Seaford Town Council stands with the people of Ukraine and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

In addition, the Town Council is doing the following in response:

  • We are flying a Ukrainian flag in solidarity.
  • We are posting appropriate messages of support on websites and on social media.
  • Public wishing to support a relief effort are being signposted to recognised and appropriate charities (see below).

Seaford Town Council is also working closely with the Seaford for Ukraine support project, where community, church and civic leaders are working in partnership together to support hosts and their Ukrainian guests in Seaford and the local area. To keep up to date with this important project please visit and follow the Seaford for Ukraine Facebook Page.

Financial donations:

The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) has set up a humanitarian appeal to raise funds to provide food, water, shelter and medical assistance to Ukrainian refugees and displaced people. To find out more about the appeal and make a donation follow this link.

For other donations, the following charities may be of interest. Any amount you can give will go a long way to helping those in need.

Homes for Ukraine Scheme:

UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can now record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war through the government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme. UK households that welcome a family from Ukraine will receive £350 a month. Visit the website  here for more information.

The Ukraine Family Scheme:

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK. To find out more information about this scheme please click here.

Visas

We know many people are frustrated that visas for Ukrainian guests are not being issued as quickly as they would like. Visas are entirely managed by the Home Office and we cannot give people any information about the progress of visa applications.

People are asked to contact the Government helpline on:

  • +44 808 164 8810
  • 0808 164 8810 (in the UK)

To find out more information about this scheme please click here

East Sussex County Council Update

Homes for Ukraine

Latest figures show that at least 960 guests have arrived in East Sussex under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Our thanks to every host and every community for making our guests welcome.

The guests are at 374 different properties across the county. More than 280 school places have been allocated to Ukrainian children.

The figures suggest we can expect more than 1,460 Ukrainians to come to East Sussex in total, meaning the county has received a little over 60% of our number of anticipated arrivals.

DistrictNumber of Refugees Matched to Host
Eastbourne98
Hastings77
Lewes194
Rother187
Wealdon407

 

Welcome guide for hosts published

We have now published our welcome guide for refugees in Russian  as well as Ukrainian and English. We know that Russian is the first language of some people who have fled Ukraine. 

You can easily switch between all three language versions of the guide on our page. It offers advice on health, benefits and employment, banking, education and more, as well as a welcome to East Sussex. We will keep it updated. 

The guide for hosts (which can also be printed) is online.

Financial Support

Local payment centres open from Monday

We're also launching a new way of getting the £200 welcome payment to guests arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

They'll be sent a voucher code to their mobile phones which they'll then be able to show at any post office branch to get the payment. One person will be able to obtain the one-off payment for everyone in their group.

Text messages from the post office will begin going out to recently-arrived guests from next week.

Some guests may first be contacted by one of the local councils to check the right number to use.

This payment system will replace the payments which our brilliant local voluntary action groups have been managing up to now. We hope new arrivals will find it an easy way to collect their welcome payment.

  • In Eastbourne, Lewes or Wealden - contact 01323 639373
  • In Hastings - contact 01424 444010 
  • In Rother - contact 07871 603235

On contact, they will be told where to collect the payment. Everyone will be asked to sign a receipt for the cash. Guests should bring their passport (or if they do not have one, their confirmed visa or eVisa code or Biometric Residence Permit). Adults will be able to collect payments for those in their family under the age of 18.

We have already made urgent payments to many arrivals. Only one payment per person is possible and only for those arriving through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Payments by post 

Most of our guests already in East Sussex have now received the £200 welcome payment for each person arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

If not, they can request the cash payment by contacting their local voluntary association:

  • In Eastbourne, Lewes or Wealden - contact 01323 639373
  • In Hastings - contact 01424 444010 
  • In Rother - contact 01424 217259 or 07871 603235

Or, they can request the payment by cheque which will be sent by post and can be cashed at any branch of NatWest bank. Email ukraine@eastsussex.gov.uk to request this.

Host Payments - change to first payment

Local boroughs or district councils are now contacting hosts to advise them how to claim their optional £350 monthly ‘thank you’ payment, funded by the national government.

East Sussex County Council and our partners want to say an additional ‘thank you’ so we’ll be topping up the first month’s payment to £500 (for those who wish to claim) in recognition of the incredible support and commitment our hosts have provided and the costs that can come with this.

Help with claiming benefits

There's full advice on how to claim benefits (including Universal Credit) in our 'Welcome to East Sussex' guide for guests.

They will need a face to face appointment to provide ID after making a claim. This will be at one of the five Jobcentres in East Sussex: in Hastings (two sites), Bexhill, Eastbourne (2 sites), Lewes and Newhaven. 

Some Jobcentres open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, so in most weeks they might be asked to attend on any of those days. However all centres will be closed from next Thursday to Sunday (2-5 June) for the bank holiday weekend. 

Claimants are paired with a Work Coach to help them into employment and all jobcentres offer translation services on site. 

There's more in our online welcome guide, in Ukrainian, Russian and English. Welcome to East Sussex | East Sussex County Council 

Recruitment Days for Ukrainian Guests

Recruitment days are being held in the coming weeks to support Ukrainian guests in finding work. Local employers will be attending and actively recruiting for jobs. These events will take place at the following:

💼 Eastbourne Jobcentre  ️ 24th June
💼 Hastings Jobcentre  ️ 29th June

Ukrainian guests can contact their Jobcentre Plus Work Coach for more information.

English Language Classes for Ukrainians

A number of English language courses are available for those Ukrainians that wish to develop their English language skills. These include:

  • Learning | East Sussex Libraries
  • Pre-entry ESOL programme – 11 week courses through East Sussex College Group in Hastings and Eastbourne
  • Babbel - the language app, is offering free courses in English for Ukrainian refugees:
  • Busuu language app is also offering its premium service free to Ukrainians for 3 months.
  • Sanctuary Cafe
    🕓 Fridays between 10 am and midday (12pm).
    📍  All Souls Church Hall, Wellesley Road, Eastbourne
  • Ukrainian Café Hub
    🕓 Tuesday afternoon 1-4 pm
    📍  Robertson Street, Hastings – conversational English groups
  • Education Training Consortium Sussex - based in Hastings and St Leonards. Currently offering Beginner-Elementary and Pre-Intermediate English lessons as well as IT lessons. Currently offering 8 classes per week. Looking to set up coffee mornings for conversational English.
  • Refugee Buddy Project - based in Hastings and Rother - provide informal English conversation workshops, 1hr per week, helping with understanding bills, council tax, housing, driving theory.

For more information on education and training opportunities for Ukrainians in East Sussex, they can now visit the East Sussex College Ukraine Support website here.

From 'strange' to 'normal' to 'family'...

With at least 780 Ukrainian refugees now being hosted in East Sussex, our sincere thanks for the welcome you and your communities are giving our guests.

We know there may be times when hosts or guests find it difficult to adjust to living with strangers from a different culture.

We'd ask everyone to try all routes to make their new life together work. We're very rarely able to simply move guests to a new property, and the outlook for guests having to live in temporary accommodation or becoming homeless is not a good one.

We'll offer support and services wherever we can. For severe difficulties, contact us at ukraine@eastsussex.gov.uk 

As one host wrote:

"Yes, it is initially a little ‘strange’ having people you don’t really know living in your house, but it very quickly becomes ‘normal’ and very soon after they become ‘family’ and you will quickly adapt to a new routine."

We hope the experience will be rewarding for everyone.

Free membership with Freedom Leisure

Freedom Leisure Centres across the south east of England are currently offering Ukrainians free access to their facilities for the next 3 months, including use of the swimming pool, gym and fitness classes.

Participating centres are located across Hastings, Rother, Wealden, Brighton, Woking, Guildford and Arun.

To redeem this offer, Ukrainians should visit their local Freedom Leisure Centre www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/where they will be able to sign up on arrival.

Free bus travel on offer

Two bus companies that operate in East Sussex, Stagecoach and Brighton and Hove buses, are offering four weeks' free travel to Ukrainian refugees.

From Monday (25 April), Stagecoach passes can be collected from the local voluntary associations listed above in the payments item. The bus passes will run for four weeks from the day they are first used.

Brighton and Hove buses are also offering four weeks' free travel to Homes for Ukraine arrivals. To collect a travel pass, your guests should take their passport and visa to one of the company's offices:

1 Stop Travel Shop - 26 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB  Open Monday to Friday - 0830-18.30, Saturday - 0900-1730, Sunday and Bank Holidays - 0930-1600

Head Office travel shop - 43 Conway Street, Hove BN3 3LT  Open Monday to Friday - 0830-1700

Education

The county council is working with local schools to identify where places can quickly be opened for Ukrainian children to resume their education.

Applications for a school place can be made online:

Apply for a place during the school year | East Sussex County Council

And parents can ask for more help by email form:

Contact us by email | East Sussex County Council

How to ask for more information

We know many of you might still have questions. Please contact us if you do:

Telephone - 01323 724748 (10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).

Emailukraine@eastsussex.gov.uk

Seaford Community Appeals:

There are a number of local community volunteer groups are working tirelessly, collecting donations and raising funds to help refugees from Ukraine. If you would like to support the effort of these volunteers please click through the relevant links below. If you have an appeal you would like to feature please email the details to admin@seafordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Sussex Removals and Storage:

Sussex Removals Ukrainian Donation Point Infographic

Sussex Removals  are sourcing and sending items directly to Ukraine. If any local residents would like to help this appeal urgent donations include food, hygiene essentials, infant and childcare materials. Sussex Removals are also accepting monetary donations which will go directly towards fuel and ferry costs and you can donate to that appeal  here. Items can be dropped:

- Sussex Removals and Storage, Trafalgar House, Quarry Road, Newhaven, BN9 9DD
- Butterfly Nursery, Meridian Centre, Peacehaven, BN10 8BB
- Bin Drops: Please see Sussex Removals  Facebook page  for updates

 

St. Peter's Church, East Blatchington:

Seaford for Ukraine fundraiser graphicSt. Peter's Church is running the Seaford for Ukraine Fundraiser. Donations will be used to create a fund for grants to help cover the cost needed to help people settle who are fleeing from Ukraine. For more information on this fundraiser, please click here.

 

Rotary Club of Seaford:

Seaford Rotary Club Members Fundraising in Seaford for Ukraine with QR code overlay for donations

Seaford Rotary  members have been busy taking to the streets of Seaford to raise funds for humanitarian aid for Ukraine with over £1000 collected. Seaford Rotary will be passing these funds onto the Seaford for Ukraine Fundraiser. For those who did not get a chance to contribute, the Rotary Rotary has set up a Crowdfunding Page  in aid of Ukraine through which the public can donate and for which the Rotary will match fund the first £10,000, click the link above or follow the QR code on the image.

St Andrew's Church Bishopstone:

Charity Concert on Saturday 21 May at 3 pm

Tickets £10.00 from Newberry Tully, or Seaford Tourist Information.