There are certain key actions that your guests need to take as soon as possible after their arrival – check the Welcome! Guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK.
Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guidance (GOV.UK) – includes responsibilities and how sponsors may support their guests.
Once all your checks have been completed, we'll contact you to arrange your monthly £350 thank you payments (if required).
If your guests leave your home for any reason, do let us know immediately.
Let us know your guests have arrived
Until we have been notified of your guests’ arrival, we can’t proceed with their £200 subsistence payment. The £200 subsistence payment is for newly arrived guests in the UK. If your guest has moved to you from an earlier host sponsor, they will not be eligible for this payment.
Email H4Ukraine@hertfordshire.gov.uk once your guests have arrived to confirm:
- their full names and dates of birth
- the date their visas were issued
- the date they arrived at your home.
We’ll make a £200 payment (per person) once you have informed us of your guest arrival. These payments will be in the form of Post Office vouchers which don't require a bank account to use. A unique code will be sent to the email used by your guest in their Homes for Ukraine application. They can then visit any Post Office branch to scan the code and receive the cash payment. Find a Post Office
Many Ukrainian guests have now been living in Hertfordshire for almost 6 months and will be looking to the future and their longer-term housing arrangements.
The main options for accommodation beyond the 6 months are:
There's currently a shortage of affordable housing in Hertfordshire. This will affect options available and most guests will find it extremely challenging to find affordable private rented accommodation within the area that they are currently settled in.
The reality is that living with a host is likely to be the best, most affordable option (and in many cases, the only option).
Changing from the Homes for Ukraine scheme to a lodging arrangement
Under the Homes of Ukraine scheme, you can't charge your guests rent. However, it is possible to change the arrangement with your guests so they become a lodger and pay rent.
If you do this, you will no longer be part of the Homes For Ukraine scheme and your £350 payments will stop. There will also be implications for you and your guest.
Hosts and guests may wish to consider moving to a ‘lodging arrangement’ either now or after the initial 12 month period ends. Switching to a lodging arrangement is likely to offer sponsors a longer-term and increased income stream.
For many guests, this will also be an affordable option as it will either be more affordable than private rented accommodation or, if they get Universal Credit, they would become eligible for housing benefit.
Sponsors and guests should have an open and honest conversation before putting any arrangement in place.
These factsheets give further information about moving to a lodging arrangement:
About lodging arrangements (English version) PDF, 206KB
Про перехід до угоди про надання (оренду) житл PDF, 306KB
What hosts need to do if their sponsorship is coming to an end
Some current host sponsorship arrangements may need to come to an end for a variety of reasons, and new accommodation will need to be found.
Government guidance states that, wherever possible, hosts should provide 2 months’ notice to guests when ending hosting arrangements.
If hosting is finishing, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
full name and address of host
full names of all guests
reason for requesting a re-match – including any issues or concerns
date hosting will finish
details of education settings that any children attend
location of any employment that guests have
any other useful information about the guests that will help with re-matching, for example level of English, employment status, hobbies and interests, any local connections or support networks they have.
It's common for people who have fled a war zone to respond and act in ways that they would not normally do because of the impact of the trauma they have experienced. Not everyone fleeing from conflict will experience trauma and, if they do, the impact will vary. However, as it can affect day-to-day life, it's worth understanding a little about it.
For some sponsors, an improved understanding will help you to better support your guests. For others who are currently struggling to communicate with or understand their guests’ behaviour, having an insight into what is going on underneath might prevent or ease some tension in the house.
People living with trauma can experience anxiety, fear, irritability, guilt, shame, repeated re-experiencing of past events, mood swings and difficulty in regulating emotions. Concentration levels, judgement, and decision-making skills may also be affected. Often the coping mechanism for trauma is hyperarousal where the body’s nervous system is stuck in overdrive and they may have an exaggerated startle response, sometimes leading to angry outbursts.
Other coping mechanisms include avoidance and numbing, leaving people feeling disconnected and in disbelief. Many guests arrive and spend a lot of time in their rooms sleeping, in a ‘sitting staring at a wall’ type state, or are more generally unable to engage with their sponsors. For hosts who are new to dealing with people who have experienced trauma, this can understandably be misinterpreted as rude or lazy.
The main thing that will help you and them to navigate through these responses, is to take a step back and think about what might be going on for the guest. Try to stay calm as you work through any issues together.
Approaches that you can employ that will help include:
- predictability – this allows the person to feel safer
- perspective – being aware when the past is intruding into the present for your guest.
- space and patience – allowing the person time to calm down and take perspective, which can take longer for a person who has experienced trauma
- language – be cautious about using phrases such as ‘over-reacting’ or ‘over-sensitive’.
Your guest may want to talk about their experiences and you may feel worried about how to handle this. No one is expecting you to become an expert counsellor, or even to have these conversations if you are not keen. But if you do talk about their experiences, it will help to give your guest plenty of time.
Let them talk at their own pace and try not to pressure or rush them. Focus on listening and try to respect what they are choosing to share, rather than asking lots of questions. Try to accept their feelings and allow them to be upset about what has happened. Adopt the language that they use, for example, it is their choice whether to talk about they feel like a ‘victim’ or ‘survivor’.
Try not to dismiss their experiences, even in a well-meaning way, such as by telling them not to worry. Avoid blaming or criticising their reactions, even if you wonder why they didn’t do something differently or reacted in a way that you do not agree with. The reality is that they survived how ever they could at the time and, to some extent, are still trying.
The Flourish service, provided by the Mind Hertfordshire Network, can provide emotional and practical support for guest and hosts who may be finding the process more difficult than they anticipated. They can also provide information about local services, community resources, help with relationship breakdowns, and support with understanding and responding to cultural differences between guests and hosts.
Other practical support includes assistance and support with:
- Emotional wellbeing
- How to improve your health and wellbeing
- Support with job applications
- Help to reduce episodes of crisis
- Support with relationships with hosting families
- Drug and alcohol support
- Weekly peer support groups
About the Flourish service including how to get their help. Alternatively, you can call 0203 727 3600 to speak to a representative of Mind in confidence.
Young People’s Sanctuary
A new support service in Hertfordshire suitable for Ukrainian young people aged 11 to 16 yrs. The aim of the service is to create opportunities for young people seeking sanctuary in the UK to build support and friendship networks, reduce isolation and access activity sessions in the community. Contact email@example.com for more information.