Information and advice on the local matching scheme
Sponsors who have registered on the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, will need to find their own Ukrainian family or person to sponsor.
We are providing a matching service for those unable to find their own family or person to sponsor.
This is run by volunteers who have contacts with charities or websites that are running volume hosting opportunities, and are passing on suitable size families for the hosts we have in the borough.
To ensure you are up to date on any government information whilst waiting to host or to understand what is available to you or the Ukrainian family, you should follow this link.
If you want to find your own family or person to sponsor, please use one of the following links which are good resources for posting your hosting availability, and for Ukrainians to then respond and start communication with you.
The matching process and tips and advice for finding a good match
Our local volunteers have a list of hosts who have provided their details, however we only know about the hosts who have come to us.
If you have not already given your details to Debbie Hayes, Alex Sedjia, Ellen Kent or Julie Nicholds, then you may want to think about completing the form which populates our database, and allows us to attempt to match you with a Ukrainian person or family (size of accommodation dependent).
We have refugees approaching us directly from finding the Facebook page Tunbridge Wells Ukraine Refugee Support Group, but we also have contacts in Poland via Alex and her family. We use a third party who runs some social media sites where Ukrainians reach out requesting accommodation in the UK.
The right size families for the accommodation available in Tunbridge Wells are passed through and we then try to find suitable accommodation and, where possible, hosts that might match childrens’ ages for example.
We introduce the Ukrainian family to the host and then suggest they talk through WhatsApp whereby you can then move to a video call after an initial ‘get to know’ each other chat.
The aim of a video call is to deepen the ‘get to know’ each other experience, but also a chance for the host to show the family or person around their home, and specifically, the accommodation on offer. The call also allows for each to view one another and get a ‘feel’ for this being a good match.
Following this, if both parties feel comfortable, then they should commence the visa application process (see below).
If you are a host, you need to be aware of the requirements in relation to your home. This can include such requirements as a gas safety certificate, locks on bathroom doors etc.
All information can be found at this link. The link also includes other information such as how to support your guest(s).
Some Ukrainian families are bringing their pets who are important members of their family.
They may or may not be aware of the rules of entering the UK in relation to pets. Details of which can be found below.
Applying for the Visa
You need to agree who is completing the visa application(s), be that the host or the Ukrainian family/person. The documentation that is required and must be uploaded in .pdf format includes:
- Registered UK sponsor passport.
- Visa applicant biometric passport.
- Proof of living in Ukraine as at 1 January 2022 (stamp of passport on exiting Ukraine, or a bank statement of bill showing address in Ukraine - must be a notarised translation into English).
- Signed letter from husband agreeing to children leaving the country (if possible in English).
Decide who is doing the applications and make sure the other party has provided all information for their questions to be answered by the party completing the application.
The process should take a maximum of one hour per application providing you have a stable internet connection.
Helping guests get settled and understanding cultural differences
Who to contact if you or your guests have any issues or concerns