This page brings together sources of information to help families in Paddock Wood and the surrounding areas who want to support people who are fleeing the war in Ukraine.

If anyone in Paddock Wood or nearby towns and villages needs any advice regarding homelessness, debt, family breakdown, energy bills, welfare benefits or consumer matters please visit our Home page and contact us for confidential, free advice by phone, email or in person.

We hold the Advice Quality Standard. This means that we are audited regularly and will only provide advice from verified, reputable sources. We keep detailed records when individuals come to us for advice, enabling comprehensive short term and long term advice and support to be given. All advice is given free of charge and we are not linked to any products or services from third parties.

Even if the war in Ukraine ended immediately, many Ukrainian families would not be able to return home until areas were de-mined and critical infrastructure re-instated. As of today, civilian areas are still being attacked and destroyed with many people displaced and in need of urgent medical care and supplies.

To donate money to help people affected by the war please visit  DEC Ukraine where the government will match your donation.

Many families in the Paddock Wood area have registered with the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

 

The notes and links below will hopefully help you to meet a Ukranian family in need and settle them in to our local community.

There are some useful guides to the process:

Supporting Ukranian Guests in the Borough of Tunbridge Wells 

Kent County Council Support for Ukranian Families

This includes information about free rail travel and school places

For sponsors (gov.uk)

For councils (with useful notes on room sizes and safety checks) (gov.uk)

Benefit support for families fleeing Ukraine (gov.uk)

Free healthcare for Ukranians fleeing the war (gov.uk)

Offering to let someone from Ukraine stay with you (Citizens Advice)

Impact on your Benefits (RightsNet)

House Insurance Impacts of Welcoming Refugees (ABI)

To find a Ukranian family in need:

The Homes for Ukranians website protects your personal information, while allowing you to list your home or rooms as available. 

The Reset charity has a safe matching process and a good Toolkit for potential sponsors explaining room size and home check requirements.

No money should be sent to anyone during this process. If you are asked for money it is probably a scam or fraud. 

There are scam accounts on social media platforms pretending to be vulnerable refugees and then asking for money. Do not send them money or disclose your personal information to them. Contact Action Fraud if you think you have been caught by a scam.

Google Translate can be helpful when trying to communicate. It can translate written words and provide audio so that you can practice your pronunciation.

Guidance for Ukranians arriving in the UK is a good document to share during the matching process.

Applying for a Visa:

The questions and information required for a visa can be viewed at helpua.uk where you will also find information on helping your guests to settle in to their new home and community.

The British Red Cross also have useful advice page, in English and Ukranian, regarding the visa process.

Asking for help:

 

Barnardos have a helpline specifically for Ukranian families and their sponsors including access to therapists and practical support.

Natural Language Learning are offering free online language learning for Ukrainian refugees. Those interested can sign up here: https://naturalanguagelearning.com/contact/

If you require further assistance please email info@pwadvice.org

 

There are some local Facebook groups, if you want to connect on social media to ask questions and share experiences:

Paddock Wood and Tonbridge Homes for Ukraine

Ukraine Relief Group (Tunbridge Wells)