UKC

Taking on refugees from Ukraine

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 Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022

What are peoples thoughts on this?

We are considering it.

We have a spare room, although there are many issues I can foresee… I don’t think £350 will be enough to compensate the financial burden. We are untrained for any emotional care that may entail, and with two kids under 4, I’m not sure we would be in a position to offer much if needed.

Am definitely trying to persuade my parents to help, but I’m not sure if our home/situation is suitable. Hard to get past the emotional side though, it would be really nice to help…

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 Axel Smeets 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

You sound very similar to me. Same age, two kids under 4 and we have surplus space at home. I've pondered it long and hard but I've opted to make a decent donation to assist those who arrive here. Feels a bit 'easy way out' but at least it's doing something to help. 

OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Axel Smeets:

It’s definitely the easier option, but I don’t think you should feel that you copped out there. It has the potential to be a massive commitment, the asylum process can take up to 5 years.

Im leaning towards seeing what our community can do in general. There are a lot of holiday lets, caravan parks, big houses with retirees in our area. And the hospitality industry in general is crying for workers.

 Cobra_Head 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

To be honest, I think there's plenty of people who would do this for nowt, never mind £350.

A couple of my mates have looked into it, once again though, it government bullshit.

The Ukrainians have to apply on line, to be housed in your house, you effectively have to sponsor them.

There is no system of, "we've got room for 2 people" and someone gets two refugees to you!! It's all arse first as usual, and it really really looks like it's designed to "look" as if we're doing everything to help.

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 Cobra_Head 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

> Im leaning towards seeing what our community can do in general. There are a lot of holiday lets, caravan parks, big houses with retirees in our area. And the hospitality industry in general is crying for workers.

Doesn't really sound very charitable, "you can come but you need to work", why wait for others, if you can help?

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OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Cobra_Head:

It was only the last sentence that was about work, the rest was about finding housing.

I imagine those that come over would want to work. People don’t want charity, they want opportunities.

No need to get pointy fingered.

Post edited at 13:57
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 Axel Smeets 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

Agreed. The 'for how long and to what extent' uncertainty was a little overbearing for me. I'd genuinely like to do more, but I've got my own lot to worry about and as I'm sure you're acutely aware, you have a lot on your own plate with young kids. 

I'm trying to link up with charities in the Sheffield area who will be involved with those who arrive in our region. Very keen to link up. I co-own a company which has a very generous charitable side and I know we can make a significant financial contribution, over a long period of time. Just keen to make sure it gets to where it makes the most difference. 

Good luck with your efforts. 

OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Axel Smeets:

Yeah you’ve pretty much got the same concerns as me. 

I think doing what you can is all that can be expected of anyone, it’s very generous the financial help you are offering.

All the best!

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 girlymonkey 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

We don't have kids and have 2 spare rooms so we are planning to apply to host. We experienced amazing hospitality from Ukrainians when we were out there. I guess it's an easier decision with no kids!

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OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

Oh for sure. Pre kids it would have been much more viable for us. Time and money are tight as it is. It’s a really tough decision…

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 Cobra_Head 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

> It was only the last sentence that was about work, the rest was about finding housing.

> I imagine those that come over would want to work. People don’t want charity, they want opportunities.

> No need to get pointy fingered.

I wasn't getting pointy at all, but it just read a bit Pritti Patelish.

You're right, they probably don't want charity, they just need to be safe, for the time being at least.

I suspect, they're thinking it's only a temporary situation, and when Putin decides he's made a mistake, they'll get to go back home. Hopefully, very soon.

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 wintertree 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

I'm following this thread with interest.  

One of the thoughts on my mind is us being in the arse-end of nowhere without public transport.  Be interested if anyone in a similar position has thoughts.  What is the paperwork barrier to someone coming here form Ukraine - potentially without full documentation - getting on the road?

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OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Yeah to be fair I read it again and it was a bit ambiguous.

Your “hopefully very soon” comment made me give a wry smile. I think it’s naive to think this. But yeah, I don’t doubt they will be wanting to get back asap.

Post edited at 14:50
 B-team 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

We've hosted a total of 25 refugees in our home over the last few years (in four groups, three of them families and one group of unrelated young men). We had a child of our own in the house. Most were with us for short periods of time while longer term accommodation was arranged, but one of the young men lived with us for several years and is a de facto family member now. Generally, the need is not for long term accommodation. It is much better for refugees, especially families, to have a home of their own as soon as possible. So I doubt the plan is for anyone to be hosting permanently, or anything like. We gave longer term support (negotiating bureaucracy etc.) to those who were with us for even short periods. It's a commitment and should not be done lightly. We received no monetary compensation (in fact, it undoubtedly cost us a fortune).

But it is hands down one of the best, most rewarding experiences of my life. If you think it might be possible for you then please do consider it - carefully, but seriously. 

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OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to B-team:

Thanks for taking the time to reply, very interesting to hear about you experiences.

I think its finding the reality behind wanting to help and being able to help. It feels like a bit of a struggle with the home situation I have already!

If it was definitely the case that this would be a few months while proper housing was found, then I it would certainly be doable, although there is absolutely no info out there to confirm this, and my gut says it’s going to be a long term commitment.

In reply to Smelly Fox:

It would be good if there were a way to sponsor a refugee for people not in a good position to put one up (though obviously one could just make a donation to UNHCR or similar).

 B-team 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

> I think its finding the reality behind wanting to help and being able to help. It feels like a bit of a struggle with the home situation I have already!

That's why I replied. It can be a very daunting prospect, but - under the right conditions - it is more than doable. And, to be honest, in the end, no situation is "perfect." No matter what, there will always be times when it is difficult, challenging, and stressful. I can't tell you if you should go for it, but I hope some people will consider it. 

We're not currently in a position to host and so I don't know what the government's plans are, but I would be surprised if there's an expectation people will take on an open-ended, long-term commitment, which would be unrealistic and rarely optimal for refugees anyway. 

 mountainbagger 13 Mar 2022
In reply to B-team:

Wow, I have much respect for you. I wasn't even considering it until your post. It's still not likely to be perfectly honest but now I'm thinking about it rather than dismissing it out of hand.

In reply to Smelly Fox:

Weve decided to offer if the scheme is "real". Obviously have the concerns in this thread (and the house is only half repainted) but morally it seems very clear cut - we have space and no children. It would be nice to be able to sponsor those with which you have some common ground (professional,  interests etc) to help integration and employment prospects. 

 Cobra_Head 13 Mar 2022
In reply to B-team:

Nice one, respect.

It should be much easier to do.

 aln 13 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

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In reply to aln:

Call the police? Given most will be women, young or old, Id think a bigger concern is predatory hosts.

Also, much more likely still is simple incompatibility in some form (music, bathroom habits, whatever)

OP Smelly Fox 13 Mar 2022
In reply to aln:

For some reason while reading your post, I’m having flash backs to Brass Eye. Is your real name Chris Morris? 😂😂

Post edited at 20:39
In reply to girlymonkey:

> We don't have kids and have 2 spare rooms so we are planning to apply to host. We experienced amazing hospitality from Ukrainians when we were out there. I guess it's an easier decision with no kids!

Wonderful thing to do. Hope it works out.

In reply to Smelly Fox:

We're thinking of doing this.  Wife and I have been discussing it over the weekend and like the idea in principle.  This morning we asked our kids (9 and 11) whether they're willing to share a room for 6 months so we have a spare room to host, they're now thinking about it, but assuming they say yes, we'll put our names down.

A few days ago our 11 year old, unprompted by us, wrote to our (Tory) MP saying that she thought the government should be doing more to welcome refugees.  It was slightly heartbreaking when she said she had friends from around the world and she knew their governments would take people from Britain if we ever needed to flee our country.  Heartbreaking because I know it's not something that could be relied upon, but I do hope that we can make it true for a Ukrainian family, even if it's only for a few months.

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 LastBoyScout 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

We talked about it, as we have a spare room and could potentially host a mother and young-ish daughter - we have 2 girls, so we'd have spare clothes and suitable toys.

Unfortunately, though, we can't really take anyone "at the moment" - mainly because we're about to have a load of building work done on the house and a couple of other commitments.

My parents thought about it, as they have a large, mainly empty house, but it's just not practical for them, for various reasons. My Mum is looking into helping on the fundraising side.

In reply to aln:

> What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

You'd know because he would be wearing creepy specs and a fake leather jacket. He'd also have a fifties haircut slicked back with handfuls of brylcreem.

He definitely wouldn't be a young mother with her two preschool kids clutching broken dinky toys or an old infirm person like the thousands we've seen on our Western TV.

Of course you are not allowed to see those where you live. 

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 Ian W 14 Mar 2022
In reply to aln:

> What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

Well obviously the chances of that would have been extremely high if Pritler Patel hadn't got us (or at least will be getting us shortly, soon, and at pace) such a world class and utterly secure visa entry scheme that guarantees no nasty undeserving types could possibly gain entry to our green and pleasant land.

Post edited at 10:07
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In reply to Smelly Fox:

I work in the asylum/refugee field. My thoughts: families like yours should hang fire a bit. Good chance there will be plenty of people who are better placed to offer housing support (recently retired, people with children who’ve moved out).  So let’s see how it pans out over the next few weeks. 

In reply to Axel Smeets:

I stayed in an AirBnB. Retired couple who wanted to help rough sleepers. Rather than have rough sleepers live with them in their house with unknown risk, they opted to let a room out and give the profits to a homeless hostel. 

 ThunderCat 14 Mar 2022
In reply to aln:

> What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

They all are mate.  All of them.   Every single one.  Even the kids. They've staged the whole Russian conflict as a way of making us drop our guard and then worming their way into our green and pleasant land, washing up on our shores like a tide of Eastern European effluent.

PS.  Please excuse the green crayon.  I'm not allowed sharp objects

Just edited for my random disliker (how are you sweety? xx) - "this was mean to be a sarcastic post, if it wasn't completely obvious"

Post edited at 10:16
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 AukWalk 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

I think we'd seriously consider it in different circumstances.  On the face of it we should be able to help, as there's 2 of us in a 2.5 bedroom house. However the rooms are pretty small and we'd only have room to offer a couple of airbeds in the bedroom to fit around a wardrobe and desk, and I'd be using the room for home working during the day. While OK for a few days or a week I don't think that's really viable for a period of 6+ months. 

With some reorganisation and getting rid of a fair bit of stuff, and one of us going back to working from an office rather than mostly from home we could probably free up a bedroom completely.   Being honest that would be a bit of a pain though, and coupled with having to share a single bathroom I could imagine ending up being unhelpfully resentful of anyone we took in after a few weeks.

If we did actually have a proper guest bedroom (or even a second home, which some people will be able to offer including many of our MPs...) I think we might well have decided to sign up for the scheme though. 

Post edited at 10:16
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In reply to aln:

> What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

What if the host is a serial killer etc?

Similar schemes have been running for years: Refugees at Home, BOAZ Trust etc. They have systems in place but basically the risks you outline don’t happen. 

OP Smelly Fox 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

On reflection, and a lot of discussion with close family, I think that’s the route we are going to go at the moment. 
If it becomes more of an issue for people finding accommodation, we will step in, because we can. But at the moment, it would make an already tricky part of our lives much more complicated, and potentially unmanageable. 
Will see how things pan out over the next few weeks as you suggest.

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 streapadair 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

Now, here's public spirit for you. 


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In reply to Smelly Fox:

Details of the scheme have now been announced, seems that initially you have to put down the name of the Ukrainian that you would be hosting, but a matching system will be introduced later for people with no existing contacts.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/14/ukraine-refugee-scheme-uk-homes

Key questions I've not seen answered yet:

  • What happens at the end of 6 months if it's really not working well for hosts or their guests?
  • Are the Ukrainians going to be eligible for any direct benefit payments from the government?  If we had someone staying we would probably give them most or all of the £350/month paid to hosts, but they might need more than that, particularly if they're looking to rent their own place at some point
 mutt 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

Let's try and remember these refugees are people first. My polish friend has had a lot to do with ukcrinians over the years and tells me they are hard works just as the polish are. After the shock of invasion, escape and  relocation which of them is going to want to sponge of you? They are people and they will want to provide for their own families. The 350 quid is payment relating to the state not having to pay for hotel accomodations as they do for the afgham refugees who can't find homes. It is not to meet all their needs. After all they can claim benefits and access to job market as well.

 girlymonkey 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Sam W:

Yes, they can claim benefits and are eligible to work.

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OP Smelly Fox 14 Mar 2022
In reply to mutt:

I don’t think you’ve read the room very well buddy.

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 girlymonkey 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

I think there might be a typo? Instead of saying Ukrainians are hard work, I think they meant hard workers? Might be wrong, but I think the point they were trying to make is that the refugees are likely to want to become independent as soon as possible, find jobs and their own accomodation etc? 

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OP Smelly Fox 14 Mar 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

Of this I don’t think there was any doubt. Hence my comment.
 

However, I think it’s naive to assume there is going to be no financial obligations to the host here, and that need to be taken into consideration. Some of us are only just balancing the books at the moment.

 aln 14 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

You might be the only one who got it.

OP Smelly Fox 14 Mar 2022
In reply to aln:

Showing our age maybe 😂

 KeithWakeley 15 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

We've talked about this as a family, one daughter aged 6. My wife and I are really keen to help out if we can and are fortunate enough that we've both space and could probably afford to feed & clothe a couple of extra people. Our daughter is really keen, she's excited about being able to share her teddies and her toys with another little child and make a new friend. She's the kindest little person I know and we are so proud of her compassion for others.

We've registered with one online charity - can't remember which one off hand as my wife sorted it and she's working away this week - I've registered with the government scheme thing today.

At the moment it looks like there's still lots of barriers, certainly the govt scheme appears that you need to name the person you are going to house. Sadly, I don't have a long list of Ukrainian people in my contact list. I'm hopeful that going forward the government will progress from typical Tory soundbites to try to appear to care, to actual action to make a difference. I'll not hold my breath though since they are a bunch of despicable morally bankrupt vile excuses for human beings. But that's another discussion.

Our local community has a meeting tomorrow to try to get a coordinated response to this, so hopefully we can progress things and learn a little more as to how to make this a reality. I'll post up any info I can gain here if people are interested. I'd also be interested in finding out any more information people on this forum can gain going forward. The govt response is typically shit, so it's going to be a case of like minded people helping each other to progress to actual meaningful help for those in need despite the govt.

Our motivation for wanting to help is a desperate feeling of helplessness at the moment for those innocent families suffering untold horror. We are both well aware (and to be fair so is our daughter) of how just so lucky we are to live in one of the richest countries in the world, in a lovely place - Penistone -  and have good health. Whilst we are under no illusions that it may at times be very difficult hosting a traumatised family, we see it as an opportunity to not only help someone who really is in need but also, I think it will be a positive experience for us as family.

Keith

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In reply to aln:

> What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

I'd imagine that if you're a Ukrainian and want to become a serial killer your best route would be to join the resistance. That should provide plenty of opportunity.

jcm

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 girlymonkey 15 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

I have registered here: https://www.ukrainianlondon.co.uk/helping-ukrainian-refugees-arriving-in-the-uk/ 

And here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScT3G3SwcQtGFdC_lzZDCPsdPV_QdUNBUKJJNzQNxiyjE-jzA/viewform

Just incase people are looking for charities to sign up with. There are bound to be more but one of these is from the BBC article and the other from a trusted friend who has lived in Ukraine and is a university doctor of eastern European politics, so links which I take to be from trusted sources 

In reply to aln:

> What if the Ukrainian person you housed turned out to be a serial killer or a paedophile? 

Why do I think there will be more than a few sexual predetors sign up to this in the hope that they get a good looking young lady, maybe with kids if their preference runs that way who are traumatised and easy to manipulate. 

 mutt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

I hope you are a bot. Such vile thoughts expressed as a question point to a disturbed psyche. I suggest you get some help before you hurt someone. Otherwise if you at bot then get back to Russia.

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 Mark Edwards 15 Mar 2022
In reply to KeithWakeley:

> Sadly, I don't have a long list of Ukrainian people in my contact list.

Neither have I. But I bet this guy does.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/make_a_real_difference_for_some_ukrainians-745268

OP Smelly Fox 15 Mar 2022
In reply to mutt:

Eh?

I can’t tell if you are trying to be funny here… but if not I don’t think it’s me that needs help. 😉

Peace and love.

 mutt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to Smelly Fox:

My bad. I was replying to dax_h who suggested that sexual predators are offering to house refugees for their own perverseity. If course fear of sexual predators is the theme of many bots so I doubt his existence 

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OP Smelly Fox 15 Mar 2022
In reply to mutt:

No worries man. I get you!

 jimtitt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to mutt:

> I hope you are a bot. Such vile thoughts expressed as a question point to a disturbed psyche. I suggest you get some help before you hurt someone. Otherwise if you at bot then get back to Russia.

Err, the German police are arresting sexual predators in Berlin approaching people off the refugee trains. It happens in the real world.

 Graeme G 15 Mar 2022
In reply to magma:

Sent that to the missus. Thanks 😊 

 mutt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

That's no reason to tar the whole community of caring compassionate people with that brush. The internet is too ready to see the evil in society as it's primary purpose.

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 jimtitt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to mutt:

>  The internet is too ready to see the evil in society as it's primary purpose.

And accuse people raising a valid concern of being psychologically disturbed.

 mutt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

Yes seeing everything through a prism of negativity and missing all the good in the world is a real psychological disturbance. 

I speak from experience.

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 jimtitt 15 Mar 2022
In reply to mutt:

> Yes seeing everything through a prism of negativity and missing all the good in the world is a real psychological disturbance. 

> I speak from experience.

Clearly, accusing someone who raised a valid issue regarding caring for the vulnerable of being psychologically disturbed is as negative as it gets.

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In reply to mutt:

> I hope you are a bot. Such vile thoughts expressed as a question point to a disturbed psyche. I suggest you get some help before you hurt someone. Otherwise if you at bot then get back to Russia.

The poster I replied to was saying is it safe to take someone in because they may be a paedophile or serial killer. A very narrow minded view in my opinion so I pointed out that in my opinion there is probably more risk to the refugees than their is from the refugees.

Unfortunately though most people are decent there are always those who will take advantage and prey on the vulnerable.

For the record I am definitely not a bot (I suppose a bot would say that though) 

In reply to mutt:

> Yes seeing everything through a prism of negativity and missing all the good in the world is a real psychological disturbance. 

> I speak from experience.

Typically I see the world as a positive place and go out of my way to help others. I also tend to treat everyone as my best mate until they prove otherwise. This has caused me to be shat on a few times but in general I find if I look after and do right by people life is very rewarding and the odd person who abuses my trust is cut from my life. 

In reply to Smelly Fox:

Presumably anyone wanting to house a refugee will want to know their COVID vaccination status beforehand? It’s not that long ago some people on here were supporting locking the unvaxxed out of parts of society.

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 Ian W 17 Mar 2022
In reply to Doc Oc:

> Presumably anyone wanting to house a refugee will want to know their COVID vaccination status beforehand? It’s not that long ago some people on here were supporting locking the unvaxxed out of parts of society.

Yes, thats not an unreasonable request. Cant really see the refugees turning it down if they get offered a vaccine, so i dont see the problem......

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In reply to Smelly Fox:

Do they need to be double jabbed? 

In reply to Ian W:

> Yes, thats not an unreasonable request. Cant really see the refugees turning it down if they get offered a vaccine, so i dont see the problem......

Ukraine is particularly vaccine wary and before Russia invaded only about 35% had been vaccinated.
I assume that people taking in refugees will take that into account and accept that the risk of them catching Covid is more than offset by the act of rehousing someone that has fled a war zone.


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