I know that many people across Pudsey, Horsforth & Aireborough would like to offer support and try to help those whose lives have been torn apart by ongoing crisis in Ukraine. I am extremely proud to represent such a generous constituency and I would like to personally thank all who have contacted me concerned for the people of Ukraine and offered support so far.
I have therefore been looking into the latest advice for the most effective ways of offering support.
Based on the latest information coming from those working on the ground, at the moment it appears as though the most effective and best way to help is, where possible, to make monetary donations to organisations who are able to distribute help to the right places as quickly as possible. The British Red Cross, for example, has told people it does not want donated goods as they “can slow down (the Red Cross’) response”.
The situation on the ground in Eastern Europe is understandably very complicated. Medical and military supplies are being delivered by various Governments by road, and where possible all channels and supply routes into Ukraine or to the Ukrainian border should be kept as free as possible for the most vital of supplies to make the most effective difference for the specific support Ukraine has been asking for. Charitable organisations are therefore appealing for monetary donations where possible.
Disasters Emergency Committee’s humanitarian appeal for Ukraine, currently offers one well established route for providing support whereby monetary donations to the appeal will go towards food, shelter and healthcare for displaced families. DEC charities are in Ukraine and neighbouring countries meeting the needs of all refugees - £30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month, £50 could provide blankets for four families and £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month.
Donations of all sizes are welcome and the UK Government has pledged to match pound-for-pound the first £20 million donated to this appeal. You can donate here.
If donating to any other charities the Government advise that you do appropriate due diligence to know how your donation will be used and that any payments are safe before handing over any money.
In addition to monetary donations, the Government announced this week that it would create a humanitarian sponsorship scheme which will enable local people to support refugees coming into Leeds, and to sponsor those who do not have a family connection that will allow them expedited entry to the UK. Those who come under this scheme will also be granted leave for an initial period of 12 months and they will be able to work and access public services. There will be no numerical limit on this scheme, and we will welcome as many Ukrainians as wish to come and have matched sponsors.
Making a success of the new humanitarian sponsorship pathway will require a national effort from the entire county. Given the outpouring of support and calls to do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine I know that our area and the wider Leeds community will play an incredibly important part of making this initiative a success. The Home Office will release more information on the operation of this scheme shortly.
I hope that the information on this page will be of use to anyone in Pudsey, Horsforth & Aireborough or the wider country looking to help the Ukrainian people.