Don't forget, waste collections will be a day later than usual all this week after the spring bank holiday.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

National Information

Helplines and support

Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom
Red Cross – Help for Ukrainian nationals
Barnardo’s Ukrainian Support Helpline
European Commission – Information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine
Refugee Council – Support and information for people affected by the crisis in Ukraine
Homes for Ukraine: A Reset service for community welcome
Vita Network – Information for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
St John Ambulance – First Aid information in Ukrainian and Russian
MOM – Relocate – Forced to leave Ukraine through war? Ukrainian version

Good Things Foundation National Databank – The National Databank provides free sims and mobile data (as well as talk minutes and texts) to people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. It’s like a ‘food bank’ but for internet connectivity data. Community organisations can apply to access the databank, enabling them to provide data to people in their communities who need it.

Work information

Just Good Work App – A free interactive mobile app, giving job-seekers and workers information and advice for everything needed on the journey to work and life in a new destination, to moving on or returning home.

Work Rights Centre – Solidarity with Ukraine
GOV.UK Workers’ Rights leaflets
Vimeo – Working in the UK
Between decent work and modern slavery – YouTube video
Anti-slavery – key resources and how you can help
GOV.UK Spot the signs of labour exploitation

STEP Ukraine

DLUHC has updated the learn to speak, read and write English: Homes for Ukraine guidance, which includes added details on the government funding for STEP Ukraine, an English language and employment support programme for up to 10,000 Ukrainians across the UK. Enrolment to the programme is on a rolling basis, those interested are encouraged to register as soon as possible to secure a place in the programme.

The aim of STEP Ukraine is to help Ukrainians improve their English language skills and gain new employment or employment more in line with their skill level through the provision of English language training and employment support. The STEP Ukraine programme is delivered by World Jewish Relief in partnership with the British Council.

Information for employers – Tell the DWP about the work you can offer
Employers can use this form to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Refugee Employment Network (REN) about work they can offer to people arriving from Afghanistan or Ukraine.

Financial support

Small Grants Funding

Somerset Council are excited to announce the Small Grants Fund which is now live. The fund was set up in recognition of local community groups who have rallied together to offer support to Ukrainian guests and sponsors, who live in more rural areas of the county, where access to Welcome Hubs might be limited. In addition, there may be others who would like to provide support but are lacking the resources to do so. We hope the small grants will provide an opportunity for local residents, community groups and even Ukrainian guests to come together and support one another.

There are two routes for application:

  • CHARIS will be administering grants to smaller groups without charitable status, with the first round of applications closing on Friday 28 October 2022.
  • Somerset Supports Ukraine will be administering grants to groups with charitable status. Somerset Supports Ukraine will bring together voluntary and community groups to support displaced people or refugees who have been affected by the conflict in Ukraine, as well as the volunteers providing this key service. If you are an organisation interested in applying, please visit SSU Grant Application for further information on the application process.

More information for Ukrainian Guests on Financial Support

Information for parents of children or young people

With the situation developing in Ukraine, your children may be asking questions that you are unsure how to answer.

Somerset’s SEND Local Offer – Services and support available locally for children and young people from birth to 25, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Education places for Ukrainian children and young people

Information for schools

School Places for Ukrainian Refugee Families – message for schools

You are likely to be contacted or may have already been contacted by potential sponsors and Ukrainian families about the availability of school places.

We are currently trying to collate as much information as possible about families arriving in Somerset so that we can assist families and their sponsors to find early years, school and post 16 places.

Our priority is to have all children requiring a school place to be recorded on Capita and from there the admissions team can carry out a school search to establish schools with places in the relevant location and year group. The admissions team will then notify sponsors of places currently available. We will be asking sponsors to assist their guest family in visiting schools before making an application.

Beyond this, the normal in year admissions process still applies. Admission authorities will need to ensure that applications are signed by family members with parental responsibility and cannot accept applications signed by the sponsor.

Please contact the admissions team if you have any questions schooladmissions@somerset.gov.uk

Suitability and safeguarding checks will be carried out on all confirmed Sponsors. As in all situations, the school admissions code and your published admissions arrangements must be adhered to.

Please bear with us as we undertake this work as it may take some time to work through every individual family requirement.

We are also looking at EAL (English As a Second Language) and mental health support and how best to support schools with these key areas as pupils begin to arrive. We will be scheduling a twilight online briefing session as soon as we have a better idea of where children will likely be attending school.

We know there are Ukrainian and Russian speakers in our school system. Anyone who has skills that they would like to contribute to this effort can let us know by emailing educationpartnerships@somerset.gov.uk

Interpreting and Translation services available for organisations

Somerset Diversity Voice has local native Ukraine speakers available for interpreting and translation services.

  • Providing translation and interpreting services since 2008 and their freelance staff are all appropriately vetted.
  • Offer competitive rates, and any profit is put back into their charity. Reduced rates are available for friends in the voluntary sector.
  • Almost all translations are completed within 3 days, and a 1-day turnaround is often possible. For smaller jobs, they can often work to same-day turnaround.

Phone: 0300 075 0105
Email: translations@diversityvoice.org.uk

English courses for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

You can find Providers of English courses for speakers of other languages (ESOL) in Somerset here

Somerset Skills and Learning – Free education and wellbeing support for refugees in Somerset

Mondly is also offering free Language Courses for Millions of Ukrainians

Charis ESOL
Classes are taught by qualified ESOL teachers, with volunteers to assist, giving students plenty of opportunities to practice speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing. More courses are being set up, in response to the demand. Please check the CHARIS website for further information regarding classes.

Diversity Voice ESOL
Free English Lessons

  • Qualified teachers
  • Free face-to-face lessons
  • Meet new friends
  • Online learner club on social media
  • Fun, friendly classes

Now open all day on Wednesdays in Bridgwater

Phone: 0300 075 0105
Message us on social media in any language
Email: english@diversityvoice.org.uk
Website: diversityvoice.org.uk

Other English learning resources

Resources for Learning English: Beginner Level

Resources for Improving your English: Intermediate and Advance Levels

Useful Introductory Resources for Volunteers supporting Ukrainians

Events

There are a number of local community groups involved in Homes for Ukraine and we are looking at ways in which we can connect those arriving under the schemes. We will add information here as soon as we can about these groups.


Preparation course
Preparation course for hosting Ukrainian Refugees – Sponsors can register for a preparation course for hosting Ukrainian refugees on the Taunton Welcomes Refugees website or email ukraine@tauntonwelcomesrefugees.co.uk


Somerset Skills and LearningFree education and wellbeing support for refugees in Somerset

Last reviewed: March 4, 2024 by Sophie

Next review due: September 4, 2024

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