Refugee Week 2022 – Walk Together

Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign is supporting this year’s Refugee Week ‘Simple Acts’ programme which emphasises the importance of meeting together in everyday ways to build connections and community. 

During the walk we will encounter the lives of those who came to Ely as evacuees, refugees and prisoners of war.

Join us for all or part of the walk.  We will gather for a picnic at the end of the walk. Please bring your own food.

Ely RRC Refugee Week Circular Walk, Saturday 25 June 2022

Start: 11am Riverside Bar and Kitchen, The Maltings, CB7 4BB

End: 1.15 pm Jubilee Gardens (next to the Maltings)

Full walk – approx. 3.1 miles, 2 ¼ hours

10.30 -11am:

Meet outside the Riverside Bar and Kitchen which is next to the River Great Ouse and part of the Maltings building.

The Maltings is a few minutes’ walk from the railway station and next to the Ship Lane Car Park.

From the station walk past Tesco’s, cross the main road using the pelican crossing, at the mini roundabout take the first right into Annesdale which takes you to the riverside path, follow the path passing the Cutter Inn and Jubilee Gardens. The RBK is on the left.

For Free All Day Parking (so long as you arrive after 8.30am) – Ship Lane Car Park (CB7 4BB) is next to The Maltings.  Should that be full, Fisherman’s Car Park (CB7 4AT) is a little further along the river, simply walk back along riverside path to the Maltings (if you walk under the railway bridge you’re going in the wrong direction).

All car parking in central Ely is free but in other car parks check the time limits.

Walk details:  Approx. 3.1 miles, 2 ¼ hours (mainly flat with one very short uphill section and two short downhill sections)

11 am:

From the Maltings we walk along the riverside path to Roswell Pits lakes, up Lime Kiln Lane and head back towards the city centre across Ely Common, using part of the Bishop’s Way.  Cut through Springhead Lane and The Vineyards to Archer House and the market place. Along Market Street to St Mary’s Street. Cross to Cathedral Green and the Crimean War cannon. Return to the river via The Gallery, the Porta, Cherry Hill Park and Jubilee Gardens.

Click the map below to view the route in detail:


Ely – City centre map for the cathedral city of Ely in the UK

Support for Ukrainian Refugees

Apply for a Grant

Ely RRC  is able to offer one-off grants of up to £100 to help Ukrainian refugees in Ely and surrounding areas for an identified  purpose. This might be for a bus pass, help buying a moped, equipment for school,  or money towards a necessary training course, for example. The purpose of the grant money should be in line with our charity’s aims of advancing refugees’ education and training or to assist them to adapt and integrate within a new community.

Please note, we won’t be awarding grants for aid that is currently being offered by other organisations, such as providing clothes and furniture for new arrivals or SIM cards. 

In the first instance we would ask for sponsors to apply on behalf of their guests by filling in the form once they have arrived. Where possible we will pay the money directly into the guest’s bank account although we appreciate that this may not always be possible and that speed may be important.

Please do discuss the application with your guest first to ensure that you have their permission to share their information with us.

If you have any questions feel free to email us at, or to call 07880656818.

Grant Application Form

How to Sponsor Ukrainian Refugees

Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine at this heartbreaking time and Ely RRC stands ready to do what we can to help. At the moment we are still learning what we can about the sponsorship scheme as more details emerge. Here is what we know so far:

The ‘Homes for Ukraine’ Scheme

If you have accommodation (either a house or room) you would like to offer, you can register your interest with the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. (This is separate to the Ukraine Family Scheme which is specifically for people in the UK with family members from Ukraine).

After you sign up you will receive an email with instructions on how to proceed if you have already identified an individual or family from Ukraine that you’d like to sponsor. If you haven’t identified anyone yet the scheme will match you with someone if your application is successful, however this part of the scheme has only just begun so it may take some time for you to be matched.

Finding Someone to Sponsor

If you don’t know anyone you’d like to sponsor and you’d like to speed up the process, you can register as a host on the Reset charity’s Homes for Ukraine matching service, which is supported by the government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

You can also register as a host on the Ukraine Take Shelter site. It was developed by two Harvard University students to provide a way for refugees to find potential sponsors. Once you register as a host your details will be added to a database that refugees can search. Once you have a match you can then proceed via the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. The site EU4UA offers a similar service.

As these are unregulated services please take care and once you have been matched only proceed to sponsor refugees via the official Homes for Ukraine scheme – they will carry out various checks, including safeguarding. Ely RRC is not affiliated with any of these services.

Other Non-Governmental Schemes

Alternatively you can register your accommodation at Room for Refugees, although please note that this is not part of the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme and therefore does not benefit from the £350 per month ‘thank you’ payments.

You can also register with the Sanctuary Foundation who are working to help scale up and accelerate the government scheme.

Further help

The local Facebook group Ely Sponsors for Ukraine has lots of help and useful information on the process.

Members of Ely RRC are available to help you navigate the government’s schemes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Some local Ukrainians may also be wanting to bring their families over via the family visa scheme and will be looking for accommodation for them. They will likely need more than a single room, but if you have the space to welcome a small family into your home or you have a house to rent in Ely then please get in touch. Please note: where a family is renting an entire house they will be entitled to the usual housing benefit element of Universal Credit so you would receive rent as usual, rather than the government’s £350 a month ‘thank you’ payment.

Petition: Afghan Refugees Welcome in Ely

To everyone who has been asking what they can do to help: Joan Wall will be representing ElyRRC at the next full council meeting (Monday 27th September, 7pm at the Maltings.) She will be giving a short presentation on our personal experiences of working with refugees and why what we do is so important.

Ahead of that meeting please do sign our petition to East Cambridgeshire District Council, and if you are interested and available on 27th, feel free to go to the meeting to show them that Ely residents support welcoming Afghan refugees to the area.

The Afghanistan Crisis

The last few days are black days for humankind and I am sure everyone here is as heartbroken and devastated as we are at all of the news coming from Afghanistan. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to ask how they can help. We will post here and on Facebook when we have more information about what practical help might look like but for now please do sign this petition – the target of just 5000 refugees in year one is far too small:

And do write to your MPs asking them to call on the government to do more:

Petition to restore language support for UK driving test candidates.

Ahmed, the father of one of the families we support is a skilled carpenter and has been driving to work using his International Permit. That has now expired and to continue driving he must take the UK driving test. His English is not yet good enough to tackle the theory test but he could pass it easily with an Arabic voice-over to assist him.

Until 2014, UK driving test candidates could take the driving theory test with translating voice-overs in non-national languages. Following a flawed consultation this facility was withdrawn. The removal of language support for driving tests is impacting on those attempting to settle in the UK and means that with no transport Ahmed has had to quit his job. There will be a big impact in particular on the cohort of 20,000 refugees being brought in by the Government under its ‘Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Schemes’.

Please sign our petition to get the government to reassess this policy change:

Sign this petition

Refugee Week Quiz Night

Come along to our quiz night! It’s a great opportunity to meet the small working group of ElyRRC, to test your general knowledge and to help raise funds so that we can keep providing support for our two wonderful families! The Facebook event page is here.

Seeking Refuge: An Interactive Journey

Ely RRC invites you to an interactive event to mark the anniversary of the Syrian war.
St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Street, Ely – 2nd March, 12-4.30pm

Imagine you could walk through a refugee camp in Jordan and experience first-hand what life is like for its inhabitants. Imagine you were faced with deciding the safest way to get your family to safety in a war-torn land.

Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign will be offering you the opportunity to experience these things yourself on 2nd March in an afternoon of virtual reality events and interactive activities. 

Using an Oculus Go and a Google Cardboard we will be showing two powerful ten-minute films that aim to bring the refugee crisis home to the residents of Ely through immersive story-telling. With refugee poetry, quizzes to test your knowledge, case studies of real-life experiences and activities for the children this will be a thought-provoking and inspirational afternoon.

Poppy Pearce, founder of Ely RRC and co-organiser of the day said “we are very excited about this event. As the Syrian civil war enters its ninth year we felt this was a good time to reflect and understand better what life is like for millions of displaced people.  Advances in virtual reality have really helped humanitarians tell a story that is compelling and provokes genuine empathy.”

Visit our Facebook event page