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.
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
Many people are kindly offering accommodation for use by Ukrainians fleeing conflict and there is a new scheme ‘Homes for Ukraine’ which will enable people to volunteer accommodation for a minimum of 6 months. The scheme will open on Friday 18 March for visa applications from Ukrainians and immediate family members who already have named people willing to sponsor them. If you don’t have a personal contact, you can still register as a host. A matching portal has been created and is accepting registrations for refugees to be matched with potential sponsors. The link is here: https://www.homesforukraine.org.uk/.
Caritas Plymouth can provide support to parish groups considering sponsoring a family, but not individuals. If you are interested please get in touch – mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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