As a humanitarian crisis unfolds in Ukraine following its invasion by Russia, many people in the UK are looking for ways they can help.
From using donations to help people in the warzone or fleeing bombs, to enabling refugees to resettle in the UK, here are some of the groups offering support in the crisis.
Global charities operating in the UK and Ukraine are appealing for funds to offer aid in the humanitarian crisis.
Sean Ryan, media director of Save the Children, said: “The best way to help is to make a cash donation.”
He said 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.
Among the organisations collecting funds for Ukraine are include:
- The British Red Cross, which has launched an appeal to help the Ukrainian Red Cross to provide food, medicine, clothing and shelter, as well as first aid training in bomb shelters and, in the last few days, 15,000 litres of drinking water to villages in eastern Ukraine
- The UNHCR refugee agency, which is funding emergency shelters, repairs for homes damaged by shelling, emergency cash assistance, psychological support and warm clothing
- Unicef, the UN’s children’s charity, which is helping to ensure families have clean water and food and that child health and protection services continue
- Save the Children, which is providing cash assistance, food and other support to refugees crossing into Romanian and Lithuania, as well as in Ukraine itself.
- The Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group for 15 of the UK’s leading aid charities, is also running an appeal, donations to which will be doubled by the government up to a total of £20m.
The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, the largest representative body for Ukrainians in the UK, has raised more than £1.1m, which it said would fund medicine, food and other essentials.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said donating money through the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK was one way of helping.
The embassy has set up a special fund called With Ukraine for people to send funds via PayPal or bank transfers.
The money will be spent on providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population and to purchase medical and military supplies for Ukraine’s army, the embassy said.
As well as large organisations, individuals with connections to Ukraine are collecting money independently.
One Ukrainian mother, Inna Schorr, who lives in London, has raised thousands of pounds.
Ms Schorr told the BBC many of her family and friends are still in Ukraine and her husband has travelled to Poland to help. The family were originally asking for private donations before realising a crowdfunding page would be more effective.
She added that she felt inspired to help the mothers and children by collecting money for activities or support in the refugee camps. “It is as a support from mums to mums,” she said.
With all financial contributions online, it is worth making sure you know where your money is going first – double check the organisation is real and is being shared by a trustworthy source.
Clothing and bedding
As well as financial donations, grassroot groups are collecting items such as clothing, bedding, and sanitary items:
- A family in Staffordshire who launched an appeal for essential items have told the BBC they have been “inundated” and “overwhelmed” by the response.
- In Northern Ireland, a group of Polish people have organised a collection point at a Belfast warehouse for supplies.
- The Women of Newport community group in Wales has been accepting donations for refugees, asking people to only bring brand new toiletries and clothes or shoes that in good condition.
People intending to make a donation with any community group are advised to check which items are most needed and if they are still accepting donations.
Other ways to support
Some UK businesses have offered support, like chef Damian Wawrzyniak, who wrote on Twitter that he would pay for work visas and flights of two Ukrainian chefs looking for work in Britain.
Mr Wawrzyniak also said he could help with accommodation.
Currently temporary visa concessions for the family members of British nationals have been introduced.
Labour has said the failure to further relax visa restrictions is “immoral”.
The Refugee Council told the BBC people living in the UK can help by volunteering with its organisation to support refugees and people seeking asylum and supporting its call on the government to “create more safe routes”.
The UNHCR, meanwhile, has urged the government to automatically extend the visas of all Ukrainians with limited leave to remain in the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “We think the best way we can help Ukraine right now is by ensuring Putin fails.
“There are a number of ways Brits can show their support for that, and the Ukrainian embassy in London is putting out information about how British people can support.”
It was not immediately clear what information, other than its crowdfunding page, had been published by the Ukrainian embassy.
0 Replies to “# Stand With Ukraine”