Supporting Ukraine

Many of us were touched and saddened by the situation in Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The news and pictures we've all seen across our TVs and social media are difficult to process, and these are situations that no one expected to be seeing.

To show our unity and support in February, we lit up the town hall and fountains in yellow and blue. This represented the colours of the Ukrainian flag. We've also been flying the Ukrainian flag on top of the town hall. 

Our statements 

13 February 2023 - Currently in Barnsley, 72 generous people have put their homes forward. They've then been matched with people from Ukraine who are escaping the current war in their country.

Government support schemes

As part of the UK’s continuing efforts to support those fleeing the war in Ukraine, the government has announced the following schemes:

Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows family members of British nationals, UK-settled persons and others to come to or stay in the UK. Guidance can be found on GOV.UK: UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals.

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Find out about applying for the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme and read more about becoming a sponsor.

For any enquiries please contact us by emailing

If you're a sponsor or a Ukrainian national under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, find out about the support available for your Council Tax.

Frequently asked questions

What's happened in Ukraine?

Russia has invaded Ukraine, and the world is following the story very closely. Following Russia's invasion of the country on Thursday 24 February 2022, thousands of people have left their homes to escape the fighting.

The two countries have a very long and complicated relationship. Ukraine became independent in 1991, before then it was dominated by Russia. 

What's the government’s support for Ukraine?

The UK and our international partners are united in support of Ukraine. The UK government is providing a range of economic, humanitarian, and defensive military assistance to Ukraine, and is imposing additional sanctions on Russia and Belarus.

Read more about the government response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

How can we help the people of Ukraine?

Barnsley, as always, is a community that stands by those who need help, and again, the people of Barnsley are stepping forward to help the people of Ukraine.  
If you do want to help, you can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Appeal to help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.  

There are also many local community-led projects happening as, again, the fantastic volunteers around the borough step forward and give their support.

What mental health support is available?

This will be an extremely difficult time for all of us who are personally affected by the events reported over the last few days and may be worried and concerned about the implications from a wider perspective.

If you feel you need some extra support throughout this time, there's lots of support available and people you can talk to. Find out about available mental health support.

How can I help children understand the situation in Ukraine?

This is a challenging situation for children to understand. Many may find it hard to understand what's happening and be scared by what they hear and see happening in Ukraine. The news and social media feeds are filled with information, pictures and also some misinformation; some of it's very upsetting and worrying and may not even be verified. 

Here are some helpful links that can help:

What's the travel advice for Ukraine?

You can find the latest Ukraine travel advice on GOV.UK.

Does Barnsley have a twin town in Ukraine?

Yes, we do. Find out more about our twin town Horlivka, also known by Gorlovka.

Does Barnsley Council have any contracts with Russian suppliers?

We don't have any contracts with Gazprom and we're not aware of any other contracts with Russian suppliers.

No place for hate  

Our no place for hate campaign champions our borough to be the place of possibilities where nobody faces abuse, online or in their community.

We all need to realise the effect we can have on others when we comment or post online. What might just be seen as a comment or someone showing their frustrations can often cause real harm to others. As a borough that welcomes others, we're asking our communities to support those who need our help at this time and understanding.   

If you or someone you know is experiencing a hate crime you must report it to the police. Find out more about hate and harassment.