Helping Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire
Support from local communities is vital to the county’s efforts to help Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire. Community Impact Bucks are working in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council to support collective initiatives that support Ukrainian communities.
Are you a community group or organisation providing community Support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire? Your support may take the form of hosting, providing translation services or helping new arrivals to join an existing activity such as playgroups or language classes. Perhaps you’re setting up new activities, whether as an individual or as part of a charity or community group.
You might also offer support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire who have been in the UK for some time, enabling them to develop skills, access education, or resolve housing issues.
How we can help
We are working closely with Buckinghamshire Council to help coordinate the continued community support for Ukrainians.
If you are currently supporting Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire or would like to offer your support, we have gathered many of the resources available and ways to get involved.
Information for charities and community groups in Buckinghamshire
If your voluntary organisation can offer support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire, have a look at where you can access guidance and training:
- For essential training for all those living, working or volunteering with refugees, go to The Sanctuary Foundation’s course. You can follow this course online in your own time. Each lesson will take you around 20 minutes and includes video segments and interactive elements to aid learning. A certificate will be issued to all who complete the course.
- Register with Bucks Online Directory (BOD): if you have set up a new group, club, or activity that offers support to Ukrainians, we would encourage you to add it to the Bucks Online Directory (BOD). Begin by creating an account, and adding details of your organisation. The BOD team will tag ‘Support for Ukrainian refugees’ when reviewing your submission. If you are already registered with Bucks Online Directory and would like your support for Ukrainians listed, sign into your account, click on ‘add a new service’ and enter details. Doing so enables other groups and hosts to filter the directory to focus on Ukrainian support.
- What’s on for Ukrainians: if you would like to share your event information with Ukrainians and other groups and charities which offer support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire, join our Facebook group by visiting What’s On for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire. It’s a great way to find out about activities and resources.
- Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter for updates about support for Ukrainians in Bucks by emailing email@example.com with your name and email address.
- Do you need volunteers to support your initiative or service that offers community support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire? Register with the Volunteer Matching Service – complete the form and the team will be in contact when suitable volunteers are found. For more information and how to register, visit Volunteer Matching Service.
- Limited grant funding is available for groups offering support to Ukrainians. If your group needs funding (up to £2,000) to carry out additional or new work supporting Ukrainians, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance on applying for funds.
- Starting a community group from scratch can be daunting. For information on how to create and run a successful group in response to a crisis, download the Guide to Setting up a Short-Lived Crisis Response Group. For further details about setting up a community group, financial affairs, recruiting volunteers or roles and responsibilities, visit our Running Your Organisation webpages for detailed information.
- For specific information about hosting in rural areas, City of Sanctuary recorded a webinar you can access by visiting Hosting In Rural Areas. There is some helpful information about the refugee and asylum system at the beginning, focusing on rural matters starting 20 minutes in.
Information for newly arrived Ukrainians and their hosts
There are many established local community groups or activities that exist to provide support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire:
- Numerous activities and organisations are providing community support for Ukrainians in Bucks. Visit the Bucks Online Directory (BOD) which lists organisations and activities in the county and features a ‘Support for Ukrainian refugees’ category to highlight local support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire and their sponsors. If you are Ukrainian or are hosting Ukrainians, visit the Bucks Online Directory advice and support section for specific guidance.
- Social media is a great way to connect; if you would like to find events organised by community groups and charities which offer support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire, join our Facebook group by visiting What’s On for Ukrainians
- Many community groups have developed to help Ukrainians settle and meet up with other Ukrainians in their communities. Here are the groups that have regular weekly meetings in various parts of Buckinghamshire:
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are part of a group we haven’t included.
Developing language skills:
- Many free resources offer support for learning English. If you are Ukrainian or are hosting Ukrainians, you can access a guide that will support you in improving your English language skills by downloading Free resources for learning English (guide in Ukrainian)
- English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) can find introductory English courses in Buckinghamshire by visiting Buckinghamshire Council’s Adult Learning website or calling their helpline at 01296 382403.
Mental health support:
- Mental health support is essential and there are many ways of accessing it. You can find out more about mental health and psychological support for Ukrainians – including apps, support chats, and online expert consultations – by downloading this Mental Health Guide for Ukrainians!
Another critical support requirement for communities, organisations or hosts offering support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire is assistance with housing issues:
- You can register with a sponsorship scheme and, if you’re looking to get involved in the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, we strongly recommend that you go through official matching routes by visiting the websites of organisations such as Reset, Sanctuary Foundation, Refugees at Home, Room for Refugees and World Jewish Relief. Using official routes will ensure you get a complete support package along with matching hosts and guests.
- Hosting in rural areas: City of Sanctuary recorded a webinar you can access by visiting Hosting In Rural Areas. There is some helpful information about the refugee and asylum system at the beginning, focusing on rural matters starting 20 minutes in.
Settling into the UK:
- Support is available from local charities and organisations that provide help and are a reliable source of information. Find out more about some of these organisations by visiting Marlow Refugee Action, Wycombe Refugee Partnership and Connection Support (Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire)
- The Ukraine Institute has comprehensive resources to help Ukrainians settle in the UK; you can access them by visiting Ukrainians Settling into the UK.
- You can access a welcome guide from UK Government by visiting Welcome: A guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK . You can change the language in the top right corner of the screen.
- Reset, the official partner of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, has created a comprehensive guide for sponsors, which you can access by visiting Toolkit for Sponsors . There’s a lot of helpful guidance on aspects such as power balance, building relationships, integration support and preparing your property.
- Reset has a lot of helpful information to support Ukrainians including a budget form for those wanting to buy a car. Visit Reset to access Driving in the UK.
- Community transport schemes are volunteer-led and can provide lifts to one-off or occasional appointments. Contact the Community Transport Hub by visiting Community Transport Hub to learn about your options.
- Liftshare helps connect people who are making the same journey to share lifts. Make sure you follow the Liftshare simple security measures to stay safe when lift-sharing by visiting Lift share safety.
- You might qualify for free transport if you cannot transport your child to school independently. Please visit Buckinghamshire Council School Transport pages for more information.
- Arriva offers all Ukrainians free transport for the first three months with Arriva Buses. Community Groups coordinating transportation on their communities’ behalf should email email@example.com to apply. Carousel Buses offer a 20% discount on all Zone Key smartcard tickets to Ukrainian refugees. To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more via the Carousel website.
Information for Ukrainians (resident for over six months) or their hosts
Find local activities or events:
- Numerous activities and organisations are offering community support for Ukrainians in Bucks. Visit Bucks Online Directory (BOD), which lists organisations and activities in the county and features a ‘Support for Ukrainian refugees’ category to highlight local support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire and their sponsors. If you are Ukrainian or are hosting Ukrainians, visit the Bucks Online Directory advice and support section for specific guidance.
- What’s on for Ukrainians: if you would like to share your event information with Ukrainians and other groups and charities who offer support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire, join our Facebook group by visiting What’s On for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire – it’s a great way to find out about activities and resources.
- Finding housing in Buckinghamshire can present a challenge; for details of where to start in your search to find housing or rent in Buckinghamshire, watch this YouTube live presentation in Ukrainian and English.
- For homelessness issues, renting or applying for social housing, visit Buckinghamshire Council’s website for housing and housing benefits details.
- An excellent place to start your search for a job may be through the Skill Up Bucks programme. This programme is delivered by a partnership of local organisations, including the Skill Hub, which can be accessed by visiting Buckinghamshire Skill Hub and Adviza, which can be visited at Adviza. They provide information on jobs and careers in Buckinghamshire, online job searching tools and one-to-one support for all refugees and job seekers. You can email them directly for more details at email@example.com
- Buckinghamshire Council’s online help for Ukrainians ‘A Helping Hand for Ukrainians’ provides alternative advice and tips for where to search for a job in Buckinghamshire, available via Employment Support For Ukrainians.
- Employment support for Ukrainians is easily accessible by watching a guide to applying for jobs in Ukrainian by visiting YouTube Job Application Support in Ukrainian.
- Buckinghamshire Council has established a database of contacts to provide specialist employment support and help match candidates with the relevant skills and experience to jobs available at Buckinghamshire Council. The Talent Pool is an online tool available in English and Ukrainian. To register, follow Homes for Ukraine – Talent Pool / Buckinghamshire Council Jobs link.
Schools, education & childcare:
- Supporting your child at school: The Bell Foundation has guidance in Ukrainian on how you can help your child get involved in school life via Education – School Life. Scroll down the page and select the Ukrainian button.
- Find out about early years, primary, secondary, further education and higher education by visiting Buckinghamshire Council’s Education services.
- Childcare & local services: Buckinghamshire Council has many family-focused resources that provide a range of open-access sessions and information, including childcare, things to do and local services. You can find information about these services by visiting Buckinghamshire’s Family Information Service.
- Visit Buckinghamshire Adult Learning to access a broad programme of over 1,500 part-time courses and workshops delivered online and from 140 locations across Buckinghamshire.
- If you are Ukrainian or are hosting Ukrainians, you can download a guide explaining different ways to improve English by clicking on Free resources for learning English guide in Ukrainian.
- For English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), you can find introductory English courses in Buckinghamshire by visiting Buckinghamshire Council’s Adult Learning website or calling their helpline at 01296 382403.
Medical information and mental health:
- Mental health support is essential, and there are many ways of accessing it. You can learn more about mental health and psychological support for Ukrainians – including apps, support chats, and online expert consultations – by downloading this Mental Health Guide for Ukrainians!
- You should visit your GP (Doctor) for routine mental health support.
- For urgent mental health support – Buckinghamshire Safe Haven offers a safe and supportive alternative to Accident & Emergency hospital departments for adults (aged 18+) experiencing a mental health crisis. For more information, visit the Buckinghamshire Safe Haven webpage or call the 24/7 mental health helpline for Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire by phoning 111.
- To access help with emotional health and well-being, you can request support from Healthy Minds. Visit the website Healthy Minds for details of helplines and other talking therapies.
- Explore the Buckinghamshire Mind support services by visiting Buckinghamshire Mind. Their website details trauma awareness support, in Ukrainian, Russian, and English, for Ukrainian refugees and host families in Buckinghamshire.
- Ukrainian families may experience family pressures, including language barriers, cultural differences, new family constructs, financial strain, and upheaval, all of which can put pressure on families sharing homes and spaces. To support Ukrainians and their host families, visit National Family Mediation and the Association for Family Mediators of Ukraine, who have joined together to offer a free, confidential service providing support for Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire.
- If you need financial advice, visit Buckinghamshire Council’s website for details on how to claim Universal Credit, Child benefit, Healthy Start vouchers, school meals, Disability Living Allowance and how to set up a bank account.
- Citizens Advice Bucks has some useful leaflets in English and Ukrainian that outline any financial support available:
- Citizen Advice – Help for Ukrainians (English version)
- Citizen Advice – Help for Ukrainians (Ukrainian version)
Support for older adults:
- Age UK Buckinghamshire provides vital services which focus on the needs of older people in Buckinghamshire. They offer an information and advice helpline on all issues of concern to older people, their families, friends, and carers. If you or a family member need advice, call their helpline on 01296 431911 or visit their website Age UK Buckinghamshire for further details.
- Buckinghamshire Council’s website has dedicated information and facts sheets available on the provision of support and care for adults, their families, and carers. Visit Buckinghamshire County Council’s website to find out how to ask for social care, protect people at risk, request support for carers, live independently, and pay for care.
Information for residents of Buckinghamshire wanting to support Ukrainians.
- Read about the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme to learn how to host/sponsor Ukrainian refugees. This scheme allows Ukrainians to find safety in the UK through sponsorship from the public – to find out more visit Buckinghamshire Council’s Helping Hand for Ukraine.
- Register your support with Buckinghamshire Council if you would like to pledge your support as an individual or organisation to help Ukrainians; make contact via Buckinghamshire Council’s email firstname.lastname@example.org
- To sign-up as a volunteer, register with Community Impact Bucks’ Volunteer Matching Service which places volunteers where they are most needed in the county. You can identify what sort of things you are interested in doing, any skills you could bring to a role, and what kind of time commitment you can give. The team can then match you to a suitable role.
- Volunteering brings many benefits, including supporting employment opportunities and improved mental health. If you know of a local organisation supporting Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire, contact them directly and see if they need help – whether it is in person, from home, regular or one-off.
- Buckinghamshire Council and Heart of Bucks Community Foundation have launched a crisis fund for people fleeing the current conflict in Ukraine. For full details and how to pledge your donations, visit the Heart of Bucks Total Giving page.
- Resources for volunteers: you can also find a range of valuable resources on volunteering by visiting Community Impact Bucks’ I want to volunteer webpages..
Information for Buckinghamshire businesses
Businesses can be at the forefront of efforts to support Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire. There are many innovative ways in which you can help including:
- Providing employment opportunities (work, CV support, interview skills etc.)
- Provision of essential mental health and well-being services (children and adults)
- Donations for Ukrainian refugees
- Offering safe spaces to meet and socialise.
Bucks Business First (BBF) is keen to hear from businesses in Buckinghamshire which can help Ukrainians arriving in the county. For more information you can visit BBF’s website.
Translation and interpreting
At Community Impact Bucks, we can provide volunteer interpreters to support Ukrainians, their hosts and community groups on a task-by-task basis for free:
- We have a team of volunteers fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, and English. From events and social gatherings to supporting online meetings, visiting schools and simply helping hosts and guests to communicate more easily – if you, your group or your charity need the services of an interpreter you can find out how to request a volunteer interpreter via our Volunteer Matching Service.
- Reset has produced guidance available via Good Practice when Working with Interpreters.
- You can visit ClearVoice which offers 24/7 on-demand telephone and video interpreting (paid) to charities.
- Herts Interpreting and Translation Services is a social enterprise run by Community Action Dacorum, offering (paid) interpreting and translation services and training for interpreters. Visit HITS for more information.
- Visit Charity Translators to access many links and resources around Ukraine-related language support.
- Widgit has produced a refugee support pack containing communication charts that use symbols to help refugees communicate information and help bridge the language barrier between refugees and their hosts. You can download this information via their website by visiting it at www.widgit.com/products/health/refugee-support/index.htm.
We can provide free volunteer interpreters to support hosts, community groups and Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire on a task-by-task basis.
The Volunteer Community Interpreter Initiative aims to help Ukrainians, and the groups and charities that support them, overcome language barriers by offering a volunteer interpreter fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, as well as English.
Our network of friendly volunteers can provide support in a community setting, for example, interpretation at a coffee morning; interpreting on behalf of a host to help settle a family into the home; helping with school visits; attending community events or online events and presentations.
Our volunteers can provide verbatim interpretation support to help ease conversations, but they do not offer advice or opinions. In professional settings – medical, social care, employment, benefits etc. – interpretation should be carried out by a qualified professional interpreter, who should be provided, on request, by the statutory or medical service. In these situations, our volunteers cannot provide support. You can check when our interpreters can help by viewing this handy guide.
How it works:
- If you want to request interpreting support, please fill in our simple form, providing as much detail as possible.
- Please read Reset’s good practice when using interpreters, which will help you understand the role of a volunteer interpreter.
- One of our friendly team will send an acknowledgement and follow up with a phone call if more information is required.
- Once a volunteer interpreter has been matched with the request, you will receive a notification and will be asked to provide a contact name and number. You will also be sent a copy of the task sheet.
- Once confirmed, you must translate the task sheet into Ukrainian (Google Translate is a useful tool) and send it to the client.
- After completing the task, you will be asked to complete a short debrief/feedback document to close the assignment.
- You should also allow your client to provide feedback to you. You may find the short debrief form we ask you to complete a helpful example. Remember, it may need to be translated into Ukrainian.
Understanding Ukrainian and UK cultures
- The Open University has launched a free short course for those who wish to learn more about the Ukrainian language, culture, and people. This online course is for anyone interested in learning about Ukraine, its people and who wants to gain insight into its rich cultural heritage. Find out more by visiting Introduction to Ukrainian Language and Culture.
- There are many Polish and Romanian food shops in Buckinghamshire where it is possible to purchase similar regional food – you can take a look at this factsheet for more information.
Children & young people
- For help and advice for families, visit Ukraine Parenting Response, set up by Oxford University with WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR and other partners. Ukrainian Parenting Response supports Ukrainians in Buckinghamshire through resources and evidence-based parenting advice to support families impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine. All resources can be downloaded from the website and are available in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.
- Resources for those hosting young Ukrainian families can visit The Sanctuary Foundation to access a growing list of resources for anyone hosting Ukrainian families with babies and young families, including checklists for 4 months-2 years old, 2-4 years old and safety information.
- Buckinghamshire Council runs activities and advice for families with children. The Bucks Family Information Service has a range of information, support, childcare and things to do for families, children and young people aged from birth to 19 years (up to 25 years with a disability/ additional needs). For details of what’s on in the county, visit Bucks Family Information Service.
- Children under 18s can access advice by visiting the UK Government Homes for Ukraine welcome guide accessed via their website Welcome Guide for Ukrainian children under 18. This is an introductory guide, available in English, Russian & Ukrainian, for children moving from Ukraine to England.