The Island is ready to support those who welcome refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine into their homes, the Isle of Wight Council and Community Action Isle of Wight have pledged.

The government has unveiled its Homes for Ukraine scheme to pay families to open up their homes to people who have escaped the conflict.

The council is encouraging those who can, to step forward with an offer of accommodation and help in supporting the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees on the Island.

The authority says it is currently waiting to hear more from government about how it can support communities who wish to offer assistance.

Any willing hosts can now register to take in refugees HERE

There will be a process of vetting, security checks and matching offers of accommodation against the refugee families and individuals with an expectation of the accommodation being for a minimum of six months.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Hosts will receive a payment of £350 per month.

While precise details of the visa process and sponsorship scheme are awaited, it is clear that under the scheme, Ukrainians who are matched and housed with a UK sponsor will be granted leave to remain for three years.

They will be able to work, claim benefits and access public services in that time.

All current details about the scheme are available on the government website.

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What is Community Action Isle of Wight doing?

Community Action Isle of Wight is also gearing up to welcome Ukrainians.

The charity, which worked closely with the council to coordinate much of the community support during the pandemic, will be working closely with the council and other partners to mobilise the support required on the Island.   

The first activity will be to gauge how many people may be arriving on the Island and to then begin co-ordinating the vital response and support required.

Mike Bulpitt, CEO of Community Action said: “We know that many people on the Island will be keen to play their part in providing shelter and support to people fleeing from the war in Ukraine and it is important that we act quickly to prepare for receiving people.

“The first stage of the scheme focuses on those who already know someone in Ukraine that they are willing to sponsor, and we particularly want to hear from those people now, with named contacts in Ukraine, who they will be supporting with a visa application.

“This will help us to gauge the immediate level of support required.”

Community Action Isle of Wight has established a dedicated email and a phoneline 01983 539374 which will operate initially from today and over this weekend but thereafter from Monday to Friday from 10am – 4pm. 

This email and number is also there for any Ukrainians on the Island needing help and support.

Ian Lloyd, Isle of Wight Council strategic manager for partnerships and support services, said: “This is a process that will need careful management so that we can keep pace with those arriving on the Island and give them the vital support they need.

“Although we know the scheme will be expanded at some point to include people in Ukraine that are not known to people here, right now we just need to hear from those who are in touch with named contact and intending to sponsor them. 

“We anticipate that people will start arriving fairly quickly now and it will be important that we can help them with finding school places for their children, help with medical issues, finding work and other forms of support."

Where to find help

  1. Anyone still wishing to register for the Homes for Ukraine scheme can do so on the Government’s website
  2. Anyone wishing to donate humanitarian aid or volunteer help can contact Isle of Wight Community Help for Ukraine via their Facebook page 
  3. For those wishing to donate Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) - UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL (by card) 

4. Details at 

5. For an overview on ways to help, see: 

What the politicians say

Council leader, Cllr Lora Peacey Wilcox, said the council stood ready to contribute wherever it could.

She said: "We know the Island will extend a warm and generous welcome to displaced Ukrainians and that both as individuals and communities we will do whatever is needed locally to help with this humanitarian crisis.

“Indeed, many have already donated aid to ensure that when our guests do arrive they can be provided with everything they need in order to settle, feel safe and rebuild their lives as best they can.”

Housing secretary Michael Gove said that he anticipated tens of thousands of Ukrainians might be taken in by UK families with the first arrivals within a week.

In a later phase of the scheme, organisations such as charities and churches will also be able to sponsor refugees.