Crisis in Ukraine

Last update: 21st April 2022

The Book of Support for Ukraine is available for residents to sign in the Town Hall, where there is also a collection for the Mayor’s Disaster Fund for Ukraine.

The government has published a page of resources about what you can do to help which is updated regularly. Locally, the Lewes For Ukraine organisation is helping to co-ordinate responses and local action.

A sponsorship scheme has launched for residents to be able to help Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes. The scheme will match people willing to offer accommodation for at least six months with Ukrainians who do not have family ties to the UK. Details can be found on East Sussex County Council tell us that “almost 100 Ukrainian refugees are known to have already arrived in East Sussex through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.” The council has published a welcome guide for Ukrainian guests in Ukrainian, as well as a welcome pack for local hosts.

From Monday (25 April), Ukrainian guests can arrange their £200 welcome payment from a local centre. This one-off payment for immediate expenses is for every person (adult or child) with a visa under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Any guests who have not already received it can now contact their local voluntary association to arrange picking up the payment.

In Lewes, guests can contact 01323 639373 or On contact, they will be told where to collect the payment. Everyone will be asked to sign a receipt for the cash. Guests should bring their passport (or if they do not have one, their confirmed visa or eVisa code or Biometric Residence Permit). Adults will be able to collect payments for those in their family under the age of 18.

From Monday (25 April), Stagecoach passes can be collected from the local voluntary associations listed above in the payments item. The bus passes will run for four weeks from the day they are first used.

Brighton and Hove buses are also offering four weeks’ free travel to Homes for Ukraine arrivals. To collect a travel pass, your guests should take their passport and visa to one of the company’s offices:

1 Stop Travel Shop – 26 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB  Open Monday to Friday – 0830-18.30, Saturday – 0900-1730, Sunday and Bank Holidays – 0930-1600

Head Office travel shop – 43 Conway Street, Hove BN3 3LT  Open Monday to Friday – 0830-1700

Trusted organisations

A local charitable organisation, Lewes4Ukraine is based at Christ Church and is helping to co-ordinate support and local action.

For disaster relief: the Red Cross Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) who are providing support and aid on the ground. The Government has already matched £25 million of donations to this fund pound for pound. Donate online or in cash to the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund at the Town Hall reception. Lewes FC Vets footballers are raising funds in conjunction with The Red Cross – search for Lewes Vets on the Just Giving website.

For refugees: local group Lewes Organisation in Support of Refugees and Asylum Seeker (LOSRAS) support all refugees and asylum seekers. If you are hosting Ukrainian refugees, a local Facebook group has been set up to offer practical help and to build a community of Ukrainians in Lewes.

Unsolicited donations of support items, although well-meant, can obstruct supply chains and delay more urgent life-saving assistance from getting through. Charities with experience of responding to disasters are best placed to reach victims on the ground. Organisations across the UK are gathering essential supplies, such as clothes, first aid and sanitary products. Many charities and community groups will have lists of items they need, and local removal firm Sussex Removals are 

For businesses: a new organisation, Hospitality for Ukraine is encouraging those in the hospitality sector to offer free accommodation for refugees: 220 accommodation providers have signed up so far across 19 countries. Local businesses can sign up on the website.

Town Council statement

Lewes Town Council stands with the people of Ukraine and those residents of Lewes who have friends and relatives in Ukraine in condemning its invasion by Russia. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this conflict, and we want to offer solidarity, support and sympathy.

We are appalled by the oppression and subjugation of an independent country. We look to our Government to act decisively on the international stage and call on the Government to suspend visa requirements for those fleeing the conflict. 

We stand ready to support those organisations arranging aid during this crisis and want to do everything in our power to make all refugees welcome. We will do whatever we can to avoid purchasing items or services supplied from Russian companies, and we urge all other local authorities and businesses to do the same.

Although Lewes is limited in what it can do about international events, we know our community will do all they can to support those in peril and displaced by the conflict and hope that East Sussex as a whole stands with us.

Міська рада Льюїсу підтримує народ України та тих мешканців Льюїсу, які мають друзів та родичів в Україні, що засуджують вторгнення з боку Росії. Наші думки з усіма, хто постраждав від цього конфлікту, і ми пропонуємо  вам солідарність, підтримку та співчуття.

Ми приголомшені тиском і намірами підкорити незалежну країну. Ми очікуємо від нашого уряду рішучих дій на міжнародній арені та закликаємо уряд пом’якшити візовий режим для тих, хто тікає від конфлікту.

Ми готові підтримати ті організації, які надають допомогу під час цієї кризи, і хочемо зробити все, що в наших силах, щоб прийняти усіх біженців. Ми зробимо все можливе, щоб уникнути закупівлі товарів або послуг у російських компаній, і закликаємо всі інші місцеві органи влади та компанії зробити те ж саме.

Хоча Льюїс обмежений у своїх можливостях щодо міжнародних подій, ми знаємо, що наша спільнота зробить усе можливе, щоб підтримати тих, хто перебуває у небезпеці та переміщених через конфлікт, і сподіваємося, що Східний Сассекс в цілому підтримує нас.

Городской совет Lewes вместе с народом Украины и теми жителями Lewes, у которых есть друзья и родственники в Украине, осуждаем вторжение России. Наши мысли со всеми, кого затронул этот конфликт, и мы хотим выразить солидарность, поддержку и сочувствие.

Мы потрясены притеснение и подчинение независимой страны. Мы ожидаем от нашего Правительства решительных действий на международной арене и призываем Правительство отменить визовые требования для тех, кто спасается бегством от конфликта.

Мы готовы поддержать те организации, которые предоставляют помощь во время этого кризиса, и хотим сделать все, что в наших силах, чтобы принять всех беженцев. Мы сделаем все возможное, чтобы не покупать товары или услуги, поставляемые Российскими компаниями, и призываем все другие местные органы власти и структуры поступать так же.

Хотя Lewes ограничен в том, что он может сделать в отношении международных событий, мы знаем, что наше сообщество сделает все возможное, чтобы поддержать тех, кто находится в опасности и для лиц, вынужденных переместиться в результате конфликта, и надеемся, что весь Восточный Суссекс (East Sussex) поддержит нас.


At its extraordinary council meeting to address the crisis, Lewes Town Council resolved to:

  • show solidarity by flying the Ukrainian flag as often as is possible at the Town Hall, hanging blue and yellow banners from the Council Chamber windows, as well as keeping a book of support messages in the Town Hall for residents to sign and emphasising that all refugees are welcome in Lewes
  • offer support and sympathy by creating a Mayor’s Disaster Relief to raise money for the Disaster Emergency Fund, and offering Lewes Town Council facilities free of charge for humanitarian action regarding the crisis in Ukraine, including a stall at the Lewes Town Hall Indoor Market designated specifically for raising awareness and charity fundraising
  • approach Lewes District Council with regards to becoming a District of Sanctuary together with those community groups who seek to provide a welcome to refugees and asylum seekers.
  • write to Maria Caulfield MP urging the Government to act decisively on the international stage and asking her to oppose the Nationalities and Borders Bill and propose that the Government creates a humanitarian scheme for Ukrainian refugees

Further details, as well as details of trusted local organisations who are holding fundraising events will be updated regularly