Community spirit award 2023 winner
The South Wales Sponsorship for Ukraine Facebook page was set up by a group of volunteers across South Wales following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The volunteers wanted to help both the Ukrainian refugees arriving in Wales and host families by offering help in matching Ukrainian guests to host families. This was a very sensitive process the they carried out to ensure suitable matches were made. Following a successful match, the group also supported both hosts and Ukrainians with the visa process, sourced funding for flights to the UK or accommodation costs whilst waiting for the visa to be issued in another country. When Ukrainian guests arrived, the volunteers also helped arrange clothes and toiletries if needed. The group successfully matched over 1,000 Ukrainian guests and hosts.
Alongside their matching work some of the Facebook group also helped advise the Welsh Government on issues around the Ukraine refugee crisis and what help could be provided. They also produced guides to offer help and advice to hosts on what to expect. The volunteers dedicated a vast amount of their personal time to supporting Ukrainian refugees alongside family commitments and full time jobs. Their support has helped a large number Ukrainian refugees find safety and sanctuary in South Wales.