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How to take in refugees and where to donate clothes, items or money

The UK is easing its strict entry requirements for Ukrainian refugees, enabling those with passports to apply online and submit fingerprints and facial verification after arriving in the UK.

A scheme is also being set up to allow members of the public to house refugees.

The Government had been heavily criticized for its handling of Ukraine’s refugee crisis, only granting entry to a fraction of the tens of thousands of applicants.

Many went to Calais only to find they were unable to apply for a visa there, and the one center that was set up ended up being 30 miles outside Lille.

Home Secretary Priti Patel told the House of Commons: “In short, Ukrainians with passports will be able to get permission to come here fully online from wherever they are, and will be able to give their biometrics once in Britain.

“This will mean that visa application centers across Europe can focus their efforts on helping Ukrainians without passports.”

Here’s how you can help Ukrainian refugees.

How can I house a Ukrainian refugee?

The Government is setting up a scheme to allow members of the public to house Ukrainian refugees with no family ties in the UK.

These refugees will be eligible to work, access state benefits and public services.

Individuals, charities, businesses and community groups will all be able to apply online or via phone to house a refugee and offer employment.

People will be vetted before being approved, and must agree to house the refugee with a certain time period.

Details of the sponsorship scheme will be unveiled on Sunday 13 March, with Communities Secretary Michael Gove to make an announcement on Monday.

More on Russia-Ukraine war

Where can I donate money?

Here are a list of organizations you can donate to help Ukrainians affected by the war:

Unicef

Unicef, the United Nations humanitarian aid organization focused on children’s welfare, is accepting donations to ensure every displaced child receives the health, nutrition and water they deserve to sustain them.

UNHCR

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has launched an emergency appeal to send more resources, staff and aid to Ukraine’s neighbours, who are taking hundreds of thousands of refugees.

#HelpUkraine emergency appeal

Set up earlier this month by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, the appeal is raising funds to provide accredited and registered Ukrainian charities with medicine, food and vital services. Donations can also pay for blankets, hygiene packs and trauma counseling.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross have pledged to respond to existing and emerging humanitarian needs. Your donation can help someone affected get food, water, medicine, first aid, warm clothes and shelter.

Voices of Children

Voices of Children helps children affected by the war in Ukraine by providing psychological and psychosocial support. Instructions on how to donate to its programs, such as art therapy, mobile psychologists, and individual help for families, are available on its website here.

Save the Children

Save the Children has launched an emergency fund where donations will go towards essential humanitarian aid, psychological support for children, winter and hygiene kits, educational access and cash grants to families.

Razom

Razom is a non-profit Ukrainian-American human rights organization. Donations to its appeal will support the delivery of essential goods, the translation of important documents and sources, the sharing of vital information, and the placement of volunteers on the ground.

Revived Soldiers of Ukraine

Revived Soldiers of Ukraine delivers humanitarian and medical aid to soldiers and their families and those affected by military conflict.

Where can I donate clothes?

People have set up donation points for items like clothes and blankets up and down the country.

To find one near you, check your local news outlets or do a Google search.

Here are some that have publicly stated they are looking for donations.

London

  • Polish White Eagle Club, Balham (clothing, bedding and other items)
  • North London Collection Centre, Willesden Lane (nappies, sanitary items, towels, reusable cutlery, toothbrushes and underwear)
  • Lewisham Donation Hub (Sundays only)

North

  • TippyToes BabyBank, Preston (towels, blankets and baby food)
  • Carfield Community Primary School, Sheffield
  • Newcastle Polish Center (no used clothes, but lots of other items being accepted)

Midlands

  • Agie and Katie restaurant, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (medical supplies, baby items and sleeping bags)
  • Malvern Bakehouse, Worcestershire (baby clothes, soft toys, first-aid items, blankets and sleeping bags)
  • Bearded Broz, Smethwick

South

  • Polish Club, Southampton (food, warm clothes, bedding and sleeping bags, sanitary and medical supplies)
  • Head to Toe Nail Salon, Salisbury (blankets, new or undamaged clothes and sanitary pads)

Scotland

  • Mossgiel Organic Farm, East Ayrshire (clothes, blankets, duvets, sleeping bags, toys, nappies and canned food)
  • Herron Farm Shop and Kitchen, near Strahaven

wales

  • Castle Climbing, Cardiff (sleeping bags, survival blankets, first aid kits, head torches, warm socks, gloves, camping food)
  • Rogue Fox Coffee House, Newport (thermal clothes, hats and gloves, duvets, blankets, sleeping bags and pillows)

What other ways can I help?

A number of organizations have set up donation points allowing people to send clothes to Ukrainians. You can find a list of them here.

Another big way you can help doesn’t even cost a penny. Spreading only trusted information and being careful not to share disinformation is vital. The Ukraine Crisis Media Center has urged people to be vigilant when sharing news.

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