Local residents wishing to host people fleeing Ukraine

Hamsey Parish Council was contacted by Cooksbridge residents Ann and Martin of B&B White Lodge, Town Littleworth Road who are sponsoring a Ukranian refugee. 

Many people have shown willing in the area and are going through the process to offer a room or accommodation; many also do not know were to start or how to proceed once they have signed up to the Government Help For Ukraine scheme.
Below is a guide for people who want to help. Ann, Martin and several others have completed their Visas for people who will arrive in Lewes, Barcombe, Offham this week. They are waiting for the VISAS to be issued in the next few days.
Ann and Martin have learned a lot in the last week and their aim is to make this part of the process easier for prospective local sponsors by sharing what tips they have picked up.
'Homes For Ukraine - the key steps to becoming a host
1. Register with the government website to be a sponsor. 
This is the first step but it does not find you a match. You will get an email receipt confirming you have registered.
2. Find a person to sponsor. 
You can sponsor a single person, couple, two people, or a family depending on the space you have available.
Register your accommodation on the Ukraine Takes Shelter site as this helps hosting of larger family/friends in one area. Other sites such as Opera are available.
Hosts register and put a description of their accommodation, the location, school locations and number of people you can host.
If your neighbours /street are also on this site you can add this to your copy so sponsors know multiple homes are available.
Once you are registered sponsors can contact you. Put as many ways to communicate as possible eg email, mobile and WhatsApp. Please respond asap as sponsors need reassurance.
You can FaceTime them, to see if you are a match and show them the accommodation. Or if they have little English WhatsApp and email works well so they can translate.
Help will be available once they are here to learn English, many are fluent as English is taught in all schools.
3. The Visa Application Process
Either side can submit the VISA
A list of all the questions is now available in both languages, you can email this to them so they can fill out all the answers in advance. Each person travelling must apply.
They can provide you with proof of residency and their passport in pdf format by using a phone app or you can convert an image for them
You can either do the application for them and WhatsApp if unsure of any answers or screen share and do the application together. 
There are two stages to the process. First you submit answers to the Visa questions then you are redirected to upload the relevant documents. 
As host will also upload a PDF image of your passport or drivers license to this site.
Once Visa’s are approved sponsored people can travel free of charge on certain airlines and trains to get to you. The District Council will be in touch to follow up on DBS checks and the Wrap Around Care Service.
Please join the Facebook Group for support and help is Lewes Helps Ukraine (Lewes and villages)
Visa questions are attached. They are in both languages and can be emailed to the sponsored person so they can fill it all in, so when you do the forms it's a great deal easier! 

A website for all residents hosting and wanting to help has gone live lewes4ukraine.org.uk'


Wishing Ann, Martin, other host families and of course our new residents all the best.

Hamsey Parish Council