This scheme gives an incredible opportunity to provide a place of safety and sanctuary at an extraordinarily challenging time for the Ukrainian people. We are so glad you are thinking of taking this amazing step and hope this page might give you some helpful resources, tips and thoughts. Here we outline some of the things to consider, to give the best chance of providing a sustainable place of safety for those you are sponsoring or supporting. It includes links to other pages on the site where more detailed information can be found. We also consider a potential timeline of what would be helpful during the early weeks of resettlement.

One of the key principles we, and others, have found to successful resettlement is that of empowerment; to be able to support people to have as much choice as possible; to become integrated as quickly as possible; and to always enable people to be moving away from a point of dependence towards greater independence.

We know from experience, that hosting in your own home can be tough after a while and so we would love to encourage you to take a moment to think through some tough but important questions before you start. We hope this might save some difficulties or smooth out bumps further down the line. We find that those who have thought through these questions feel more equipped. There are links throughout the questions linking to further information.

*We are strongly recommending that each sponsor who welcomes a family to a home, whether or not they will be living with them, chooses a team of between 4-10 local people to act as their ‘support group’.

Ideally in that group there would be a mix of someone with transport available for lifts, someone who is good with practical aspects like banking and form-filling and someone who is good with emotional care and well-being.

Each sponsor/support team member can find additional information and useful resources and guides through this website.

Will sponsoring work for you?

Do you have the capacity? An obvious question, but whatever household structure you have (whether you are an individual, couple, family or other household group) do you have the time, the energy, the resources and the flexibility required to successfully sponsor? Will it work for everyone in the household? How will it affect existing relationships in the house? Consider other house sharing experiences that you have had, some people are better at sharing space with others and its good to be realistic about your own personalities! Talk to everyone in your household and make a plan of how you will accommodate each other’s needs with the arrival of your new guests.

Is now the right time?

For some who would to love sponsor it is important to ask yourselves, is it the right season of life right now? This might, for example; be because of the age of children; demands of work; supporting other family members or perhaps personal health. It is good to properly consider all your other demands and whether now is the right time to sponsor or whether there might be other ways that you can support?

How long can you commit for?

Although the minimum commitment for sponsoring is for 6 months, people will need accommodation for much longer and they have an initial right to remain for 3 years. How long are you able to sponsor for? What factors are likely to change in the coming months that you need to consider? What will the situation be like in one year, two years perhaps? How would you manage asking your guests to move on if you need to? What other housing option do you think they are likely to have in that scenario? Successful resettlement often involves beginning with the end in mind. 

Is the property in the right location?

It might be that you are the right person or right people at the right time to sponsor, but you also have to consider whether your accommodation is in the right location to provide a sustainable place of resettlement. Much of Hertfordshire is in rural or semi-rural and you have to consider whether you have the right services and transport network to allow life to be sustainable. Are you in a suitable location for accessing school places, healthcare, employment, English lessons? Are you in a location where people can access everything they need to build an independent life with their own social network? This may just mean that you think about the sort of people groups you offer accommodation to, so if you are in a very rural location, a young person who can drive/ work from home may be better than a young family.

Managing boundaries

Every household has unspoken rules about how it operates – these cover a myriad of things from meal times to down times; noise levels to visitors; bathroom habits to TV control. Consider what spoken or unspoken rules that your household works by and how you would manage or flex these boundaries. Crucial questions like how will it work with food, cooking, transport, finances?

Keeping everyone safe

It is important to consider the health and well being of everyone in order for hosting to be successful – this includes the host household as well as those resettling. What is that each individual needs in order to be safe and to feel safe?

Who will support you?

Sponsoring can be very rewarding but it is also very demanding. This is where your support group will come into their own. Having a small but dependable group of local hero’s around you, will mean you can talk together and provide the best care for both yourself and your guests.

So having considered the tough questions, if you feel this is not going to work for you as a sponsor, but you are still keen to help, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities. Please contact your local CVS/volunteer centre for more information, you can find their details here.

For those of you who feel you can make it work, here are some tried and tested ideas of things that may help the beginning go smoothly.

We would like to invite you to explore the rest of the website that is populated with information to help you and your support group to settle and orientate your guest. You may find this timeline useful as it highlights what we have found helpful to focus on first.

Sponsor Toolkit

RESET have produced this Sponsor Toolkit with lots of extra information with lots of extra information which may be useful.

The Association For Family Therapy has produced a really useful guidance pack for prospective and current hosts.