Ukraine - How can I help?

Ukraine - How can I help?

First published on: 14th March 2022

We are all appalled and saddened by what we are seeing on the news of people fleeing war in Ukraine, or living in what are siege situations. How can we help?

Donators hold up a Ukraine flag

Last updated 25 April, 2022

 

On this page we explore some of the main ways you and your church can respond to the situation in Ukraine which include:

 

Donate money
Support refugees
Stand in solidarity with ALL refugees
Pray
Get informed

 

We know that churches across the Diocese have already been responding generously and compassionately to the situation in Ukraine. From prayer vigils and donation drops to reaching out to Ukrainians in their local communities to show solidarity. Read more about the response by churches

Each and every person's situation and capacity will be different, so here is a range of suggestions that individuals and churches may like to consider.

 I know there is a deep yearning in people to offer a generous welcome to the victims of war and it is wonderful to see and hear of such open-heartedness. The key to interpreting what we might do, personally and together, is in through prayer for discernment.

Bishop Simon Burton-Jones

 

Donate money

Unless you have specific contacts in a place, it is usually better to donate money rather than items, as the money can be used for whatever is most needed and avoids sending unnecessary items into an already chaotic situation.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging donations of money to the USPG Ukraine Emergency Appeal in which the Diocese of Europe is a partner. 

You may also wish to consider supporting the local charity, ChildAid (to Eastern Europe) of which Bishop Simon is a patron.

ChildAid to Eastern Europe is an established Christian charity based in Bromley with a history of working with vulnerable children across Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. 

In these challenging times, ChildAid and their partners in eastern Europe have already begun supporting refugees both in Ukraine and in Moldova, providing emergency support on the ground. 

Visit the ChildAid to Eastern Europe for ways to donate money and offer prayer. Their Facebook page is also offering regular updates and prayer points - Like / Follow the ChildAid Facebook page.
 

"At ChildAid, we are focusing on supporting our partners on the ground in both Moldova and in Ukraine.  Financial aid is needed to fund food, water, nappies, personal hygiene items, housing, transport  –  all items that are needed right now.  Money has the terrific advantage over other gifts in so far as it can be used immediately, bringing about immediate benefits; money can also help local economies and communities stay afloat." 

(Stephen Barbor, Commissioned Evangelist, St Stephen's Tonbridge and ChildAid staff team member)

 

Other appeals available:

 

Support refugees

The Church of England has published a ‘toolkit’ of resources for parishes seeking to help refugees and evacuees from Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion of the country.

This ‘toolkit’ contains a range of resources for parishes seeking to help refugees, including:

  • A brief guide to what is happening in Ukraine and the humanitarian response, together with details of organisations and appeals.
  • Information on how parishes and individuals can take action to support those arriving, both through the family visa scheme and the humanitarian sponsor scheme (Homes for Ukraine).
  • Advocacy, prayer and theological resources for churches, as well as safeguarding advice.

Download the Church of England toolkit

 

Offering a home

The Government has announced its 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme to allow Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK. If you are a member of clergy occupying board or parsonage housing, please see our Clergy offering homes to refugees section below,

There are a number of organisations trying to help individuals, churches and communities work together to provide wraparound support for any refugees who may come to the UK, as well as provide homes.They include:

  • Reset (Communities and Refugees) is helping register and match refugees from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK.
  • The Sanctuary Foundation is inviting churches and individuals to pledge to provide support for Ukrainian refugees in their church and community if they are able. Potential support involved could include:
    • Welcoming a Ukrainian family to live in your community
    • Finding and possibly furnishing suitable accommodation
    • Raising support funds
    • Volunteering time to provide integration support.
 
Clergy offering homes to refugees - Diocesan process

The Diocese has developed a process and guidance for clergy who wish to offer lodging for refugees in their own home as part of the Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.  Please note that this guidance is only applicable to clergy occupying board or parsonage housing. 

While we recognise the generosity of heart from clergy households who would like to help in such a direct way, it is important that clergy households work the guidance through with their Archdeacon to help consider all the risks that this additional ministry might bring.  

In our guidance, we explain some of the things you should consider before offering lodging to refugees. We also explain the process you will need to go through with the Diocese to confirm your intention to offer a space in your home.

The process has been designed to help us assess whether approval can be granted, as well as enable pastoral conversations to be had with clergy directly about whether this is the right step for them. Please access if via the following links: 
 


We are very aware that the circumstances of each household and each church are different, and some are in a better place to help than others. We hope our guidance and the process assist you as you consider your next steps. 

If you need further help We have set up a dedicated email associated with this matter, and so if you have any questions about the process, please email: ukraine2022@rochester.anglican.org. If you would like to share details of what you, your church, or community are doing more generally in relation to Ukraine, please email our Lead Community Engagement Adviser, Magali van der Merwe directly on: magali.vandermerwe@rochester.anglican.org.     

 

 

Guidance and advice on how to support Ukrainian refugees in your community

A number of councils across the areas of the Diocese have set up dedicated support pages or contact lines to help those supporting Ukrainian refugees in their community.

 

Bexley

Bexley

Bexley support page: - Advice and guidance | London Borough of Bexley

This guidance can be read in Ukrainian ( language needs to be selected).

Bexley support email address: HomesForUkrainians@bexley.gov.uk 
 

Bromley

Bromley

Bromley support page: - Supporting Ukraine | London Borough of Bromley

Bromley’s Ukraine support line 020 8313 4698 .

Ukraine Support email address Ukrainesupport@bromley.gov.uk

Kent

Kent County Council

Kent County Council Support page: Support for Ukrainian nationals - Kent County Council

Welcome book - Welcome to Kent Handbook (Homes for Ukraine scheme)

Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a guidance leaflet:

Medway

Medway

Medway Support page Medway's services and support | Medway's services and support | Medway Council

Translator - if hosting Ukrainians and need urgent help with translating information, please call  on 01634 333 333 and ask to be transferred to an interpreter.

Kent & Medway

Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a guidance leaflet:

 

There is also national guidance available to help those supporting refugees:

 

Mental health
A range of resources for volunteers and professionals to help them support the mental health and well-being of displaced Ukrainians:
Thrive LDN: Guidance for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of displaced Ukrainians

 

 

Stand in solidarity with ALL refugees

There are many refugees in the UK and around the world from other conflicts, and it is important that we do not forget them in the new horrors in Ukraine. 

The Church of England's Ukraine toolkit contains signposts to a number of organisations that can provide information about to offer welcome to all refugees and how Community Sponsorship works generally.

Prayer shared at Holy Trinity Coxheath

(Prayers shared in Holy Trinity, Coxheath)

 

Pray

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe, who are living through a war that they don’t want, fleeing violence, and working to support victims.

Every Wednesday in Lent, the Diocese in Europe is holding a Vigil with Prayers for Peace in Ukraine. This simple 30-minute service will include prayers, music, readings and a reflection or some information from a part of the Diocese directly affected by the crisis. The service will be on Zoom every Wednesday at 18:00CET/17:00GMT from 16 March at least until the end of Lent. Click for Zoom link and further details

 

Get informed

You may find some of the following information helpful in providing some context and general information about how we can support Ukraine at this time:

 

If you have any questions relating to Ukraine and how you or your church may like to offer support, please contact your Archdeacon, or the Diocese's Lead Community Engagement Adviser, Magali Van Der Merwe on magali.vandermerwe@rochester.anglican.org

Share what you are up to. Contact Communications on communications@rochester.anglican.org