Update letter for HOSTS - 18th April 2022

Started by grahame, Apr 18, 2022, 11:36 AM

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm writing to thank you for volunteering to host or support guests under the "Homes from Ukraine" program. Introducing hosts to guests under the program has been delegated to the individuals and the community; I'm sending you this email from the "Ukraine support group - Melksham / Corsham / Lacock & Chippenham" since you've shared information with us to help us help you in the process. As a circular email, some things written here will not be relevant to you but I wanted to re-confirm that we will be (or are) in touch as appropriate.

The "Homes for Ukraine" program was launched about a month ago, and within days, over 150,000 potential hosts had registered an interest. Just before Easter, over 50,000 potential guests had applied for visas under the Sponsorship scheme, of which just over 25,000 had been granted. So bearing in mind that many of the guests are in family groups that means that less than one in 5 potential sponsors has been matched with a Ukrainian family so far, and less than one in 10 groups has visas. Just a few have arrived over the last week or two.

Sadly, there remains a massive humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Every day, we are receiving requests for hosts from people in dire situations, having to make heart-breaking decisions to tear families apart and travel to far (and far safer) lands, or already in very temporary safety. So it's probable that many, many more of the UK hosts will find themselves invited to sponsor guest groups - through us or the many parallel groups - in coming weeks.

There are massive hurdles for potential guests to overcome to reach us in England even once they have decided that they should make the move. Internet access for them is often patchy. Their English is often poor. Their knowledge of Great Britain is limited. Hurdles in paperwork and travel - especially for the early part of the journey - are substantial. And the likelihood of events and other opportunities overtaking even the best laid plans is considerable.

Matching hosts and potential guest who have all these issues behind their need is further complicated by the social compatability issues. Would you place smokers into a none-smoking home, or vice versa? Would you place city dwellers in a remote village, or vice versa? Would you place a single guest with a host offering space for a large family, or vice versa? Would you place guests with mobility issues at the top of a staircase?

* Please help keep us up to date by letting us know of any changes in circumstances (e.g. you have matched, guests arrived, etc) via update@ukraine2uk.info . Please also let us know via that address if you no longer wish us to hold your information.

* Our website at http://www.ukraine2uk.info includes links to our Facebook page, Forum and resource library, which are regularly updated

* Please feel free to pass our details and a copy of this email on to others to whom it may be of interest. There is a form at http://www.ukraine2uk.info/hostform.html where hosts can pass us some information about there availability so we can help match and support

This update written personally by Graham Ellis. My huge thanks to Stuart Pearce for setting up and leading the group; I am happy to be helping him with the online presence. Also huge thanks to my wife Lisa who is the "data queen" helping with the date entry and maintenance. They're both so busy that I've written this and left them to get on with the productive work behind the scenes.

And, finally, a big thank you to YOU, the sponsors and hosts who have or will be opening your homes to guests under the "Homes for Ukraine" scheme.

Graham (Ellis)
Melksham Town Councillor (South Ward) - special interests including travel and transportation, economy and climate. Retired IT trainer, helping with the Ukraine UK forum