ICN and CAN continue to support Ukrainian Refugees

Published on 9 June, 2023

International Care Network (ICN) is offering free advice and support to voluntary and community groups in Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole about how to work with refugees, especially from Ukraine. Currently there are about 284 families and 546 individuals in the local area, with housing as the most pressing need.

CAN successfully applied to its national body, NAVCA, for £10,000 to help local groups respond to the Ukrainian refugee crisis. ICN can offer free advice and support to any local up that is already working with Ukrainian refugees or interested in doing so. Groups do not have to have a special project for Ukrainian refugees but may just want to encourage Ukrainian refugees to make use of their existing services. Therefore they may just need a bit of information about how best to welcome and include them into their existing activities.

Since January ICN has:

  • made contact with groups already supporting Ukrainian refugees
  • set up a network of 24 groups (a couple are newly working with refugees) for sharing information including about who is doing what
  • given groups advice and support on working with refugees, in particular those from Ukraine
  • run its first course of four about working with Ukrainian refugees:
  • What a refugee is
  • Do’s and don’ts when supporting Ukrainian refugees
  • Ukrainian culture and potential challenges
  • Culture shock/trauma
  • Safeguarding basics
  • set up regular peer support meetings for groups
  • continued to attend the multi-agency forum coordinating the response of statutory and voluntary sector support for Ukrainian refugees

The regular communications are being well received and used to make connections between local groups. The feedback from the first training course was extremely positive with 75% strongly agreeing, and 25% agreeing, on delivery and content.

“It was above my expectations. Very informative and very helpful.”

“It was above my expectations. Very informative and very helpful. We can make simple adjustments to make our Ukrainian friends feel more welcome.”

Attending the multi-agency forum is proving to be very constructive and links are being made between statutory agencies with individuals and groups.

CAN can help local groups with advice and support on governance, volunteer recruitment and management and funding.

Any group that is supporting Ukrainian refugees or interested in doing so, either as a special project or just including them into existing activities, should contact Rebecca Fell at ICN on r.fell@icn.org.uk or 01202 589395