I am writing to you with a further update on support for Ukraine.
Firstly on the tragic situation in the Ukraine, following a meeting on Friday night, we have now formed a group locally to prepare for the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the area. Some will be staying with their families, but there will be a need to provide homes or accommodation for those without local connections here.
The process is being co-ordinated by the local Refugee Network, together with a group of local churches, myself and one of the Borough Councillors.
Anyone who wants to be a host for one of these people or for a family group will need to go through a formal vetting process. If you are interested, please do bear in mind that this is a commitment that could last for more than a few months. Clearly we hope people can return home soon, but there is no guarantee of this as you will know. So please only offer if you are willing for this to be a pretty long term thing.
In order to register, please go to the website of the charity Refugees at Home, which is doing the processing of offers for us. It is at https://www.refugeesathome.org/host-application/
You will then receive a call from one of the volunteers who are working for the charity to talk through and check your offer with you.
If you are registering, please could you also let the local refugee network team know so that we have an idea of how many are putting their names forward and so how many people we can help locally. The email is email@example.com
If you are an experienced social worker, GP or Occupational Therapist with experience of doing home visits and checks, the charity will need more volunteers to do this work. If you are willing to help, you can register to do this at https://www.refugeesathome.org/hv-description/
Finally the local team are collecting details of people with teaching experience who can help any children who come to the area. In particular they are keen to find a former senior member of a teaching staff or head teacher who is willing to volunteer to lead a new team to do this.
If you are willing to offer to do either of these and you have the relevant experience, either current or before you retired, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
They are also keen to hear from anyone else willing to train as a volunteer or indeed just to make a donation to support their work. In addition if you are local landlord interested in finding out about renting to a refugee family then please contact the network to find out more.
Local donations for Ukraine
A reminder that a local team has set up a collection centre for local donations in the old H&M unit in the Ashley Centre. That’s the original unit near House of Fraser and not the double floored one which has closed recently. They have an organised plan to move donations out to Ukraine.
Their biggest ask right now is for donations of medical supplies, and in particular things like bandages, as well as over the counter painkillers like Ibuprofen. If you have items that you do not need, or are willing to buy some and drop them off there I know that would be very welcome.
Details of the charity doing this and what it is collecting are at www.surreystandswithukraine.org
They are also asking for donations to help pay for fuel costs to get van loads of supplies to the Polish/Ukrainian border, and are able to take cash or card donations at the centre in Epsom as well as on their website.
If you want to donate to the national appeal being organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee/Red Cross, the link to the appeal site is https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal.
Your donation is being match funded by the Government.
I hope all this is helpful.