
As ever in a crisis, the British people have responded magnificently, and I am unsurprised by the warm and generous community-spirit across all of our villages. I have set up this page to make it easy for those wishing to get help as well as anyone wishing to support the Ukrainian people at this time.
If you are Ukrainian and need help obtaining a UK visa for a family member who has fled the conflict and made it to Hungary, Poland, Moldova or Romania, please do not hesitate to seek my assistance.
You can apply here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
The Ukraine Family Visa scheme has been updated (in close consultation with the Ukrainian government and diaspora community) so that from Tuesday, Ukrainians with passports can get permission to come here online and give their biometrics once in Britain, meaning they no longer need to physically visit Visa Application Centres, which can focus efforts on helping those without passports.
Full advice on UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals is available here:
A Ukrainian-language advice sheet for refugees is available here:
To make a financial donation:
The UK Government Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal brings together 15 leading UK aid charities, including the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children.
This is the best way to donate as the money will go directly to the front line and all public donations will be doubled by the UK government so your donation counts twice.
Donate clothes and products:
There is a desperate need on the ground for fresh clothes, blankets and other essential items. There are a growing number of local groups and charities which are accepting goods and products. Please contact them first to see if they are accepting donations.
- Petworth Ukraine Relief - https://www.facebook.com/groups/493671732386121
- The South Downs Appeal for Medical Aid for Ukraine is the local campaign for SMART Medical Aid - a non-profit non-governmental organisation (NGO) of experienced healthcare professionals. Their Facebook page includes a shopping list of supplied needed. https://www.facebook.com/groups/4816093721800881/
- From Sussex With Love. From Sussex With Love - Home | Facebook
If you run a group in the constituency that is accepting donations of these supplies, please inform my office and we will include your details on this page.
Apply to be a sponsor:
In addition to generous visa arrangements for an estimated up to 200,000 Ukrainians either already here or UK citizens with family members in Ukraine, the Government is launching a new sponsorship scheme - Homes for Ukraine - to make sure that Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes have a route to safety.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will match people, charities, businesses and community groups to Ukrainians who do not have family ties to the UK. The main requirement will be to be able to accommodate a Ukrainian family for at least six months, or until the conflict is over and the country is free.
All sponsors will be eligible for £350 per month in support, and there is no cap on the number of sponsors, and the Ukrainians they sponsor have the right to work and to access benefits and public services, including education and healthcare, from day one.
This huge collective and community effort represents the UK’s biggest offer to shelter for people fleeing war since 1946. But with the Putin’s barbaric invasion continuing, many Ukrainians are still looking for a place of safety in homes right across the UK.
Those interested in becoming sponsors for the Homes for Ukraine scheme can find out more information and record their interest online.
Those interested in finding somebody to host can contact recognised providers listed online who help provide support and guidance on becoming a sponsor, and can help people safely find a match. A record of interest will also be shared with the local authority who may make contact to discuss where there is a need for sponsors in the area.
Ukrainians who have arrived in the UK and were given 6 months leave should ensure they take action to extend their stay to up to 3 years if they have not already done so. They can do this on GOV.UK, though Ukrainians who have already enrolled their biometrics, and collected their biometric residence permit (BRP) do not need to take any further action.
Office address and general enquiries; 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000
If you are an individual or organisation able to offer accommodation on this basis, please check out the scheme's website for details on how to apply and for Frequently Asked Questions.
Ukrainians travelling to the UK:
Several travel companies are offering free travel to get to the UK:
- The airline Wizz Air is supporting Ukrainian nationals by offering 100,000 free seats on flights from Ukraine’s border countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania). They are also offering €29.99 rescue fares on flights from other locations (excluding the UAE, Iceland and the Canaries, which are €69.99). Find out more on the Wizz Air website.
- Eurostar is offering free tickets to help Ukrainian nationals travel from any Eurostar station to London St Pancras International. Individuals who have been granted a valid visa to enter the UK can show this together with their Ukrainian passport to a member of the Eurostar team at Paris Nord, Brussels-Midi, Lille Europe, Rotterdam Centraal or Amsterdam Central stations, and they will issue a ticket for travel to London. Find out more on the Eurostar website.
For Ukrainians already in the UK, please see the Home Office guidance on visa support here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ukrainian-nationals-in-the-uk-visa-support
For Ukrainians arriving in the UK, The Red Cross have published this guidance leaflet with helpful advice and details on support services and other applications.
Community groups welcoming and supporting Ukraine nationals resettling;
www.henfieldforukraine.com - Henfield
www.wcrcnetwork.co.uk - West Chiltington
Show your support on social media:
Please tag your posts #StandWithUkraine to show your support as part of a global online movement.