Ukraine Crisis Emergency Appeal
The Diocese of Llandaff stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Ukraine. We condemn Russia's brutal and unprovoked attack on a democratic country and we pray for a peaceful and swift resolutionThe Right Reverend June Osborne Bishop of Llandaff
On this page
The world was united in shock last week when Russian Federation forces launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Fighting continues to intensify and a humanitarian crisis has developed both within Ukraine and on it's western borders as thousands of civilians seek sanctuary.
As Christians our response at times of crisis is rooted in prayer. There is power in lamenting with the people of Ukraine, standing in unity in grief for the innocent and frightened, and praying for peace. As a church, and as a nation, we need to step-up for the people of Ukraine, to unite in providing the clothing, sanitary products, medicines and supplies that the people in Ukraine need. To raise money for those agencies on the ground supporting the most vulnerable in Ukraine, and to challenge the Government to do more to offer refuge and sanctuary in Wales and the rest of the UK to those seeking safety away from their homes.
How You Can Help
Churches wishing to offer practical support are encouraged to collect and donate to the emergency appeal organized by Polonia dla Ukrainy (Polish Community for Ukraine). They are collecting items across South Wales which are being collated in Newport before being driven the the Polish border with Ukraine to support refugees there. This is a very fluid situation and Polonia dla Ukrainy have been overwhelmed with support. They have asked for donations to stop whilst their clear their warehouses. We will update the toolkit when the situation changes. Once collections are open again, the confirmed Polonia dla Ukrainy collection points in the Diocese are:
Please check the social media pages for these collections sites for the latest details once collections are back open again. We have reached out to Polonia dla Ukrainy to offer additional support and collection points across the diocese.
In addition to the Polonia dla Ukrainy collection points, two Ministry Areas are currently arranging collections in Port Talbot (St. Paul's Centre, Gerald St SA12 6DQ) and Aberdare (St Fagan's Community Hall, Windsor Street CF44 8LL).
As you can imagine this is a fast moving situation, and the needs of refugees change regularly. However, as of Wednesday 2nd March these are the current most pressing needs are:
- Batteries, torches and candles
- Operational walkie talkies
- Sanitary and personal hygiene products
- Thermal gloves, hats, warm socks etc. - all new is preferred
- Painkillers and medical supplies such as bandages (especially for wounds and burns)
- Disposable gloves and disinfectants
- New nappies and nappy bags
Please ensure all items are either new or in very good condition.
Depaul International Ukraine Emergency Appeal
Depaul International, parent organisation to Depaul Ukraine, has launched an emergency appeal for Ukraine as millions flee and face shelling from Russian forces. The homelessness charity, which works in Odessa, Kharkiv and Ivano-Frankivsk, is remaining in place offering emergency shelter, advice and food to homeless people across Ukraine who are terrified as Russia launches a full-scale invasion. The charity is urgently appealing for funds as the situation escalates and the diocese is encouraging you to support them.
Christian Aid Emergency Appeal
Christian Aid have launched an emergency appeal to support the half a million people who have fled Ukraine in recent days. They are working with organisations in the ACT Alliance (a global faith-based coalition) to offer assistance to Ukraine refugees fleeing the deadly violence. So far 28 tonnes of food supplies and other lifesaving essentials have been distributed to people on the Ukrainian borders.
Hosting a Refugee
Refugees seeking safety in Wales have often faced dangerous and frightening journeys to get here. There have been many stories from Ukrainians in Poland and France who have walked thousands of miles to try and find safety. As Ukrainian refugees, and refugees from across the world, start arriving in Wales, many may be without a home and are extremely vulnerable to exploitation. Housing Justice Cymru is appealing to anyone with a spare room to host Ukrainian refugees, predominantly women and children, seeking sanctuary in Wales during these terrifyingly turbulent times.
Hosting a refugee through Housing Justice Cymru simply means opening up your home to somebody in need – somebody who has been through a lot and has nowhere else to turn. You don’t have to be a mentor, teacher or even a companion – a spare room is all that’s needed, though many do go on to build lasting, meaningful friendships with those they have given a room too.
If you're interested in exploring how you might be able to offer a spare room to a refugee you can visit the Housing Justice Cymru website at https://housingjustice.org.uk/cymru/hosting
Long-Term Refugee Support
As the situation continues to intensify in Ukraine it is likely we'll see further displacement of people seeking safety in Europe, including Wales and the UK. As set-out during the initial stages of the crisis in Afghanistan, the Diocese is making a commitment through our Mission and Outreach strategy to support the Welsh Government's policy to make Wales a nation of sanctuary, ensuring that the church and society are united in doing all it can to ensure migrants, refugees and their families are able to reach safety here in Wales.
1. Welcome Churches
As part of this commitment it is our ambition to have at least one church in each Ministry Area registered as a Welcome church. These are churches that are committed to actively welcoming refugees, meaning that as refugees and asylum seekers move around the UK and into Wales, they can easily find a church to welcome them into the community. These churches can also participate in the Welcome Box scheme. These are boxes filled with small gifts as well as information about local groups and services, that are delivered to the homes of those who have recently arrived in the area.
In preparation for people arriving in the UK from Ukraine, Welcome Churches has launched ukrainewelcome.org, a tool that provides information in English, Ukrainian and Russian for people arriving in the UK from Ukraine to help them settle and connect with a community, to be welcomed and receive the help and support they need. We would love churches across the diocese to play a role in welcoming and supporting these refugees, so please do consider where one of the churches in your ministry area could join the Welcome Churches network.
2. Community Sponsorship
Community Sponsorship is a UK wide refugee resettlement programme, where ordinary people gather together to sponsor and welcome refugee families to your neighbourhood, supporting them after their arrival and helping them settle faster into their new lives.
Through the Mission and Outreach Strategy, and in partnership with Citizens Cymru, it is our ambition to bring together churches and ministry areas to run at least one Community Sponsorship programme in each of the local authority areas of the diocese – Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, the Vale of Glamorgan, and Cardiff.
We’re delighted that St Mary the Virgin, Butetown (part of the South Cardiff Ministry Area) and the Parish of Pontyclun, Talygarn and Llanharry (part of the Llantrisant Ministry Area) are blazing the trail with Community Sponsorship already.
Write to your MP/MS
We believe that when we speak together, we can use our voice bring about real change at a political level – whether over devolved matters in the Senedd or UK-wide at Westminster.
UK Government restrictions are making it exceptionally hard for many Ukrainians with British family to find safety in the UK, and it is impossible for those who do not have family here. It's vitally important that the Home Office looks again at it's approach to refugees fleeing extreme danger in Ukraine.
Not only that, but the UK Government is in the process of introducing legislation in the form of the Nationality and Borders Bill that will discriminate against those who are forced to flee danger. Refugees arriving in the UK not via one of the approved schemes (such as those who, in desperation, may have travelled here across Europe) will not enter the asylum system, and instead face having their case treated as inadmissible and deportation back to danger. As there is currently no legal route for refugees from Ukraine into the UK, this would apply to any Ukrainian looking for safety here today. Many believe this to be a breach of the 1951 Refugee Convention, and is a policy the UNHCR has said will "damage lives, be hard to implement, and undermine international cooperation on refugee issues."
Write to your MP/MS
Write to your Member of Parliament and your Member of the Senedd/Aelodau o'r Senedd, urging them to pressure the UK Government to act with more urgency on Ukrainian refugees, and to change the discriminatory elements of the Nationality and Borders Bill. You can find the contact details of your MP and MS/AS here: https://www.writetothem.com/
If you'd like some advice and support on advocacy in the Diocese of Llandaff, or support in writing to your Member of Parliament or Member of the Senedd/Aelodau o'r Senedd, please contact Christoph Auckland, the Diocesan Senior Outreach Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vigil for Peace Liturgy
Download and use