It is amazing that you’ve chosen to take part in the ‘Homes for Ukraine Scheme’ and make a real difference in people’s lives. Here at Huddersfield Ukrainian Club, we’ve created this leaflet with some advice and guidance on hosting people from Ukraine, and their culture. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via Facebook or email.
More than just a roof over someone’s head.
Welcoming a refugee is much more than just providing accommodation. Many Ukrainians who are fleeing need a safe space to call home in the coming months, and people to help them integrate within the local community.
Some invaluable day-to-day tasks include providing a safe space to live, explaining local traditions and culture, supporting language development, and interpreting important letters and emails. Simple things like showing how to use public transport can help your guest maintain a sense of freedom.
It’s important to consider communication before you host Ukrainian refugees. Despite the obvious language barrier, there are steps you can take to communicate efficiently. The Google Translate app is extremely useful in providing real-time translations into Ukrainian. Other language apps, such as Duolingo, can aid you in learning basic Ukrainian phrases.
It will also be useful to learn a bit of Ukrainian culture. Having a host who understands their customs, or even has a few products from Ukraine, can make a huge difference in making them feel at home.
Encourage them to talk.
Many Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK have witnessed traumatic life events, and will have most likely left family members and friends behind. Asking them questions about themselves such as, “Tell me what things you like”, and “What have you done for work?” can help you get to know each other, and also help them to open up.
Some may not want to talk about their life in Ukraine just yet, and it’s important to remember everyone deals with trauma differently. A nice idea might be to buy them a notebook and pen for them to jot down their feelings and experience in coming to the UK.
Be respectful of privacy.
Even though you are opening up your home to them, it’s important to remember that some might need privacy for short while to adjust to their new surroundings and come to terms with everything that is happening. Designating specific areas in your home where they can relax privately or gather in communal rooms – such as the garden, living room, kitchen – can help ease their move and make them feel welcome.
Connect with other Ukrainians.
There is already a thriving Ukrainian community here in the UK that can answer your questions and also provide a sense of ‘home away from home’ for your guest. Huddersfield's Ukrainian Centre is a hub of activity for West Yorkshire.
If Huddersfield isn't your closest Club, you can visit this website to find a list of all Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain communities in the UK.
Take care of yourself.
Hosting an individual or a family is a big step, but it can be equally as important for you. Many who have hosted families before describe making “friends for life”, as it opens the door to a whole new world of culture and language.
Here at Huddersfield Ukrainian Club, we are open every weekend for you to pop in and meet the wider community, Friday 7-11 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m.
We will provide an insight into the vibrant Ukrainian culture, explain what we do in the community, and help with language basics and translating apps. Please feel free to ask any questions, we are here to help!
Kirklees Council will have a dedicated team based at our Ukrainian Club. There will be support links available for hosts, your guests, and their children. We will be posting a detailed update within the next week.
About Huddersfield Ukrainian Club.
At Huddersfield Ukrainian Club, our intention is to keep our culture and traditions alive, passing them on to our future generations, whilst also promoting and supporting the interests of our Ukrainian Community.
We work to promote community spirit and encourage our members, from all generations and backgrounds, to discover more about our vibrant heritage and promote our cultural and educational centre.
We are open to everyone, and are here to help with any cultural questions you may have.
Upcoming Ukrainian Cultural Events.
We host regular Ukrainian cultural events throughout the year. The following are the next few
24th April: Ukrainian Easter Sunday. This is an important religious holiday for many Ukrainians, and this year will be no different. Those relocating to West Yorkshire can attend Ukrainian Mass at 2 p.m. on Saturday 23 April 2022 at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Huddersfield. The blessing of the baskets (Посвячення Пасок) and Holy Mass (Великодня Служба Божа) will take place simultaneously. You can find out more about Ukrainian Easter traditions from our blog post here.
8th May: Mothers’ Day in Ukraine. Families usually celebrate with flowers and chocolate – a lot like in the UK!
August: Each August, we host our annual volleyball competition. Normally, this coincides with Ukrainian Independence Day. We invite all Ukrainian Clubs in the UK to attend, and our centre becomes the cultural hub for everyone to get together with food, drinks, children's activities, and volleyball!
24th August: Ukrainian Independence Day. Traditionally, this day is one of the most important public holidays in Ukraine, and this year it will mean a lot more. Last year, Ukrainians celebrated 30 years of independence with huge celebrations including flying flags, singing the national anthem, and gathering together.
Sviat Vechir: Sviat Vechir is Ukrainian Christmas, and you can find out more about it here. Each year, we host this traditional dinner for our community.
Don’t forget to check our website for the latest list of Ukrainian cultural events!