Ukraine response

In response to the Ukraine situation, the Lincolnshire Resettlement Partnership has been readying plans to welcome Ukrainian refugees into the county.

Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire lead on the regional group overseeing resettlement, said: “The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine is on a terrible scale and it’s heart-breaking to see families having to flee their own country with few possessions and little means of support. Lincolnshire councils are standing ready, doing everything we can to be ready to respond to the Government’s call for action and are actively planning to welcome refugees into the county. There is a lot of positive work going on. We are making sure that as soon as we are given the green light, we can do whatever is needed to help with this humanitarian crisis.”

Government Guidance

Ukraine family Scheme

The Government guidance on the Ukraine family Scheme can be found at www.gov.uk. This allows refugees to live with their family members already settled in the UK.

Homes for Ukraine Scheme

Find out all about the Homes for Ukraine scheme, including FAQs and how to register your interest.

Guidance for Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme can be found at www.gov.uk.

Travelling with pets from Ukraine

The Government has put in place new emergency support for those fleeing Ukraine with their pets. Using an emergency licence, people fleeing Ukraine can bring their pets to the UK with any quarantine costs met by the Government.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick licence approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays. The Government will also be covering their vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising that many individuals from Ukraine will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pet on arrival.

The maximum stay in quarantine for a pet which has received no rabies vaccination is four months. Pets will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with a shortened quarantine period for those that are vaccinated. The Government is also introducing a new rabies blood test that will be able to detect existing rabies vaccinations. This will help in instances where refugees have travelled without vaccination paperwork.

Animal and Plant Health Agency can be contacted at pettravel@apha.gov.uk or +44 3000 200 301 and select option 2.

Guidance for organisations and businesses

The government has published guidance for businesses considering making offers of employment to people coming to the UK from Ukraine.

Finding a sponsor in the UK

The government has put together a list of voluntary and community sector organisations running schemes which provide support for and help match people coming from Ukraine with sponsors in the UK. You can view the list here.

Education support

Ukrainian families, with support from their sponsors, may need to find schools for their children (age 5-16). There might not be places available at the nearest school but the county council will be able to find a school available elsewhere and as close as possible. To make this process as quick and effective as possible, please make an application for a school place here.

For early years childcare and education (age 2-4) you can find out what is available in your area here.

Advice and information

Whilst we want to be helpful, people’s situations are very complicated. Please be aware that in order for refugees to achieve secure futures for themselves or their family, they should only accept advice from an adviser accredited by the OISC [Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner]. If you see people asking for help online – please direct them to the OISC website.

Keep informed and learn something new

There’s a lot you can do to welcome newcomers and support existing communities. For example, you could find out about how to talk about this situation in a helpful way on social media, learn a few words in different languages, or learn about the culture and history of different people. Here are a selection of useful links:

Visit The Education Hub for advice and resources for schools, teachers, families and young people.

Households offering accomodation

Homes for Ukraine Scheme

The Homes for Ukraine Scheme has been launched by the Government and allows you to register your interest to provide accommodation. You can find out about the scheme here.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme requests sponsors provide at least 6 months of stable accommodation. This can be anything from an empty room to an unoccupied home, as long as its safe, heated and free from health hazards, and gives your guests adequate access to bathroom and kitchen facilities.

The scheme asks for sponsors who can at least offer an empty room, rather than a dining room or conservatory, to ensure the safety and privacy of guests. A bed in a shared space would not be an appropriate offer of accommodation for 6 months.

Budgeting and insurance

Council tax discount will not be affected if you sponsor and host a Ukrainian household in your home. The scheme is offering a £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment to all sponsors – this will not affect any council tax discounts. This £350 will be tax free and will not affect benefit entitlement. As well as there being no impact on a sponsor’s discount for their main home, there will be a 50% discount for empty or second homes that are used to house Ukrainians on the scheme.

In some cases, you’ll need to check with your landlord, freeholder or mortgage provider, and insurance company, about whether they’ve got any policies which you need to factor in. It’s important you think through any possible implications for your tenancy, mortgage, lease and insurance before your guest arrives in the UK.

Insurers have agreed that for homeowners accommodating Ukrainian Nationals in their home there is no need to contact your insurer on the basis that they are accommodated as non-paying guests. Please refer to the Association of British Insurers’ statement for more details. In other situations, including where the sponsor is a landlord or a tenant, you will need to contact your insurer. The Association of British Insurers has also confirmed that sponsors will be protected from any changes to their home insurance costs, with their cover remaining the same for the first 12 months, even if their policy is due for renewal.

Lenders have committed to enable as many borrowers as possible to participate in the scheme. If you have a mortgage on the property you will need to contact your mortgage lender. The Government is working with the mortgage lender sector to standardise and simplify this process as far as possible.

If you are considering applying to be a sponsor you should refer to your mortgage lender’s and insurer’s websites where further advice will be available as soon as possible.

Support for Ukrainian arrivals

In partnership with County and District Councils, Wellbeing Lincs is offering a dedicated service to provide advice and support to Ukrainian citizens arriving in Lincolnshire.

Our service offer will include emotional support, as well as help in accessing statutory services such as health, education, benefits and council services including housing.  Our team will also be able to help link individuals with community support services and charities.

Whilst this newly established service will attempt to assist with requests for help beyond what is described above, we are not able to provide general updates to the public on where to send donations, or how to receive assistance for Ukrainian citizens who have been in the UK since before the current conflict.

If you are a Ukrainian citizen arriving in Lincolnshire or a Ukrainian national already residing in the County, you can access our service by emailing  to Ukraine.Wellbeing@e-lindsey.gov.uk Please provide us with your name, address, contact information and a brief description of the support you require. We will contact you as soon as possible to discuss how we can help, which will usually be within 2 working days.

You can also use our dedicated contact telephone number 01507 613044 between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, then 10am to 4:30 pm Fridays. The telephone line can be very busy, so email is the quickest way to make contact.

Connect to Support

For dedicated advice for Ukrainian arrivals please visit the Connect to Support webpage.

Lincolnshire Voluntary Engagement Team

The Ukraine Coordination Group has commissioned Lincolnshire Voluntary Engagement Team (LVET) to provide a range of communications and services related to Ukrainian arrivals in Lincolnshire.

A Delivery Plan is being developed to coordinate the work that Sponsors, Community, and Faith Groups are doing to support refugees and ensure a cohesive approach across these groups. As part of this, the LVET needs information from support organisations about what they are doing or proposing to do to provide support to refugees. You can provide this information online here.

For further information, please contact Emily Ward by ringing 07888 330 294 or emailing emily.ward@lvet.org.

Donations

Donating Money

Donating cash through trusted organisations enables them to act quickly and effectively; monies can be transferred quickly to places and people who need it, and aid organisations can use it to buy the most important resources, often purchasing from more local sources. 

Established charities with experience of responding to disasters are usually best placed to reach victims on the ground from your cash donations.

Lincolnshire Community Foundation has launched a total giving appeal dedicated to supporting those arriving in Lincolnshire. The Community Foundation have confirmed that every penny received will go towards helping people fleeing conflict in Ukraine. This will support new arrivals to access transport, broadband and digital resources, access to leisure facilities, vouchers for toys, etc.

The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) launched the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to raise funds for food, water, medicine, protection and trauma care for people in Ukraine and those arriving in neighbouring countries.

Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, deputy leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We have all seen the terrible pictures of women and children leaving their homes, taking with them only what they can carry. It is clear from the people’s generosity so far that this has really touched people’s hearts. We’re grateful to the Community Foundation for establishing a local fund for donations to help those who come into Lincolnshire. This will support new arrivals to enjoy some ‘normal’ activities that we all take for granted like choosing new clothes or enjoying social activities, as well as providing essentials. The Community Foundation may not be well known to you but is long established. I hope you’ll be able to support this local fund.”

If you do donate money, please donate to organisations or community groups that demonstrate an understanding of community needs, safe and legal working practices, and systems of accountability. These include:

Donations of goods in kind

Many community groups and businesses have provided goods, and some of these are now at capacity. Unsolicited donations of goods, although well-meant, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent life-saving assistance from getting through. 

Check with any local groups if they can still receive items, and if so, the items they particularly need.

Donating smartphones and IT equipment

Solidaritech is a community interest company reliant on donations from both individuals and companies of all sizes. They are asking for donations of tech including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, that they can wipe and pass on to asylum seekers and refugees to support health, safety and connection.

Visit the Solidaritech website.

Ensure you’re donating safely

If you do want to donate, here are some simple steps to take to ensure donations are safe and being used effectively: 

  • check the charity’s name and registration number at www.gov.uk/checkcharity
  • most charities with an income of £5,000 or more must be registered, which means they are regulated by the Charity Commission
  • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information by checking with the fundraising regulator
  • if in doubt, ask the charity or organisation for more information, legitimate causes will be happy to respond and answer your questions.

When giving online, make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information:

  • type in the charity website address yourself, rather than clicking on a link, and look for the registered charity number on the website
  • don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails
  • never respond to unsolicited messages or calls that ask for your personal or financial details
  • beware of any online advertisements that just feature a mobile number
  • ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company as this is a popular scam
  • only donate to online fundraising pages created by a person or organisation you know and trust. If in any doubt, contact the charity directly

After making these checks, if you think that a fundraising appeal is fake, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Lincolnshire County Council services

Lincolnshire County Council governs the county of Lincolnshire. The council is responsible for public services such as education, transport, highways, heritage, social care, libraries, trading standards and waste management.

Urgent social care services

The welfare of you and your family is important to us, if you are in need of urgent assistance please note:

  • Adult Social Care –urgent social care intervention that cannot wait until the next working day 01522 782155
  • Adult Safeguarding – where an adult may be experiencing abuse or neglect. Please note: If you believe a crime has been committed or there is an immediate risk of danger, call the police on 999 or 101
  • Children’s Services – immediate and significant risk of harm 01522 782111, or if outside normal working hours 01522 782333

Education

In the UK, the law states that full-time education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 16.  In England there is an expectation that children will remain in education, employment or training until the age of 18.  You will need to apply for a place for each child, use the registration process do not contact schools direct. Use this link to apply for a school place for all children in your care.

It is your responsibility to arrange for your child(ren) to get to school.  Transport to access school is only arranged in exceptional circumstances.  Use this link to apply for transport to access school.

If you require assistance with applying for a school place please email schooladmissions@lincolnshire.gov.uk.

Free School Meals

Free School Meals (FSM) will be provided for all school aged children when they start school in Lincolnshire (Reception to Year 13). This will continue until their parents have National Insurance numbers and are registered for Universal Credit or start paid employment. You can make a new application for free school meals via the Lincolnshire County Council Parent Portal.

Your application is means-tested. If you meet the eligibility criteria, free school meals for your child/ren will continue. If you do not meet the criteria you will need to pay for school meals unless your child is in Reception, Year One or Year Two - all infants receive meals under the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme (UIFSM).

We recheck all applications every week night, so you may become eligible in future if your circumstances change, in this instance we will send you a letter.

If you need any support with your application, please contact your school or e-mail free_school_meals@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Children’s centres

There are 48 children's centres in Lincolnshire, which offer parent and child play opportunities that are free to drop into. We can also advise on other services in the area which may be helpful for you and your family. 

These are free to access for families with children from birth to age five. Any adult who is caring for a child can access services at the centre. You can go along to your nearest centre and drop in you don’t need to make an appointment.  Use our directory to find your nearest children's centre.

A parent or carer who has parental responsibility for the child will be offered a membership form when they arrive at the centre. This is to help us to keep you informed on what’s available in the centres.

Choosing early education or childcare

Choosing early education and childcare is down to personal preference, budget, age and needs of your child.  You should check if you are eligible for help with the cost. Before you decide on a childcare provider, it is a good idea to visit your shortlisted settings. You may choose to see more than one setting and visit more than once to help you decide. 

Think about taking your child with you to meet the childcare setting. You will be able to see:

  • how they get on with other children
  • how the child carer interacts with your child 

Try visiting at a time when there will be children in the setting. Check to see if the other children seem happy and relaxed. Use the Family Services Directory to help find the right local childcare for your family.