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The next UK General Election has been called for 4th July 2024!

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Communities For Ukraine

Communities For Ukraine

Communities for Ukraine is a refugee sponsorship programme created in March 2022, in response to the humanitarian situation caused by the war in Ukraine. We are made up of everyday people and organisations working together to help Ukrainians rebuild their lives by finding safe homes and secure jobs in the UK. You can support as an individual host or as a 'resettlement partner' - which include faith groups, community groups, employers, universities and more.

Communities For Ukraine is a collaboration between Citizens UK's Sponsor Refugees project, 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.

Our end-to-end process gives dignity and agency to refugees from the time they consider coming to the UK, through to their arrival, resettlement in a new home and integration with the community. Working together, we can provide a safe, supported and sustainable process for Ukrainian refugees to flourish in the UK.

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.

How you can support

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

Information for UK-based individuals and families:

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 who wishes to host, please register.

Man and woman wave at Little Amal, the Syrian refugee puppet, while boarding Whizz air flight

Information for Businesses

We have a pioneering pathway in the UK that uses the flexibility of the Homes for Ukraine scheme to enable an 'Employment-First Approach'. We are actively seeking new organisations to explore this innovative approach with us to help scale, build, and innovate together. Institutions such as businesses and universities will be able to sign up to the approach by providing accommodation and jobs to Ukrainian refugees, who will be matched with employers in line with their skills and interests. Through this, the family of the person in employment is also able to join them in the UK.

If you are an employer who can offer work and/or accommodation, meeting the high standards and ethical safeguards asked of Resettlement Partners, please get in touch by emailing laura.griffiths@citizensuk.org

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

Resettlement Partners are businesses or civil society organisations like faith groups, schools and universities. Supported by USPUK and Citizens UK, they coordinate their host network, with each partner committing to find host sponsors within their networks to accommodate at least 50 Ukrainian refugees. They 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 you with training, policies and processes for local host sponsors. We ensure the learning and experience from resettling refugees through our Sponsor Refugees project is passed on to those who have offered to host Ukrainians. We're actively looking for new Resettlement Partners. If your organisation could commit to finding host sponsors from your network capable of resettling a minimum of 50 refugees over the next six 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 – we'd love to hear from you!

  • 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).  

  • 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.

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

KPMG

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

USPUK

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


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.

Ukrainian family of five look up at Little Amal, the giant Syrian refugee puppet, on airplane runway

Together, we have the power to make the UK a safe and more welcoming place for refugees. Your donations allow us to find safe homes for more families like Vladyslav and Iryna's, such as by funding flights to the UK. Any support you can give is greatly appreciated.