As the crisis in Ukraine intensifies, voluntary organisations and volunteers are rallying around to provide support. Here’s an overview of what’s being done at present and the best ways to offer support.
Last updated 29 March 2022
The situation unfolding in Ukraine has been heart-breaking to watch. As with all humanitarian crises, the voluntary sector has been and will continue to be ready to support those in need. From raising funds, to lobbying government, supporting refugees and so much more.
However, as the situation continues to unfold with so many uncertainties, many individuals and organisations will be considering what they can do to support the people of Ukraine in a meaningful way.
WCVA has launched a national survey to assess the ability of the sector to respond to this crisis. The purpose of this survey is to:
- establish contact details for key national stakeholders for WCVA to connect with on this important work;
- gather information, insight, case studies;
- establish challenges and support needs for the third sector.
This short survey should take 20 mins to complete.
FUNDRAISING AND DONATIONS
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) have launched an appeal for cash donations.
The Croeso Fund, managed by Community Foundation Wales, is live and open to donations and Jane Hutt MS has announced that Welsh Government will be contributing £1 million to the fund.
Many of the groups we’ve spoken to are clear that cash donations are preferable to donations of goods at this time. Some places have reported that they now have more physical donations than they can manage. The cost and logistics of getting those supplies where they are needed means that cash donations can go a lot further.
Financial donations are the quickest and most efficient way of getting much needed supplies (such as food, medicine, and clothing) and support to those who have had to flee their homes.
The UK government have pledged to match pound-for-pound donations raised by the public for this appeal up to £20 million.
Charities Aid Foundation have published this guide on what UK charities are currently running appeals for donations.
HELP AND SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES
As a nation of sanctuary, Wales will welcome Ukrainian refugees. Discussions are ongoing to arrange support such as housing for refugees arriving in the country. Welsh Government have provided guidance for immediate family members of British Nationals normally living in Ukraine who intend to apply for a visa under the Family Migration route as well as signposting a helpline for family members of Ukrainians who are currently living in the UK.
Welsh Refugee Council are also sharing information and an appeal for donations to support Ukrainian refugees.
City of Sanctuary UK are running an event on 17 March which will outline practical ways in which you can support and help refugees, including those fleeing from the war in Ukraine. Follow this link for further details and to register for this event.
The Living Wage Foundation’s parent charity, Citizens UK are a key leader in the community sponsorship scheme which allows community groups to support resettlement of refugees. The UK Government’s has now increased the scale and scope of refugee sponsorship in relation to the crisis in Ukraine. Following this increase, Citizens UK is working with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) to organise a briefing in the coming weeks for interested Living Wage Employers, civil society and community experts to come together and explore ways to support those fleeing the conflict. To register interest in this opportunity please follow this link.
As discussions continue we will update this article with further information on supporting refugees arriving in Wales as it becomes available.
Welsh Government have launched a dedicated helpline for people arriving in Wales from Ukraine and for people who are acting as sponsors to provide advice and guidance. This link provides graphics which can be shared across social media and printed for arrival hubs to help share the helpline number with those who need it.
The Welsh Government Sanctuary website can also be used to help sanctuary seekers to understand their rights.
RAISING YOUR VOICE
Many voluntary organisations, volunteers and community groups have been demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine by raising their voices outside the Senedd, lobbying for peace, and hosting inter-faith Vigils. As the distress of the War intensifies, the voluntary sector and community groups are also working to reduce tensions and anti-Russian sentiments.
The Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) have also provided an overview of policy and action in Wales as well as signposting to reliable information sources.
Free translation for projects in support of the people of Ukraine
During this period, we know that many third sector organisations are working on projects to support those affected by the shocking situation in the Ukraine. We know many of you are keen to communicate bilingually, but may need some help to prepare bilingual messages at short notice. The Welsh Language Commissioner’s Hybu team has decided to extend their proofreading service to offer free translation to third sector organisations on projects aimed at supporting the people of Ukraine. They can translate up to 1000 words, free of charge. Just send the work to email@example.com.
INFORMATION AND UPDATES FROM WCVA
WCVA stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and we will continue to do all we can to enable effective voluntary sector support during this crisis.
The world has seen from the COVID-19 pandemic how valuable the voluntary sector can be in providing services during a crisis when we are involved from early stages of planning. We are working closely with Welsh Government, Wales Strategic Migration Partnership, Wales Refugee Council, and other key partners to coordinate efforts.
We will keep this article updated with any new information we receive to help voluntary organisations and volunteers to support those in need.
We are encouraging our members, volunteers and voluntary organisations to stay in touch by sharing with us what you are doing to support the people of Ukraine, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates.