How to help Ukraine and its people
Don't know how to help Ukraine and Ukrainian people in need? Find answers to all your questions about donating to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Are you wondering how you can help and support Ukraine?
On this page you'll find information about donating, volunteering and sending food and other supplies to help Ukrainian nationals.
If you want to quickly provide aid to Ukraine today, the best way is to donate to the British Red Cross' Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
I want to know how to help Ukraine refugees in the UK with with the British Red Cross
I want to know more about the Homes for Ukrainians scheme
I want to donate money to Ukraine
I want to donate items/goods to Ukraine
I want to volunteer to help Ukraine
I want to help with transportation
I want to support family and friends in Ukraine
I want to fundraise for Ukraine
How is the British Red Cross supporting Ukrainians arriving in the UK?
The British Red Cross has now helped over 60,000 people who have arrived in the UK from Ukraine.
Our support includes: helping to reunite Ukrainians with family members, sharing information (including an information pack to help people settle into their new lives in the UK, available in English, Ukrainian and Russian), offering a dedicated phone line for support, distributing SIM cards, and providing emergency financial assistance.
- Our dedicated phone line has answered almost 70,000 calls.
- We’ve distributed over 19,000 SIM cards, helping people to stay in touch with their loved ones.
- We’ve also distributed £2.7m in emergency financial assistance to over 60,000 people.
- Our teams also supported at many train stations and airports as people arrived in the first months of the crisis.
- Our refugee services team has supported almost 2000 Ukrainians who are struggling with accommodation, food and basic supplies
What kinds of support are you providing people from Ukraine?
Our volunteer and staff teams are providing psychosocial and practical support. This includes things like food, water, hygiene items, nappies, a hot cup or tea or coffee, and essentials to help people keep in touch, like SIM cards, mobile phones and chargers.
We're also providing translated welcome packs about life in the UK. On some occasions, we are also providing people with mobility aid, such as wheelchairs
How can we help Ukrainian refugees?
Unfortunately, The Red Cross are not accepting requests to send anything to refugees in Ukraine. Although we appreciate your generosity and kindness, we can only accept monetary donations right now.
Can I host Ukrainian refugees in the UK?
Yes, you can under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The government has announced that the UK will welcome as many Ukrainians as needed through the scheme, but this relies on sponsors.
As this is a huge humanitarian crisis, the government is urging the British public to come forward and offer a place to stay for at least six months.
Under the scheme, Ukrainians will have access to public services, work and benefits. Charities, faith groups, businesses, councils and communities will all need to work together to support Ukrainians arriving in the weeks and months ahead.
Download our wellbeing resources
- Dealing with trauma as an adult
- Dealing with trauma as a child
- Coping with a personal crisis
- A wellbeing guide
- Psychosocial support for people separated from family members (Russian)
- Psychosocial support for people separated from family members (English)
How much of my donation to the Red Cross will go to the people of Ukraine?
During emergencies, staff at the scene make sure your money is used properly and spent effectively on the ground. We also work closely with the UN and other charities to ensure money is spent most effectively.
So that services help as many people as possible, any organisation faces associated costs. Whether here in the UK or overseas, we work very hard to keep these to a minimum, and on average these equate to around 9 per cent.
The rest will help the Ukraine Red Cross Society, International Committee of the Red Cross, and other Red Cross partners working in border countries, to support the humanitarian response in Ukraine and the border countries.
This response includes:
- Supporting families with food, first aid and medicines
- Supporting hospitals and healthcare facilities
- Repairing vital infrastructure
- Helping to repair homes, healthcare centres, schools and community centres.
What happens if the British Red Cross raises more funds for Ukraine than needed?
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.
In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.
Find out more about our Disaster Fund.
Is the Bitcoin advert from the British Red Cross legitimate?
We are aware of an advert asking for Bitcoin donations to our Ukraine Crisis Appeal. This is not from British Red Cross and we are contacting Action Fraud about this.
If you wish to make a donation to support people in Ukraine, the best way is to donate to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
If you have any concerns about, or wish to check the legitimacy of a fundraising event being held in the name of British Red Cross or our appeal email: email@example.com.
How do I get a refund on the donation I made to Ukraine?
Charities are legally required to follow the Charities Act, designed to protect the people the money is intended to help. It states that money given freely and without condition cannot be refunded except in exceptional circumstances, which would be a decision our Trustees would have to make, following guidance from the Charity Commission.
If you have further questions or feedback, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Will any of the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal money be spent in the UK?
It is very likely a proportion of the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal money will be spent in the UK, in line with the needs of people arriving in the UK, who have been affected by the crisis.
The number of people who will come here, and the needs they will have, are still not entirely known, but our understanding is growing daily through what we see on the ground both within the UK, and with our movement partners in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
We do know that people arriving are likely to have experienced trauma, and be arriving with little to no belongings. They will need short term and longer term support so our response, and the amount of money needed to fund it, is still being worked on.
Is the British Red Cross collecting food, clothes, medical supplies and other essentials for Ukraine?
We are not currently accepting items such as clothes, food or medical supplies for the Ukraine. These kind offers are really appreciated, and we do understand that not everyone is in a position to give money right now, but we can only accept money for emergency appeals.
Items have to be sorted, cleaned, and transported, which slows down our response.
What to do if you have items collected/would like to take to Ukraine, but can't
Find out more about how the Red Cross' emergency appeals work
Where can I donate clothes for Ukraine near me?
Unfortunately, the Red Cross is not currently accepting clothes to donate or send to Ukraine. We are very grateful for your generosity, but we can only accept money for this current emergency appeal.
To find out more about what to do with/where to take clothes collected for Ukraine, have a look at how our Red Cross Ukraine appeal works.
What can I send to help Ukraine?
Right now, you can send monetary donations to help Ukraine. This is the best way to provide help quickly and effectively. Sending clothing, food and other items causes lengthy delays with customs and transportation. Sending money via the British Red Cross ensures your donation is helping Ukrainian people immediately, with that money going to food, clothing, shelter and supplies.
Why is the British Red Cross only accepting cash donations for Ukraine and not items?
We know that people up and down the UK have been incredibly generous. While some local charities have been able to get those donated items to border countries, there’s been such a huge response from right across Europe, it’s difficult to use all the things that have been donated, and get them to the right place.
Cash donations are by far the quickest, safest, and most direct way to help people and to support the work of the Red Cross in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
A cash donation means we can help with whatever is needed, source things locally, and transport items quickly. It also means volunteers can concentrate on the response, rather than sorting and transporting donations.
Donate now to the Red Cross' Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Is the British Red Cross accepting medical supplies?
We cannot accept medical supplies such as PPE or medical equipment. We can only accept money for emergency appeals. This lets us support the people who need our help most.
However, we will be providing medical supplies as part of our response, and Red Cross societies in neighbouring countries are also sending medical equipment.
Is the British Red Cross accepting blood donations?
Unlike other national societies, the British Red Cross does not run a blood donation service. Blood donations are being managed locally and there is no facility to donate from the UK.
Can I donate breast milk to Ukraine?
Unfortunately, no. The British Red Cross does not accept breast milk donations. We do not have the facility to store or send breast milk.
I've got items I’ve collected/would like to take to Ukraine but it’s not possible. What can I do?
There are lots of ways you can turn things you’d like to donate into money for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
If you have donated items, like clothing, blankets or other things, you can:
- Sell things on eBay and direct the proceeds to the appeal (see non-profit advice from eBay)
- Organise a sale, or offer items in return for a donation to the appeal
Can I volunteer with the Red Cross in Ukraine?
Currently, we are not sending volunteers from the UK to Ukraine. This includes medical and logistical experts. Our teams there have told us that the best way to support the response in Ukraine is to raise funds. This is our focus, through our emergency appeal.
We’ll always listen to what our incredible teams of volunteers and staff need. In terms of numbers, there are around 4,000 Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) volunteers and more than 600 staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) across the country.
Your donations allow them to work as one team to support people through this. We’ll be keeping our channels updated with the latest on the Red Cross response.
Donate now to the Red Cross' Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Can I volunteer with the British Red Cross for Ukraine?
We don’t have any other specific volunteering roles in the UK to support Ukraine.
Can you help a friend or family member leave Ukraine?
If you are concerned about a British family member in Ukraine, please contact the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office by email email@example.com or by calling: 020 7008 5000.
For British nationals who need assistance, consular support is still available through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office 24-hour helpline:
- +380 44 490 3660 (from Ukraine)
- +44 (0) 1908 516666 (from the UK).
You can also contact the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 22 730 3600 or contact your closest Red Cross or Red Crescent Society. You can find the contact details in this directory: https://familylinks.icrc.org/directory. Remember that our humanitarian services are free.
How can people in Ukraine contact the local Red Cross branch to get help?
Please find contact details for the Ukrainian Red Cross local branches here: https://redcross.org.ua/contacts/
There is also some useful information for people affected by the crisis in Ukraine on this page.
Is the Red Cross providing support to people looking for missing family members?
Missing people are one of the Red Cross’ top priorities. Long since before this escalation in fighting the ICRC and the Ukrainian Red Cross Society worked closely with families of the missing, to help them to find answers about what happened to their loved ones.
Please contact the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency Bureau at email@example.com or +41 22 730 3600 or contact your closest Red Cross or Red Crescent Society.
You can find the contact details in this directory: https://familylinks.icrc.org/directory. Remember that our humanitarian services are free.
Can you help us transport goods to Ukraine?
We are unable to help people transport donated goods or to use donated vehicles to transport goods. Thank you for the kind offers.
We are asking people in the UK to help by donating to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal, these donations are by far the quickest, safest, and more direct way to help people and to support the work of the Red Cross in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Can I fundraise for Ukraine and give the proceeds to the British Red Cross?
Yes, you can organise a fundraising event to support people in Ukraine. To discuss this, please get in touch: 0300 456 1005 (calls are charged at standard UK landline rate).
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or register your interest in a fundraising event.
How can I fundraise to support the Ukraine Crisis Appeal?
There are also lots of creative ways you can get involved to support the appeal, for example:>
- Streaming or gaming, via a gameathon or live stream
- Host a cake sale
- Host a Red Cross ‘cup of kindness’ tea party (online or in real life)
- Sponsored challenges – hold a sponsored silence, sponsored walk or think up your own challenge
- Bag packing at supermarkets in return for donations
- Set up a Facebook fundraiser to raise money from your social network
- We also have lots of ideas for virtual events, from quizzes to book clubs
- Swap your skills for donations, by holding an online or in-person tutorial. Share your cooking, language or music skills and raise money at the same time
Find more fundraising ideas in the British Red Cross fundraising packs. You can also learn more about virtual fundraising.