Here’s how you can help
The scenes from Ukraine bring to life, once again, the terrifying reality of what it means to flee in fear of your life. What it means to leave behind everything you know and love. What it means to face an uncertain future.
It was only six months ago we witnessed the horror of tens of thousands of people being forced to flee the Taliban in Afghanistan. The response to this was amazing and thanks to the support of so many, we were able to help provide a lifeline to thousands of men, women, and children as they began a new life here in the UK.
Again, we have been overwhelmed by messages from Refugee Action supporters getting in touch with questions and asking us what they can do to help the people in Ukraine affected by this conflict.
So, here are a few ways you can make a difference as well as answers to some of the questions we’ve been receiving. Please bear in mind that Refugee Action does not work directly with most of the organisations on this list and we would advise to take some time familiarising yourself with the work of any organisation before donating or supporting it, including our own. Thank you.
How can I make my voice heard?
Ukraine is under attack. Appallingly, so is the UK’s refugee protection system. Call on your MP to make a simple, compassionate pledge to Ukrainians fleeing the destruction of war: you are welcome here in the UK.
How are Refugee Action supporting people from Ukraine?
With 40 years of expertise in resettlement of refugees from around the work, our team is currently supporting a small number of families from Ukraine who have urgent health care needs. We’ve secured their accommodation, while ensuring they have all the support and help they need.
We are also working around the clock to feed into the Government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme, using our expertise to help shape and improve it so that it provides a safe, supportive, and inclusive route to safety for as many people seeking safety as possible.
However, the war in Ukraine comes just six months after the evacuation of Afghan refugees and at a time when the UK refugee protection system is under unprecedented threat from the #AntiRefugeeBill. Our services are stretched to the limit. A donation to Refugee Action today will fund our work helping all people seeking safety directly and fighting for a more compassionate future.
Where can I donate to support people directly impacted by the war in Ukraine?
There are several organisations in the UK distributing funds and resources directly to local charities and groups across the region.
Here are a few who you could support:
- British-Ukrainian Aid, a charity that helps people injured or displaced by the conflict, has opened an appeal to raise £20,000 for medical supplies.
- The Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal from The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB)’s Go Fund Me has been backed by several Ukrainian organisations in the UK.
- Global charities operating in the UK and Ukraine are also appealing for funds to offer aid in the humanitarian crisis, including Disasters Emergency Committee and UNHCR.
How can I donate goods?
This is a question that comes up a lot. In crises like these, often the best way to help is to make a cash donation. Collecting supplies like blankets or infant formula means transporting heavy goods hundreds of miles, whereas cash can reach people quickly to buy what is needed.
However, there are community groups organising for goods to be transported to Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Many have been overwhelmed with donations, so do double check with donation centres before donating your items.
If you are based in London you can find a shared list of various collection points, as well as a range of relevant local resources through London Plus. If you are aware of any similar resources for people in other parts of the UK please do email us.
I want to host a refugee in my home?
The Government has announced its Homes For Ukraine scheme, a model where people can offer to share their homes with named Ukrainian refugees. The scheme is being overseen by an organisation called Reset. If you are interested in finding out more about hosting a refugee from Ukraine in your community and to register your interest please visit: homesforukraine.org.uk.
There are also a number of organisations that match refugees and people seeing asylum from around the world with hosts in the UK. To find out more contact: Refugees at Home.
Where can I get immigration advice for Ukrainians affected by the war?
The Ukraine Advice Project UK is a free service run by volunteer legal professionals with immigration and asylum expertise. They connect Ukrainian citizens in need of free legal advice on UK immigration, visas, and asylum with qualified and regulated lawyers.
You can find this summary of current immigration routes and concessions available to Ukrainians coming to the UK from Free Movement.
If you are outside of the UK, and looking for information about asylum procedures and where to go for help, please contact UNHCR.
What else can I do?
- Donate or fundraise for refugees
To refugees who’ve lost everything to war, your support makes a massive difference. Whether you donate, join an event, put on your own fundraiser every penny helps create a kinder, safer welcome for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.
- Get the facts about refugees
Want to know the real facts about refugees? Check out some of the most common questions Refugee Action gets asked about refugees, and what they experience here in the UK on our Facts about Asylum page.
- Volunteer with us
Join our team of dedicated and passionate volunteers. Find out more about the different projects you can volunteer for and openings we have.
- Stay in touch