“Along with the rest of our country, I am appalled at this baseless invasion on Ukraine and our thoughts are firmly with the people of Ukraine whose fear and uncertainty must be acutely palpable. I think particularly of the people of Chornomorsk who are twinned with Sinaia our twin town in Romania. I sincerely hope the people of Ukraine are able to withstand the horror of this dreadful assault on their country and come through what are and will be incredibly difficult times. I am sure the people of Thame will join with me in condemning this unprovoked attack on a sovereign country and offer what support we can.”
Councillor Nigel Champken-Woods, Thame Town Council
This page has been created to assist residents in Thame who are hosting / sponsoring Ukrainians, Ukrainians who have arrived in Thame, and anyone who wishes to provide support through donations or otherwise.
This page is updated as information is sent to us – please keep checking back.
Page last updated: 21 July 2022.
Thame for Ukraine Facebook Group – A group to help Thame residents interested in helping Ukrainian war refugees connect and share. It can also be a way for refugees living in Thame to connect and build a community with other Ukrainians.
There is also a local WhatsApp group for ‘hosts’ in Thame, and a Viber group for refugees in the area. Both groups can be accessed by contacting the administrator of the above Facebook group.
Use these links to navigate this page, or you can search this page by pressing ‘ctrl’ + ‘f’ on desktop for specific words:
- Local information networks
- Information for Ukrainians coming to Thame
- Support & Activities for Ukrainians in Thame
- Information for Thame residents hosting Ukrainians
- How to make a donation (financial or items)
- How you can provide support (volunteering)
- General Information / Resources
Local Contact Details
- Oxfordshire Ukraine helpline: +44 1865 966444 / 01865 966 444 (opening hours: 8.45am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and bank holidays).
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK – Produced by the UK Government, this guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK covers what you need to know in your first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.
- Будьте в безпеці у Великобританії – ВАШЕ БЕЗПЕЧНЕ ПЕРЕБУВАННЯ У ВЕЛИКОБРИТАНІЇ
- Ласкаво просимо: довідник для українців, які прибувають у Велику Британію – Це довідник для українців, які прибувають у Велику Британію. Тут також міститься окрема інформація для осіб, які прибувають за програмою «Домівка для України».
- Checklist for coming to the UK – what you need to do before you travel to the UK and what to do after you arrive, including living, driving and working in the UK.
- What do I need to organise when I arrive?
- Thame Town Guide – contains lots of information on local churches (page 25), nurseries and schools (page 62-63), and healthcare (pages 68–69).
- Community & Business Directory – search for local groups and businesses.
A-Z of Useful Information and Tips (Thame specific where possible)
Accommodation (How to Apply)
- Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme – Guidance for Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.
- Homes for Ukraine – a factsheet detailing how Ukrainians can apply to the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
- How can I get to my accommodation when I arrive in the UK?
Advice / Safeguarding
- Citizens Advice provide free impartial advice on immigration, benefits, housing and work. Citizens Advice have produced a leaflet in Ukrainian (JPEG image, link to Facebook).
- FAQ: How will you keep me and my family safe?
Banks / Money
There are three banks in Thame. Below are their links for Ukrainians opening a bank account.
- HSBC, 44 Upper High Street, Thame, OX9 2DW
- Lloyds, 13-14 Cornmarket, Thame, OX9 2BN
- Natwest, 3 Cornmarket, Thame, OX9 3YS
- Download the application form from the bank’s website and fill in (this can be filled in by the host)
- When going to the bank you will need your passport and visa, ID, and proof of address as sponsor
- Bank will copy and send off for an account and debit card (contactless may need to be explained)
- Cards can take 7-10 days to arrive.
- Complete application for biometrics resident permit – UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (ukvcas.co.uk)
- Upload all documents you would have previously uploaded for initial visa application
- You then book an appointment – currently a 3-4 week lead time. You may have to travel for the appointment.
- You guest will then receive an email from UKVCAS confirming appointment and providing information
- A pop-up clothing store of donated clothes, accessories and toiletries for Ukrainians (adults and children) is now relocated to The Mabel Parkinson Room, Haddenham Village Hall (HP17 8EE), on Tuesdays 3pm to 5pm, Thursdays 1:30pm to 3pm and Saturdays 10am to 12:30pm. Donations no longer being accepted. Guests can come and choose whatever they need free of charge and are not limited to what they take or how many times they visit.
- £100 vouchers for Barnardo’s shops – Barnardo’s has teamed up with The Loomba Foundation, a UN-accredited NGO,
to make £100 vouchers available to refugee families in the UK. Vouchers are available from Barnardo’s Refugee helpline (0800 148
8586), which is staffed by speakers of English, Ukrainian, Russian and a
number of other languages.
- Rycote Practice – Download the ‘New Patient Registration’ form. This can be filled out by the host, but you will need to go in person with ID to complete the registration.
Phones / Sim Cards
- Red Kite Family Centre have 60 free Pay as You Go SIMs available with 20GB data each month plus unlimited calls and texts for a period of six months. This is part of Vodaphone’s ‘Everyone Connected’ scheme to support Ukrainian refugees with their connectivity in our communities. Contact Red Kite Family Centre for more information.
- Bringing your pet to the UK from Ukraine
- Emergency support put in place for people fleeing Ukraine and entering the UK with their pets
- Petcare (15 Cornmarket, Thame) are accepting dog food for dogs in Ukraine.
- Guide to applying for a school place in Thame [PDF], produced by a Thame resident.
- Registering children for nursery, school or college
- Send letter confirming sponsorship and copy of council tax bill to email@example.com
National Insurance (NI) Number
- When you apply for Universal Credit (see below), it will generate an application for a NI number.
- Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) will then SMS the number on the UC application with an appointment. DWP need to speak with your guest – you could use Google Translate. Answer some security questions and then you will be issued with a seven digit reference number on the call, you need to upload this to the UC site using the journal function https://www.universal-credit.service.gov.uk/sign-in
- Apply via the Government’s Universal Credit webpage.
- The host can complete this and use their contact details.
- If you don’t have a bank account yet, but are in the process of applying, then in Bank Name and Account name enter No Bank Yet, for sort code enter 000000 for bank account enter 00000000 (no gaps). This will return an error of up to 6 times then will be accepted (ideally do this whilst on the phone to an advisor)
- You will get to the end of the process and the next step is a call from Universal Credit on an 0800 or unknown number to confirm identity within 2-3 days. When the bank account comes through you can update the profile
- Visa Support for Ukrainians already in the UK – Ukrainians already in the UK with a visa will be able to extend their stay by extending their visa or switching to another immigration route, where eligible, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so. This page also has information on other visas (visitor visas, skilled worker visas, student visas and seasonal worker visas) and visa support information.
- UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals – the support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members.
- Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa – guidance for family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme.
Meeting space – Here are some of the known local meeting spaces. More details to follow.
- Thame – The organisers of ‘Thame for Ukraine Facebook Group‘ have set up a weekly meet up for Ukrainians in Thame – Thursdays 10:30am-12:30pm at Thame Guide Hut. This will be a space to relax meeting other Ukrainians in Thame.
- Young People in Thame – Thame Youth Projects are keen to help provide support and help your young people settle into life in Thame. Get in touch with them if you have ideas / needs they can help with.
- Risborough Youth Club – from Wednesday 27th April for 4-6 weeks, a youth club session for young people from Ukraine who might like to pop up, meet some others from their home country, and hang out.
Sports / Activities
- Some sports clubs are offering free/reduced membership for Ukrainians in Thame. More details to follow.
- Thame Library – free to join, free-to-use computers and Wi-Fi.
Employment – some local businesses are actively looking to support Ukrainian refugees through employment and work. Browse local employment opportunities and events here.
- Dr Challoner’s High School – Join us, every Tuesday, for conversational English and structured language lessons. Open to all refugee communities, of all ages and language ability. Starting on Tuesday 14th June.
- English Lessons are being held weekly in Thame Town Hall. Contact the organisers of ‘Thame for Ukraine Facebook Group‘.
- Introduction to UK classes at Abingdon and Witney college, on the Abingdon Campus. Spaces available for free short courses in English in August and September for 16-18 year old and 19+. People can register on this webpage. The college may be able to help with transport.
Homes for Ukraine – Sponsor Guidance – UK Government webpage containing important information for sponsors including responsibilities of sponsors and how sponsors may support their guests.
Oxfordshire County Council have produced some useful information pages:
Support for hosts and guests
Any host or guest who needs support and advice should contact SODC’s community support team either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly on 01235 422600 via option one. Phonelines are open 8.30am -5pm Mon-Thurs and 8.30am – 4.30pm Fri.
- OCC and SODC are coordinating to make sure cash payments of £200 per Ukrainian guest are made soon after arrival.
- OCC will send out a letter and sponsor pack once all the checks have taken place, this will have information on guest and sponsor funding, all county and district councils are applying different methods from vouchers to cheques and even cash. Central govt has allocated funds to local authorities already so its just a case of waiting for the payment method.
Clothing / Toiletries
Love in a Bag Thame are providing bags of toiletry essentials and a few treats for adults arriving in the area from Ukraine.
Sharing Life Trust Thame are accepting donations to support Ukrainians in Thame. Please note that any unused donations for this cause will be put towards other local projects.
- Disasters Emergencies Committee
- British Red Cross has launched a Ukraine Crisis Appeal
- UNHCR refugee agency
- UN’s children’s charity, UNICEF
More information on Making a Donation can be found on SODC’s website.
Love in a Bag Thame are not currently accepting items and there is no donation box in the Town Hall. Please check their Facebook page for updates. The team would like to thank everyone for their support.
Clothing / Furniture Donations:
There is not currently a clothing or furniture donation point in Thame. If you do want to donate clothing, the best place to look is on social media where people hosting Ukrainians can ask for items they need, examples of local groups include:
- Freebay Thame – The group set up to offer free items to help stop them from going to landfill and to do something nice for someone else.
- Thame for Ukraine Facebook Group
A pop-up store has been set up for Ukrainians in Thame needing clothing. See ‘clothing’ under the Information & Advice for Ukrainians coming to Thame section of this page.
Diocese of Oxford, working with Citizens UK, are looking for people who want to help but cannot provide accommodation, for example by picking up a family from the airport, helping with paperwork for the GP or local schools, or being a friendly face they can talk to in a difficult time.