Our own Caritas Plymouth has been working in collaboration with the national body, CSAN, in regard to the best possible support for those fleeing Ukraine. It is touching and inspiring to see the generous response from so many. I attach a paper from Caritas Plymouth on the support we have been offering so far, and some recommendations moving forward. There is also a link below to the Ukraine Toolkit produced by CSAN in respect of support to refugees, which should be brought to parishioners attention. This will be continually updated as more information is released by HM Government and other agencies regarding the support of Ukrainians arriving in this country.
One key piece of advice to parishioners who are applying to host is to link with an organisation with refugee experience. This is very important so that individuals or groups offering support can do so in a professional and sustained manner. The Trustees and I have agreed that Presbyteries in which priests are living, are not to be offered to individuals or families fleeing Ukraine. I hope you understand this, given the sensitive Safeguarding issues involved, as well as the need to provide refugees with sustainable accommodation, with all the package of support required around this including trauma support, in the months ahead. If any uninhabited property in a parish is being proposed this should only be done in consultation with Caritas Plymouth and with Anthony Akinpelu as COO, so that we can ensure, at Diocesan level, that a parish has the necessary resources, not only to provide the accommodation in then immediate term, but also the ongoing support that is required. CSAN recommends that individuals and parish groups should focus on the Reset ‘matching’ service as the one to go to for people who wish to host, and indeed for Ukrainian people to register. There are a few options, but CSAN has decided to back Reset, with its experience of community sponsorship and knowledge in the field. The link is here: https://www.homesforukraine.org.uk/
Please also see CSAN Ukraine Toolkit: https://www.csan.org.uk/ukraine/