We #StandwithUkraine

  • 29/03/2022


We have watched in horror as the terrible events have unfolded over the past few weeks in the wake of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.

As the situation continues to escalate our thoughts are with all those affected by the conflict.  We think of those Ukrainian citizens having to flee their homes to ensure their safety and that of their families.  Leaving behind jobs, belongings and loved ones they now face an uncertain future.

In Greater Manchester there are valued community members of Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarussian origin and we must ensure our words and actions protect their safety.  We pay tribute to the courageous Russian students and young people who have been protesting across the Russian Federation, taking a brave stand against the war, often at great personal risk.

We have been speaking with some of our British-Ukrainian colleagues to find out how Manchester Law Society and its members can best help, both practically and financially, going forward.

  1. Stay informed of the situation using reliable sources. If you are sharing information online about the situation please use accredited sources such as UNHCR, the BBC and The World Economic Forum amongst others. The Ukraine Crisis Media Centre has urged people to be vigilant when sharing news.
  2. The government have recently announced a new scheme called ‘Homes for Ukraine’, that will allow communities, private sponsors or local authorities to sponsor people to come to the UK from Ukraine. Sponsors will be expected to provide accommodation for people arriving under the scheme for a minimum period of 6-months.   The government have set up a dedicated website to allow people to register their interest in the scheme.  You can find out more info and register for the scheme here.  The government have also published a set of frequently asked questions that you can find here.  If you do wish to sponsor somebody please make sure you do it through the official channels.
  3. Members who would like to give pro bono legal advice on immigration, visa and asylum can do so through the Ukraine Advice Project UK. Please contact [email protected] who are running this project for the Ukraine Advice Project UK.  Please put ‘volunteer’ in the email subject line.
  4. Many charities are receiving lots of items such as clothes, shoes and nappies. We are told that whilst they are extremely grateful for these donations they are presenting logistical difficulties both here and abroad.  Current advice is to donate money instead of essential items.  UK Fundraising, in collaboration with others, have put together a list of registered organisations that are providing support and are seeking donations which can be found HERE.
  5. The UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched an appeal to help the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the conflict. All public donations to the DEC will be doubled by the UK Government, up to a total of £20m.
  6. The Ukrainian Institute have a page on their website which gives useful links, information and guidance on what you can do to support the Ukraine and Ukrainians.
  7. We are liaising with our civic partners at the Manchester City Council to explore how we can best support the Ukrainian community at this time, and we stand ready to provide whatever support we can. We will work with them and others to ensure a secure and welcoming environment for refugees and asylum seekers.
  8. A public charity appeal has launched to help support Ukrainians, fleeing the war in their country, who come to Manchester. While some people will be opening their homes to arriving Ukrainians, we know not everyone is able to do that.  The MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund will fund charities and voluntary sector groups across the city who are providing assistance – such as small grants for essential items, and advice – to families and individuals relocating to the city.  By donating to this fund you can show you care by helping to provide practical help and support right here in Manchester to those escaping danger and starting to rebuild their lives.  It will be run by the We Love Manchester charity in partnership with Manchester City Council and every penny raised will go towards supporting Ukrainian evacuees in the city.  The Council have kicked off the fund with a donation of £50,000.  The Fund has already identified Caritas (our President’s Charity of the Year) and Europia as charity partners.  If you would like to donate to the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund click here
  9. The Ukrainian Cultural Centre Manchester is unable to accept any physical donations at this time as they have run out of space. Keep up to date with the situation on their Facebook page HERE and the AUGB Manchester (Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain) have a page with FAQ’s on how to support Ukraine, make donations and support refugees which can be found HERE .  The AUGB has also set up an emergency appeal for Ukraine on crowd-funding website Go Fund Me HERE which has over £2.3 million raised.

As is always the case in times of crisis the legal community, and the wider business and professional community in Manchester has come together to offer support in many ways.  Throughout the pandemic and, again, in the past few weeks, our community has continued to demonstrate a generosity of spirit and kindness for others, core values which we also hold here at Manchester Law Society.

Whether you sponsor a refugee, open your home up to them, donate some goods, give some money, invite children from Ukrainian refugee families at your school to have tea with your children, socialise with Ukrainian refugee families, whatever it is you are able to do – please know that every little helps.

We should always remember that people were, like us, sitting down at their desks one day perhaps writing an email or maybe cooking dinner with their partner, organising a birthday party for their son or watching tv with their friends and the next, were sent to war to fight, unprepared, scared, missing their families – decorators, judges, doctors, plumbers, architects, solicitors, waiters and the list goes on.  How do you cope with that?   How do your family, who you have left behind cope with that?  People probably don’t want to leave the Ukraine and be here.  They will be very scared and frightened and would much rather be in their own home.  They have been put in this position through no fault of their own and we need to remember that and Be Kind.

Always Be Kind.

We #StandwithUkraine