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Communities For Ukraine


Communities for Ukraine is a refugee sponsorship programme, that was created in March 2022, in response to the humanitarian situation caused by the war in Ukraine. Communities for Ukraine welcomes Ukrainians to the UK through the support of individual UK host families and our ‘resettlement partners’ - civil society organisations, which include faith groups, community groups, businesses, and universities.

The Communities for Ukraine programme is a collaboration between Citizens UK, and Ukrainian Sponsorship Pathway UK (USPUK), which have both been awarded ‘Recognised Provider’ status by the UK Government to match refugees with host sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Communities for Ukraine provides an end-to-end supported process for hosts and Ukrainian guests. It gives dignity and agency to refugees from the time they consider coming to the UK, through to their arrival and resettlement in a new home. This approach to refugee sponsorship emphasises the leverage of community to provide a safe, supported, and sustainable process for Ukrainian refugees to resettle in the UK.

Two women stand at airport arrivals holding poster with Ukrainian flag saying "Welcome to the UK"

One year on: a call for 5000 hosts by Easter

You're invited to join Citizens UK, along with our refugee resettlement partners, for an event to mark a year since the war began:

  • to lament the lives lost and lives disrupted;
  • to celebrate the stories of hope from Ukrainian refugees and their hosts;
  • to hear the experiences of Ukrainian refugees who are waiting to come to the UK;
  • and to renew our commitment to the people of Ukraine by supporting the '5000 by Easter' campaign

Details: 24 February, 6pm - 7.30pm, on Zoom

The scale of the crisis is enormous, but together we can make a difference. We’ll be doing our bit by seeking to resettle as many Ukrainian refugees as possible through our networks. Matthew Bolton, Executive Director, Citizens UK.

Family of five stand together with mum holding dog
In Poland, preparing to depart
Ukrainian family of five look up at Little Amal, the giant Syrian refugee puppet, on airplane runway
Little Amal waving the family off
Ukrainian Refugees, mother and children, greet woman at airport arrivals
The family are greeted by their host in the UK

We couldn't believe it when the war started. We knew our area would be one of the first to be affected. We realised that there are so many Ukrainian people in Poland that there was not going to be any opportunity to work and we were not going to be able to progress. We decided to apply to go to another country. I'm so full of emotions. But most of all, I'm extremely happy to be here. [Our host] seems very kind and the children are pleased to be in Britain. Husband and wife Vladyslav and Iryna, two of the first Ukrainian refugees resettled through the Communities for Ukraine scheme.

So far, we have made almost a thousand matches, with more being made every day. However, we urgently need more hosts. The war in Ukraine continues and indiscriminate Russian missile attacks mean civilians are still losing their lives, homes, and loved ones daily. Therefore, thousands of Ukrainians are still seeking sanctuary in the UK. We need more hosts to support these people in need.

Our search for UK hosts will continue as long as the threat to Ukrainian civilians continues. As a result, many Ukrainian men, women, and children will find a place of sanctuary in the UK.


Information For Individual Hosts

Communities for Ukraine has been awarded ‘Recognised Provider’ status by the UK Government. Therefore, we can match UK hosts with Ukrainians looking to come to the UK as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

USPUK has teams on the ground in centres for displaced people in Warsaw, Poland, and in Lviv, Ukraine. We are in touch with thousands of people who have lost their homes and face an uncertain future. If you are an individual or family unit who wishes to host, please register here.

  • Pre-Application phase: USPUK supports Ukrainians to understand the opportunity to resettle in the UK;
  • Application phase: USPUK refers Ukrainians to apply through Citizens UK’s ‘Gateway to the UK’ portal;
  • Provisional matching phase: Citizens UK and its resettlement partner organisations find a likely host sponsor for the Ukrainian applicant;
  • Match confirmation and visa phase: Host sponsor and applicant confirm the match, and apply for visa supported by the resettlement partner, USPUK and Citizens UK;
  • Travel phase: Citizens UK and USPUK help the refugee to book free tickets via Wizz Air from anywhere in Europe.
  • The process can take between two and six weeks, or longer in busier moments. It is one of the safest routes to the UK for refugee families due to the number of checks along the way.

  • outreach and language support to Ukrainians in need, in Poland and wherever they are displaced;
  • a process to recruit, vet and train host sponsors at scale and to a high standard through a trusted civil society organisation;
  • a matching service with translation support to link refugees and hosts;
  • support in applying for visas;
  • free flights with Wizz Air (courtesy of funding from The Shapiro Foundation).  
Family of five sit on a wall outdoors in front of a green space next to their host, Cora


Ukrainians wishing to come to the UK should contact our referral partner, USPUK.

USPUK is a registered charity based in London, set up by a team of lawyers, entrepreneurs, journalists, technology, recruitment, and finance experts who want to help Ukrainians displaced by the war, employs Ukrainian staff in Poland to support refugees to explore resettling to the UK, through in-person activity at refugee centres in Warsaw and Krakow, and through an online service available to Ukrainians anywhere in Eastern Europe.

USPUK refers Ukrainians to Citizens UK’s ‘Gateway to the UK’ online portal through which they can request to be resettled in the UK. Once a match is found, USPUK supports the Ukrainian refugee to apply for a visa and make travel arrangements.

Resettlement Partners in the UK

Information For Resettlement Partners

The Communities for Ukraine programme adds a scaffold around the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme to make it safer, sustainable, supported and able to scale at speed. This is aided by our resettlement partners, who work with us to find new hosts and assist Ukrainians seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Resettlement partners are the linchpin of their host network, acting as coordinator, working with, and supported by both USPUK and Citizens UK. Each resettlement partner commits to find host sponsors within their networks to accommodate at least 50 Ukrainian refugees, allocate staff time to check the suitability of host sponsors, promote high quality matches, ensure a robust approach to safeguarding, and support hosts and refugees with the challenges they may face when they arrive.

To ensure resettlement partners feel confident and prepared, Citizens UK provides them with training and policies and processes for local host sponsors, ensuring the learning and experience from resettling refugees over the past 5 years through their Sponsor Refugees project is passed on to those who have offered to host Ukrainians.

Baptists Together

Barnet Citizens

Diocese of Chelmsford

Diocese of Coventry

Diocese of Durham

Diocese of Exeter & Plymouth

Diocese of Guildford

Diocese of Hereford

Diocese of Leicester

Diocese of Llandaff

Diocese of London

Diocese of Oxford

Diocese of Portsmouth

Diocese of Rochester

Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham

Diocese of St Alban's

Father Hudson’s Care

Hong Kong Link Up

King's College London


LiFE Multi-Academy Trust

Open University

Peterborough Cathedral

Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle

The Methodist Church

The Salvation Army

UK Welcomes Ukraine

University of Birmingham

University of Cambridge

University of Newcastle


  • Commitment to resettle 50 refugees under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme through local sponsors in your area;
  • Provide a single-point-of-contact Co-ordinator from your staff who can co-ordinate local sponsors, receive training, and cascade training to local sponsors, and ensure high standards of safeguarding and welcome are maintained;
  • Support the local Sponsors you are working with to overcome barriers to success;
  • Work collaboratively with Citizens UK and our partners to ensure success of the Scheme and the best experience for refugees and local sponsors - in the first six months and beyond;
  • Ensure the high standards we set are present at every level of the Scheme, especially the Local Sponsors you are co-ordinating.

We were very pleased to become a Resettlement Partner with Citizens UK’s Communities for Ukraine programme, which has given organisations like ours the confidence to mobilise our networks to open up their homes, safe in the knowledge that every refugee that arrives will be supported to high standards. Andy Quinn, Chief Executive of Father Hudson’s Care, a resettlement partner of Citizens UK

Ukrainian Refugees, mother and children, greet woman at airport arrivals


Citizens UK is actively looking for new Resettlement Partners to help resettle refugees here through the ‘Communities for Ukraine’ programme.  If your organisation could commit to finding host sponsors from your network capable of resettling a minimum of 50 refugees over the next 6 months, have some staff capacity to deploy to support your participation, and are willing to uphold the high standards of the Communities for Ukraine programme.

Donate to Communities for Ukraine scheme

We are not helpless. Your donations allow us to find safe homes for more families like Vladyslav and Iryna's.