Winchester City Council pledges support for Ukraine
As part of our commitment to supporting the City of Sanctuary movement Winchester City Council is welcoming refugees who are seeking a safe place due to the ongoing Ukraine crisis.
Previously, we’ve welcomed those seeking refuge from Afghanistan and we’ll continue to open our doors for people who are going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives.
The Ukrainian flag is proudly on display on the Winchester Guildhall to show our support for those affected by the crisis.
We are working within developing guidance from Government in order to meet the needs of people from Ukraine fleeing the country – building on previous resettlement schemes and our past experiences to help refugees and evacuees from other conflicts. Our webpages are being updated on a regular basis to ensure we keep the public well informed about the steps we are taking with our partners across Hampshire to support those seeking refuge, and how they can help.
Cllr Lucille Thompson, Leader of Winchester City Council, has responded to the news of developments in Ukraine. You can read the full statement here.
Community hub for Ukraine (help and advice)
Throughout the months of August and September Ukrainian guests and their hosts will be able to drop into our support hub to access support and meet in a safe environment. Translation services will be available.
- Tuesday 9 August 10am-4pm at the Guildhall
- Tuesday 16 August 10am-12pm at Patrick Moore Room, Colden Common
- Tuesday 16 August 2-4pm at the Gold Room, Jubilee Hall, Bishops Waltham
- Monday 12 September 10am-12pm at Denmead Community Centre, Annexe
- Tuesday 13 September 10am-4pm at the Guildhall
- Tuesday 20 September 10am-12pm at Lionel Tubbs Hall, Kings Worthy
- Tuesday 20 September 2-4pm at Alresford Community Centre
Our friendly support staff will be available to help with:
- Housing advice: Winchester City Council Housing team
- Accessing job opportunities, information on benefits: Department of Work and Pensions/Job Centre (subject to confirmation)
- General support and advice: Citizens Advice Winchester District (subject to confirmation)
Our teams will be able to advise on what support is available and do their best to answer any questions you might have.
You will find the support hub in Winchester city centre at the Guildhall in the Courtyard Room. Please access via the Visitor Information Centre in the high street, a short walk from King Alfred's statue.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries.
- Welcome Pack
Homes For Ukrainian Refugees
On Monday 14 March, the Government launched its Homes for Ukraine scheme. This enables individuals and organisations the opportunity to volunteer accommodation to house Ukrainians forced to escape their homeland.
More information is available here.
You can also find this guidance in the following languages:
How can you help?
We are presently advising all those who wish to support those affected to consider the following:
There are many organisations that you can donate to including direct donations to Ukraine, but we’d like to highlight the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukrainian appeal. For those who don’t know about the DEC, it's an umbrella organisation for 15 national charities. The UK Government has committed to match public donations to this appeal pound- for-pound starting with £20 million.
Voices of Children – a Ukrainian charity helps children recover from the impact of war.
Sunflower of Peace – a US based non-profit providing medical aid in Ukraine
United Help Ukraine – provides medical supplies and humanitarian aid.
British-Ukrainian Aid – they provide assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
UNHCR – has launched an emergency appeal for Ukrainian refugees.
UNICEF Ukraine – is providing an emergency response to children affected by the conflict.
Additional charities you can donate to can be found here.
Ukraine Refugee Support Group
The URSG group is mainly based in central Hampshire, made up of individuals, local charities, public services, businesses and churches that want to offer hosting, support and sponsorship to anyone from Ukraine that have been affected by this crisis.
We will be updating this section with the information as we have it – If you are organising a collection please be mindful of the challenges surrounding transportation to (and distribution in) the area.
- First aid supplies: paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, face masks, hand gels and dressings
- Food items: Ovaltine, hot chocolate, protein bars, porridge, oats and any non-perishable food products, baby milk and baby food (including that for allergic and lactose intolerant babies), cat and dog food
- Clothing items: hats, scarves, gloves or thermals for adults, children and babies
- Men's and ladies’ underwear (all sizes, must be brand new)
- Other essential items: nappies, wet wipes, baby toiletries, sanitary towels, toiletries, blankets, foam mats and sleeping bags, torches, batteries and thermos flasks
Hampshire County Council are pulling together a welcome pack for Ukrainians settling locally with details relating to lots of different types of support, including school admissions info. In the interim, you can find some brief information regarding schools admissions here
If you would like to help in person, the following organisations are calling for volunteers:
As the situation evolves
The Ukrainian Institute of London has more suggestions on where to donate, how to demonstrate support. You can also find information from local Ukrainian news outlets and journalists.
Reset UK launches Homes for Ukraine matching service
On 1 April, Reset Communities and Refugees, a charity leading UK community sponsorship since 2018, announced it is launching a matching and training service for sponsors and refugees under the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, with support from DLUHC.
It will bring together sponsors and refugees and assess their eligibility and suitability for the scheme. It will also provide training and advice to the sponsors and community groups.
Reset will also provide a training service, drawing on the expertise of Refugees at Home, for sponsors, councils, and community groups.
DLUHC has provided an initial grant of £300,000 to help design the matching process. Reset is also working closely with the Welsh and Scottish governments, as well as councils across England and Northern Ireland, to help them in matching sponsors and refugees.
Read the announcement here.
- NHS - General health advice
Support for refugees
City of Sanctuary resources
Winchester City of Sanctuary First Aid partnership info available here.
Hosting guidance resources available here.
Matching services for hosts available here.
Resources for supporting Ukrainian refugees available here.
Access to healthcare for refugees locally available here.
Systemic support for people displaced by war and oppression here. (pdf, 177kb)
Guidance for prospective hosts here. (pdf, 281kb)
Find most up to date local English language classes here.
Meeting spaces for refugees here. (Please note this Meeting Space is not provided by Winchester City Council and therefore not subject to our safeguarding guidance).
Winchester Library - Drop ins
International Rescue Committee
Hampshire Wellbeing Services
Winchester Sport & Leisure Park
Winchester City Council is devoted to helping its residents achieve a healthy body and mind by providing a variety of leisure facilities for all ages to enjoy. Working in partnership with Everyone Active, which manages our leisure centres, the council aims to help more people experience these benefits by supporting them to be more active, more often.
For more information about Everyone Active and the Leisure Centres, see below:
Everyone Active is donating free memberships to Ukrainian families and individuals to help support physical and mental wellbeing and to support them to feel part of our community. To see what is being offered, look here: Ukrainian Refugee Free Membership - Everyone Active
Interpreter Request Form
Download here (pdf, 58kb)
Free bus pass
You can get 12 weeks’ free bus travel from your local bus service by completing this form.
Your free travel bus pass will cover the routes offered by the main bus company operating in your area. Further information will be provided with your pass.
All children under five years of age and adults who are 65 and over are eligible for free bus travel in the UK, so they do not need to be included in your application for a 12-week free bus travel pass.
How do I contact Hampshire County Council to let them know our household details for inspection visits?
We’re collecting information on behalf of the county council and you can help speed up the process here. Simply send an email to email@example.com and include the household details as follows:
- Names of all household occupants – including Ukrainian guests and UK residents
- Dates of birth for all household occupants
- Telephone contact numbers for all household occupants
- An email address to contact your household
Your data will be safeguarded in line with GDPR regulations.
Are the property inspection and visa application processes linked?
No – the two processes are entirely separate and delays are not caused by the progress of either process. The visa process us undertaken by the Home Office – this means your local council is unable to speed up the process.
I still have not had my inspection yet – should I be worried?
No, there are a huge number of visits to already underway and more are being scheduled daily. You will be called as soon as the team are able to arrange to carry out the inspection of your home.
How does the DBS check work – locally or nationally?
The DBS process is initiated locally with the home visit from HCC but it then becomes a nationally administered process once the county council officers have initiated it.
I am housing a Ukrainian family, when will they recieve the emergency fund payment to help?
The Ukrainian family will be issued with a £200 pre-loaded payment card at the home visit by the Family Support Service ( HCC). The Ukrainian family has to be present at the visit. HCC will then top the card up to equate to £200 per head, this is done remotely and can a few days after the initial £200 is loaded onto the card.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you are unable to remain with your host and would like advice on alternative housing options, please contact our housing options service: https://www.winchester.gov.uk/housing/homelessness
HCC full set of FAQs
You can find a set of local FAQs for Hampshire here.