Dear St James by the Park community,
This is a long-overdue update to you all. The UK2UK (Ukraine to United Kingdom) group is a response by members of St James by the Park church community to host Ukrainian guests under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
It is very encouraging that various members of St James and others in the wider community have provided a safe place for women and children from Ukraine. Several families have hosted guests now for over a year and there have been many joys and challenges in doing so.
Hosts have said:
Yet there are many challenges:
Guests face multiple issues:
They face the stress and trauma of separation from their loved ones who have remained in war-torn Ukraine - they face many painful decisions and have to endure terrible events
They are here temporarily yet they have no idea how long they will be in the UK – so they still need to find homes and work, learn English, understand British culture, navigate our health, education and local and national government provision.
Some guests though as the war drags on want to return to Ukraine and be with their families there.
We are grateful for those in the church who are supporting the hosts and also befriending guests but there is still a need for more people to help out. If you think you can be supportive then please do contact any of the hosts listed below.
The wider church support
Sponsors/Hosts still needed
There is still a need for more sponsors/hosts to open their homes and there is always a long list of contacts who are keen to be considered.
There is also a need for some people in the church to act as emergency “back-up” homes for hosts, if for some reason, they are unable to continue hosting their guests. Such an offer would, at least, be comforting for some hosts.
Please contact Esther Ridsdale if you have a strong large-framed bike (for a 6’ guest) that you do not need anymore. Also contact Esther if you are good at fixing spokes on a wheel (– we need a spokesperson!) for another guest.
Thank you for reading this update and for your prayers and support.