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HUGHelp Update — Christmas edition 2022

Nine months on since our first Ukrainian guests arrived back in April this year and there is no sign of the war in Ukraine ending anytime soon.

As conditions in Ukraine get worse every day, huge numbers of Ukrainians are looking for a host in the UK. So if you know of anyone thinking of hosting please do encourage them to take the plunge or put them in touch with any of our group to find out more about what is involved. Our own guests are delightful and our personal experience of hosting has been very positive. As a group we now have a lot of support available for anyone about to start
hosting.

In the meantime we look forward to sharing Christmas with our guests on 25th December and maybe again from 6th January — the Traditional Christmas Eve for Ukrainians.

HUGHelp Current status

  • From a total of 18 host families there now remain 15 hosts (2 placements broke down and I guest has returned to Ukraine).
  • Total number of remaining guests: 24, ranging in age from a baby to an 81yr old but mostly single adults. Only one family in Haddenham has school age children.
  • Latest guests (young couple with a baby) are due to arrive any day now.
  • Total of 53 people involved as hosts or supporters
  • 44 members of the HUGHelp WhatsApp group

What are our guests doing?

  • The single adults have mostly found jobs either locally (pubs, cafés, shops in Haddenham or Thame) or at Bicester Village. There are plenty of these sorts of jobs available but they are often only part time, are low paid and do not use the various skills and expertise that our guests were using back in Ukraine.
  • Some guests have enrolled as students on English language courses
  • Some are having to rely on Universal Credit payments for their income.
  • Several guests are either in the process of moving into independent accommodation or have already done so, sometimes joining up with guests from other local Ukrainian groups.

Thankyou

To everyone who has contributed or is still contributing to helping the Ukrainians, whether by hosting, helping Julie Taylor when she was running the Pop-up Shop, giving English lessons, inviting guests to their houses or supporting hosts and guests in other ways.

With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Alison Green

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