Ukraine Crisis 

The Diocese of Plymouth, Caritas Plymouth and CAFOD Plymouth strongly condemn the large-scale military intervention in Ukraine and brutal aggression towards its people. We deplore the consistent attacks on civilian lives and civilian infrastructure we continue to witness. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the Ukrainian people and to all peace-loving Russians.

Many people have been asking Caritas Plymouth and CAFOD Plymouth what we can do to help the people of Ukraine. Caritas Plymouth’s mission is to focus on our local community and we are working closely with our sister and Caritas agency CAFOD, (the official humanitarian international development agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales) to share guidance.  The situation is changing very rapidly but we would like to offer some initial suggestions about how our community can help. Caritas Social Action Network and CAFOD have also issued a joint statement.

Caritas Plymouth and CAFOD Plymouth will be issuing regular updates and you can find the April update here

Caritas Pymouth Logo

Prayer

Bishop Mark has urged everyone to pray for the people of Ukraine and others affected by this conflict and to use the armour of prayer and fasting for Ukraine. CAFOD has created a prayer for Ukraine 

Donations

CAFOD is a member of Caritas Internationalis. They have launched a fundraising campaign and will ensure donations reach those on the ground. To make a donation to support those affected by the conflict please visit Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal | CAFOD

People’s generosity in wanting to respond to the situation in Ukraine is remarkable. This generosity is best expressed through donations of money rather than goods. Caritas agencies in Poland and Slovakia already have warehouses of supplies and find it difficult to receive in kind donations, and this is also the case in Ukraine. They have all confirmed financial support is the most helpful form of donation. This enables them to focus on assessing what is needed and gives them the resources to do this most efficiently.

Housing for Refugees in the UK

Homes for Ukraine Scheme

The Homes for Ukraine scheme has now launched https://www.gov.uk/government/news/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-launches. UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can now record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war through the government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme. 

Visa applications can be made only by Ukrainians who have a UK sponsor. The application requires personal details of both the applicant and the UK sponsor, but we would urge caution around sending your personal details to anyone you do not know. The Government website gives the following advice: “Whether to share your personal information is always your decision. But if you have concerns about sharing personal details, you may prefer to fill out the visa application form on behalf of the individuals you are sponsoring. To do this, you will need to ask them for their information.”

We suggest that parishioners who are applying to host, link with an organisation with refugee experience.  This is very important so that individuals or groups offering support can do so in a professional and sustained manner. RESET is a national charity which will be supporting people offering accommodation to be matched with Ukrainians coming to the UK https://www.homesforukraine.org.uk/. 

Please let Caritas Plymouth know if your parish plans to respond and we will do all we can to assist you.

 

Lobby the Government and write to your local MP

Lobby the British government. Join CAFOD and ask the Foreign Secretary to push for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict and the Home Secretary to ensure those who have been forced from their homes are able to reach safety – including by providing sanctuary to people in the UK: Urge the government to push for peace in Ukraine and safety for refugees | CAFOD  or write directly to your MP to call on the government to ensure sanctions are in place on the Russian government and its associates. To get in touch with your local MP via email or post to their constituency address, visit https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp for their details.

 
 
 
 
 

Other useful links

People emailing looking for assistance on their journey to the UK can be directed to the Home Office factsheet and helpline: https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2022/02/25/home-office-action-on-ukraine/ 

If you are or know of a resident with friends and family in Ukraine and need information or support about what is happening please contact the Ukrainian Embassy

If you would like immigration advice on temporary concessions for Ukrainian nationals applying to join a family route at www.gov.uk

Catholic Bishops Statement

The Catholic Bishops have written to Liz Truss to urge  a peaceful resolution to the conflict https://www.cbcew.org.uk/bishops-write-to-foreign-secretary-to-support-swift-peaceful-resolution-to-the-war-in-ukraine