Newcastle City of Sanctuary is holding a webinar today (Thursday April 7) between 2pm and 3pm  for people who would like to find out more about hosting refugees from Ukraine.

It is open to everybody and will provide an update on the government’s  ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme and a brief overview of the key practical considerations hosts should consider. For people unable to make the webinar, it will be published later on the City of Sanctuary website.

Meanwhile, Action Foundation has compiled a best practice guide for people considering becoming hosts, following the launch of the first UK government-funded scheme linking sponsors with Ukrainian refugees,.

Action Foundation delivered a successful hosting project called Action Hosting  from 2016 until 2020 with 32 host families for 5,763 nights. Although we no longer provide this service, we know that hosting provides a vital pathway out of destitution and homelessness for hundreds of people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

We are therefore supporting local authorities in Tyne and Wear with information on good practice for hosting, which is based on NACCOM’s work (the No Accomodation Network of which Action Foundation is a member) and our own charity’s experience of running the former Action Hosting project.

Lesley Dunn, who used to oversee Action Hosting,  is also speaking at an event run by Newcastle City Council to talk to hosts about hosting practicalities this evening.  Lesley said:

 “It takes a special kind of person to open their home, potentially to a stranger. The response of the UK public has been outstanding. I hope Action Foundation’s experience of running a successful hosting scheme can support and help to prepare these hosts, ensuring a successful and fulfilling placement for all concerned.”

This evening’s event is for people who have already signed up to be sponsors and have been invited by the local authority. For those who may be interested in hosting but are not so far along the process, the charity Reset Communities and Refugees, which has led UK community sponsorship schemes since 2018, has launched a service to pair sponsors with refugees, provide training and assist with safeguarding.

Action Foundation’s best practice guide can be downloaded here.