Please note that Ukrainian refugees are known as guests in East Sussex.
The President of the Chamber, the CEO and 4 members have elected to take Ukrainian guests into their homes and the Chamber meets with the County Council, Borough Council, Caroline Ansell MP, 3VA and Eastbourne Citizens Advice Bureau each week to plan for their arrival.
Here is the latest news update:
There were 31 arrivals in the County last week and 93 in total so far. 6 guests are in 3 properties in Eastbourne and 121 are expected in 55 homes. However, we need more host sponsors! The guests get £200 from the County Council on arrival and then £350 per month. This will probably be distributed in cash via Post Offices.
Stagecoach bus passes are being distributed via certain shops to allow our guests to move around, find work and shop.
Host placements “Thank you” funding guidance has not arrived as yet from the Home Office. This is a monthly payment of £350 for the host when they take a family or individual placement. There was a question that guests might attract Council Tax but the Government has confirmed that these guests will not affect your Council Tax.
Guests will be entitled to cash benefits via Universal Credit. 3VA will help distribute benefits in cash. They are also helping guests access doctors and other support services. There is a re-matching scheme should placements break down. 3VA can help with this and any other matter. Contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Four checks are needed for a placement:
- ESFRS home checks for general safety
- Online DBS checks
- Adult Safeguarding
- Child Safeguarding
Once visas are issued by the Home Office the refugees can travel to the UK and then checks will commence. The matching process identifies special needs of guests and host families but they must be registered in the Gone3rnment's Homes for Ukraine system.
Please be aware, many guests have PTSD emotional and traumatic issues as they have come from the most bombed areas of the Ukraine. Please be sensitive to their needs. Having said that, the placements are going well. Our Ukrainian guests are fitting in well and are being made very welcome by the people of Sussex.
We need more host sponsors!
While six members have arranged to host Ukrainian familes we need more hosts! If you can help, or know anyone else who can, please get in touch here.
As you know, Ukrainians can only seek refuge in the UK if they are sponsored by a UK resident. To help link refugees with those Chamber members who want to help, we have voluntary agents in Poland who are seeking out English speaking Ukrainians.
We also need to know if you might be able to employ any Ukrainians while they are here. If you can, please respond here.
We are working on this project with Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council and would really appreciate your help.