How can Britons help Ukrainians during the conflict?

Around 368,000 Ukrainians have fled the nation following the Russian invasion.

28 February 2022

Britons have been asking how to help Ukrainians following Russia’s full-scale invasion of the nation.

The attack, launched on February 24, has seen around 368,000 Ukrainians flee the nation to safety.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has urged Britons not to travel to Ukraine to join the fighting, and help in other ways, such as donating money through the Ukrainian embassy to be spent on weaponry and aid, or to volunteer with organisations helping refugees.

Here are the ways you can help from home.

Donate to relevant charities

If you’re able to afford it, donating money to various charities will go a long way to supporting those on the ground.

Unicef executive director Catherine M Russell said in a statement: “Unicef is working across eastern Ukraine to scale up life-saving programmes for children. This includes trucking safe water to conflict-affected areas; prepositioning health, hygiene and emergency education supplies as close as possible to communities near the line of contact; and working with municipalities to ensure there is immediate help for children and families in need. Unicef-supported mobile teams are also providing psychosocial care to children traumatised by the chronic insecurity.”

Donate here: https://www.unicef.org/ukraine/en/take-action

High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the UN Refugee Agency is “working with the authorities, UN and other partners in Ukraine and is ready to provide humanitarian assistance wherever necessary and possible”. Donate here: donate.unrefugees.org.uk

Sunflower Of Peace is a local charity gathering medical supplies for paramedics and doctors on the front lines. Donate here: facebook.com/donate/507886070680475

The British Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal to help Ukraine – you can send your money here: donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

Finally, head to United Help Ukraine (unitedhelpukraine.org) to support a charity focused on providing humanitarian aid to those in need, as well as raising awareness of the conflict.

Write to your MP

The Ukrainian flag flying above 10 Downing Street
The Ukrainian flag flying above 10 Downing Street (Yui Mok/PA)

Writing a letter to your local MP can help urge the Government to do more to help the nation during the conflict.

To find your MP, visit the UK Parliament website on www.members.parliament.uk/members/Commons and type in your postcode or address.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that immediate family members will be able to join Ukrainians settled in the UK following a relaxation of visa requirements, while Mr Wallace has hinted further measures could be announced soon.

Support local journalism

The fact we’re so up to date with what’s happening in Ukraine is largely down to the tireless work of journalists reporting on the ground.

To help them continue this crucial work, follow the news from local sources such as The Kyiv Independent (kyivindependent.com – you can also donate on its website) and The New Voice of Ukraine (english.nv.ua).

Educating yourself on the history and nuances of the crisis from respected sources before speaking about it online will help tackle disinformation.

Join a peace protest

Demonstrators outside Leinster House in Dublin
Demonstrators outside Leinster House in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

This might not seem as direct a way to help Ukrainians as, for example, donating money – but it could still have a big impact.

Joining a peace protest (if you are able to do so and feel comfortable being in a crowd) is a public way of showing your support for the people of Ukraine, and putting pressure on those in powerful positions to help those affected.

Donate items locally

Donation points are being set up locally across the UK to help collect items for new arrivals moving from Ukraine to other nations.

According to reports, Leeds Polish Catholic Centre in West Yorkshire collected items such as blankets, clothes, toilet rolls, nappies and toothbrushes over the weekend while the White Eagle Club in south west London also received goods for refugees.

Volunteers are also needed to help sort through the items and pack them up to send them overseas.

Check your local news outlets and social media to see if donation points have been set up in your area.

They are often being established by Ukrainian and Polish community groups and churches in different towns and cities.

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