Welcoming Ukrainian people into Cherwell
We are committed to welcoming and supporting refugees into Cherwell.
Together with our partner organisations we are organising events to help Ukrainian guests and their families adjust to life in the UK, and also supporting sponsors to help make every hosting a success.
We are now contacting households who have expressed an interest in being a Homes for Ukraine sponsor but have not yet matched to see if they are still interested in hosting guests from Ukraine who need a new sponsor household. Guests might need a new sponsor household for a variety of reasons. For example, sometimes sponsor accommodation falls through just as guests arrive in the country, some hosts cannot offer accommodation after the initial six months, or the guests need to relocate from another local authority area.
There is still a need for more sponsors, so if you think you may want to host an individual or family who need a new sponsor household, please register your interest.
About the Homes for Ukraine scheme
The government's Homes for Ukraine scheme enables individuals and organisations to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians forced to escape their homeland.
Oxfordshire County Council's website provides guidance, information and links for people sponsoring families in the Homes for Ukraine scheme and for Ukrainian guests.
- Guest support - information, support and help for Ukrainian guests in the Homes for Ukraine Scheme
- Sponsor support - guidance, information and links for people sponsoring families in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
- Ukraine helpline: +44 1865 966444 / 01865 966 444 (opening hours: 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and bank holidays). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The government has indicated it will provide further funding for local authorities to support this scheme, including sponsors, to help families rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities. The council fully supports this critical national effort.
Other visa schemes
The government is operating various visa schemes to give Ukrainians different options depending on their circumstances. The council is only directly involved in administering the Homes for Ukraine scheme, however any Ukrainians living in Cherwell are welcome to attend our events, irrespective of the scheme they used to enter the UK.
About the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme
The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK. To apply to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme you must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national who has been granted permission under, or is applying to and qualifies for, the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.
About the Ukraine Family Scheme
The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members, or extend their stay, in the UK. Everyone must make a separate application, even children travelling with a family member.
About the Ukraine Extension Scheme
A Ukraine Extension Scheme visa allows you live, work and study in the UK if you’re Ukrainian, or the family member of someone who is Ukrainian. You can apply to this scheme if you hold any valid UK visa, or held one that expired on or after 1 January 2022.
You should consider whether you want to keep your current visa or switch to the Ukraine Extension Scheme. This route does not currently lead to settlement – this means that you may not be able to count any time you spend in the UK with this visa as part of an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in future.
The South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM) now has a dedicated Ukraine information page.
Becoming a Homes for Ukraine host
If you want to offer a home to people who have fled Ukraine, you can become a sponsor as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Anyone in the UK can register to host, as long as:
- you can offer a spare room or home for at least 6 months
- if you’re not a British citizen, you have leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months
- you do not have a criminal record
Guidance and resources for Ukrainian guests and hosts
The government guidance for sponsors contains more information to help you support your guests to adapt to life in the UK. It also provides links to charities that can support you as hosts.
The government have also compiled sources of support for for sponsors hosting people from Ukraine. This includes details of community organisations who have developed advice and training courses to help you support your guests.
If your guests need information about their future in the UK, they can find this here: in English, Ukrainian and Russian.
We also have links to free English language courses and other resources on our webpage Offers and opportunities for guests and hosts.
Making a donation
Many people in the county want to do whatever they can to help, and one way is to make a donation.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 15 leading UK charities, has launched a collective appeal to provide emergency aid and rapid relief to civilians suffering during the conflict.
Many registered charities are also helping to provide vital life-saving services to those caught up in the conflict, including those forced to flee to neighbouring countries. These include