We stand with Ukraine
We have raised a Ukrainian flag at our Civic Centre in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian communities in the UK.
We hope that reason and reconciliation will prevail to bring this awful war to a swift and peaceful end.
Chelmsford CVS, the local centre for voluntary action, is co-ordinating volunteering and donation opportunities to help refugees from, and people in, Ukraine.
If you want to help, you can check the CVS website, which is being constantly updated as the situation changes.
Many people in Chelmsford may want to join the thousands who have already offered accommodation to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The government has now put in place the Homes for Ukraine scheme. If you can provide accommodation, you can nominate a named person or family to support their visa application to enter the UK.
You can find more information about this on the GOV.UK website.
If you want to offer accommodation but don’t have the name and details of a particular family fleeing Ukraine
You can still apply to the national scheme and register your interest to help. The government might contact you later if they extend the scheme to those who have accommodation to offer but have no connection with a particular person or family fleeing Ukraine.
Some charities and organisations are working with refugees who are looking for accommodation. They are helping to match them with people in the UK who are able to provide accommodation.
You can look at some of their websites:
- Refugees at Home
- Room for Refugees
- Welcome to Essex: packs for sponsors (Essex County Council)
- Information for sponsors welcoming a Ukrainian person or family (Essex County Council)
- Local information packs for guests available in Ukrainian and Russian languages (Essex County Council)
Other help and support to help refugees settle in the UK
There is a need to make sure suitable care and support is available to help those fleeing. Some may have young children, disabilities, experienced trauma and anxious about their future and those they have left behind.
All those resettled through the schemes will receive a package of support. This will include help to access health, social care and education.
Funding of £10,000 per individual is being provided to local authorities to meet the costs of this package of care and support. We will be working closely with Essex County Council who has responsibility for providing many of these services.
Those arriving in the UK from Ukraine can access Universal Credit and jobs support immediately. Each refugee will also receive a £200 one-off payment to cover the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and toiletries. Essex County Council are responsible for these payments.
The government is also offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more households. There is a limit of one payment per residential address. This payment is made by Essex County Council. To claim the £350 payment, you need to apply to host a Ukrainian war arrival on GOV.UK.
The government opened its Homes for Ukraine scheme on 14 March 2022.
This scheme offers a £350 per month payment to anybody who successfully offers a spare room(s) or empty property to a Ukrainian national to live in for at least six months.
The government will give eligible Ukrainians a visa allowing them to live, work and claim benefits in the UK for three years.
From 12 April 2022, the government has changed the law relating to Council Tax. This change means any person with permission to enter or stay in the UK (granted under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme) will not affect Council Tax discounts or exemptions. This means that the presence of eligible Ukrainian residents will not take away single person discounts, student discounts or annexe discounts for example.
We also won't take into account the £350 monthly payment to sponsors when we calculate Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
If you have taken in anybody under the Homes for Ukraine scheme or if they have moved out, you must email BusinessSupport.FamilyOps@essex.gov.uk.
This will help us to make sure that we can start or stop any accommodation checks or payments.
If you do not have access to email, call Essex County Council on 0345 603 7627 and ask to speak to their Homes for Ukraine team.