I am sure many of us are watching with despair and horror at the terrible situation in Ukraine.
I am not sure I can truly imagine what it must feel like to be terrified for your life and those of your family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, including those living here with friends and family in Ukraine.
Central Bedfordshire is a place that welcomes refugees, and we stand ready to support and help families fleeing the country.
There may not be much we can do from here to help, and this adds to the desperation we all feel. Donating to relevant charities if you’re able to afford it, will go a long way to supporting those on the ground. If you cannot afford to do this, then please join us and others from around the world in expressing our solidarity with Ukraine.
Councillor Richard Wenham
Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council
Homes for Ukraine scheme
The Government has launched a scheme where UK residents can provide Ukraine refugees a home.
Individual sponsors will be asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free for as long as they are able, with a minimum stay of 6 months. In return, they will receive £350 per month.
Further details, including how to register your interest are on the government's website.
You can find answers to frequently asked questions on the government's website too.
You can read the government's factsheet for Ukrainians explaining the scheme and advice for preparing to travel (also available in Ukrainian).
If you hold a secure tenancy or a fixed-term tenancy with Central Bedfordshire Council, have a spare room you don’t use and want to take in a Ukrainian refugee, please contact your estates management officer to let them know by emailing email@example.com.
Information Ukrainian guests and sponsors
Please see our separate page for information and advice for guests and sponsors.
Translations and interpreters
The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) is part of a task force to ensure that the Ukrainian refugees are supported with information about Translators and Interpreters. The task force will produce a set of Ukrainian-English templates for the most commonly needed documents for visa applications: birth and marriage certificates.
You can find information on the ITI's website dedicated to the crisis.
Managing your feelings
If you are feeling overwhelmed by what is happening in Ukraine, it's not surprising. It is completely normal to feel anxious about what is going on. There are tried and tested ways to deal with what you’re feeling.
- manage your exposure – take regular breaks from the news or social media. Put your phone in another room for a while and do something else. Set specific times when you will catch up on the news
- look after your body – physical activity is extremely valuable for managing your wellbeing as is eating well, drinking plenty of water and prioritising sleep
- connect with others – talk to others, share what’s on your mind. Talking can help put things into perspective and help us feel less isolated. It can be hard to reach out but talking to a trusted friend, colleague or family member is something we’d encourage you to try, however you can
If you don’t feel like there’s anyone you can talk to, there are organisations that you can turn to:
- Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service
- BLMK Wellbeing and Mental Health: free webinars on wellbeing, covering anxiety, stress and sleep
- Samaritans: Listening service, open 24 hours a day, on 116 123
- CALM: Helpline open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58
- KOOTH: Mental health support and advice for 11-19-year-olds, 365 days a year
- SHOUT: Text SHOUT to 85258 24/7 free text service for anyone in crisis
Central Bedfordshire Council has no direct investments or contracts with any companies in Russia. We do not knowingly have any indirect investments either via contractors or invested funds. Company structures and investment portfolios are complex matters and detailed enquiries would need to be sent to those organisations concerned.