We are pleased to say that since we sent out our last update on the response to Ukraine, Fr Hudson’s Care has received numerous offers of sponsorship/accommodation and of translation skills in Russian and Ukrainian. The evident enthusiasm for support from our parishes and parishioners is a great testament to our faith.
Since our last update, we have continued to work with Fr Hudson’s Care, with our Ukrainian communities, with local councils and with agencies such as Reset and CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) to understand how best to offer our support as a diocese.
So far, a lot of our work has been preparatory- the Coventry Catholic Ukrainian community has been supporting Coventry City Council by checking the Ukrainian translations on the council’s website and all of our Ukrainian communities are compiling lists of potential interpreters/translators ready to support potential refugees.
As we understand it only a few refugees have arrived from Ukraine so far under the families’ scheme, and they have been accommodated with family members. We are not aware of anyone yet arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, needing housing or schooling. We are expecting some more guidance from the government on the matching process over the coming days, but we are acutely aware that the matching process needs more support to ensure that refugees can safely come to the UK.
It is imperative to us that we must utilise our own Catholic network in this country and in Europe to help to identify refugees and help them find sponsors here in the UK to expedite their journey for safety and support.
To do this we are discussing whether we will need to recruit a qualified staff member to help us to build our local capacity for support, and to enable people to come from Ukraine and be housed safely within our local communities. We are also discussing how we would gain funding for this position and may be asking for donations towards this in the near future.
Father Hudson’s is happy to continue to receive offers of accommodation and language services and to support and remain in touch with those who offer their help: Your Help | Birmingham Diocesan Trust (birminghamdiocese.org.uk)