Thanks to all those who joined us at the peace vigil in Winchester this evening to stand in solidarity together with refugees from Ukraine and elsewhere. Many people asked us what they could do to help. Here are some suggestions:
- Locally, you can support organisations like us by volunteering or partnering with Winchester City of Sanctuary to make Winchester a city of Sanctuary or by making a pledge or resolution to be a place or space of sanctuary, a commitment that sets out your individual or organisational intentions about how you will support those seeking sanctuary to feel welcome, safe, and part of our community here in Winchester. Winchester City Council have made a commitment to work towards being a city of sanctuary and a council of sanctuary as demonstrated in their recent motion. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas for how you could go about making a pledge or resolution. We can provide you with templates for pledges and offer support.
- You can support SWVG and other local organisations like TwoSaints, the Rural Refugee Network, Southampton Standuptoracism, Clear Southampton and Southampton or Portsmouth City of Sanctuary.
- Nationally and internationally, there are many different organisations you can support. Here are a few suggested by the Guardian in an article today:
- Voices of Children – a Ukrainian charity that helps children recover from the impact of war. See https://voices.org.ua/en/
- Sunflower of Peace – a US based non-profit providing medical aid in Ukraine
- United Help Ukraine – provides medical supplies and humanitarian aid. See https://unitedhelpukraine.org/
- British-Ukrainian Aid – they provide assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged people. See https://british-ukrainianaid.org/
- UNHCR– UNHCR has launched an emergency appeal for Ukrainian refugees. See https://giving.unhcr.org/en/ukraine/
- UNICEF Ukraine – is providing an emergency response to children affected by the conflict. See https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/donate-now-to-protect-children-in-ukraine/
- You can support Ukrainian journalists in Ukraine covering events on the ground including:
- You can write to your MP individually or collectively urging them to do the following:
- We urge the UK government to waive visas for Ukrainian refugees.
- We urge the UK government to scrap the anti-refugee nationality and borders bill which undermines the very idea of sanctuary.
- We urge the UK government to urgently establish accessible, safe, and legal routes to the UK to ensure that people do not face additional precarity in trying to reach safety.
- We urge the UK government to take steps to end the violence in Ukraine – including sanctions, safe passage for refugees and additional humanitarian and financial aid.
There are some templates for letters available here that you can adapt and/or add any/all of the above points
- You can sign a petition to the UK government to waive visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees.
- You can donate to Polski Klub Southampton. See a list of items they are seeking here: https://www.facebook.com/PolskiKlubSouthampton/
- If you would like to talk to your child about events in Ukraine, there are a few resources below that may help you to find the right language to discuss what can be for many difficult subjects. You will need to consider what language is age appropriate.