Voluntary Sector Support for Ukraine
As the crisis in Ukraine intensifies, voluntary organisations and volunteers are rallying around to provide support. Here’s an overview of what’s being done at present and the best ways to offer support.
The situation unfolding in Ukraine has been heart-breaking to watch. As with all humanitarian crises, the voluntary sector has been and will continue to be ready to support those in need. From raising funds, to lobbying government, supporting refugees and so much more.
However, as the situation continues to unfold with so many uncertainties, many individuals and organisations will be considering what they can do to support the people of Ukraine in a meaningful way.
Many of the groups that we have spoken to are clear that cash donations are preferable to donations of goods at this time. Some places have reported that they now have more physical donations than they can manage. The cost and logistics of getting those supplies where they are needed means that cash donations can go a lot further.
Information and Updates from TVA
TVA stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and we will continue to do all we can to enable effective voluntary sector support during this crisis.
The world has seen from the COVID-19 pandemic how valuable the voluntary sector can be in providing services during a crisis when we are involved from early stages of planning. We are working closely with our partners in Torfaen to coordinate efforts in the communities, and through our wider support networks – Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) and Welsh Government.
We will keep this article updated with any new information we receive to help voluntary organisations and volunteers to support those in need.
We are encouraging our members, volunteers and voluntary organisations to stay in touch by sharing with us what you are doing to support the people of Ukraine, please get in touch by emailing info<@>tvawales.org.uk and also sign up to Connect Torfaen.
Fundraising & Donations
Financial donations are the quickest and most efficient way of getting much needed supplies (such as food, medicine, and clothing) and support to those who have had to flee their homes.
As the conflict and ensuing humanitarian situation in Ukraine continues to escalate, it is vital that charitable donations of goods and money reach their intended causes. UK charities are pivotal to a collective response to this crisis.
The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have urged the public to ‘give safely’ to registered charities as people make generous donations to causes helping to support and protect people affected by the invasion of Ukraine.
Many registered charities are also helping to provide vital life-saving services, like water, food and healthcare, to those caught up in the conflict, including those forced to flee to neighbouring countries.
By giving to a registered, regulated charity, the public can have assurance that their funds will be accounted for in line with the charity law framework. Established charities with experience of responding to disasters are usually best placed to reach victims on the ground.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 15 leading UK charities, has launched its collective appeal to provide emergency aid and rapid relief to civilians suffering during the conflict. The UK government have pledged to match pound-for-pound donations raised by the public for this appeal up to £20 million.
Members of the public initiating their own informal fundraising appeals that are not linked to established registered charities should be aware of the ongoing responsibilities associated with overseeing and managing funds and ensuring they are applied in line with donors’ wishes.
People looking to donate to causes working in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, should make a few simple checks before giving:
- check the charity’s name and registration number at www.gov.uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered, and you can use the advanced search function to identify charities working in specific regions and countries
- make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
- be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
- contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to understand how they are spending their funds
- look out for the Fundraising Badge on charity fundraising materials, this is the Fundraising Regulator’s logo which shows that a charity has committed to fundraise in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice
Help and Support For Refugees
As a nation of sanctuary, Wales will welcome Ukrainian refugees. Discussions are ongoing to arrange support such as housing for refugees arriving in the country.
Welsh Government have provided guidance for immediate family members of British Nationals normally living in Ukraine who intend to apply for a visa under the Family Migration route as well as signposting a helpline for family members of Ukrainians who are currently living in the UK.
RAISING YOUR voice
Many voluntary organisations, volunteers and community groups have been demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine by raising their voices outside the Senedd, lobbying for peace, and hosting inter-faith Vigils. As the distress of the War intensifies, the voluntary sector and community groups are also working to reduce tensions and anti-Russian sentiments.
The Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) have also provided an overview of policy and action in Wales as well as signposting to reliable information sources.
The Living Wage Foundation’s parent charity, Citizens UK are a key leader in the community sponsorship scheme which allows community groups to support resettlement of refugees. The UK Government’s has now increased the scale and scope of refugee sponsorship in relation to the crisis in Ukraine. Following this increase, Citizens UK is working with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) to organise a briefing in the coming weeks for interested Living Wage Employers, civil society and community experts to come together and explore ways to support those fleeing the conflict. To register interest in this opportunity please follow this link.
Reset Communities and Refugees is helping register and match refugees from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK. We’re a non-profit organisation set up in 2018 to help communities’ welcome refugees. We’re now supporting civil society organisations and the UK Government to find suitable accommodation for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Click here for more information.