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Supporting Ukraine & each other

The recent invasion of Ukraine can be scary and overwhelming news for many of us.

It’s easy to feel a sense of powerlessness wash over us as we watch the horrifying events unfold. 

It’s easy to spiral.

It’s easy to think what’s the point of signing a petition or making a donation? 

But we do have some agency, we do have some power. We can make a difference with our voice, with our wallets, with our actions. 

In this instance, it’s a tiny bit of action by those of us lucky enough to be living in a country where there is still peace.

But knowing where or how to start can add to the feeling of overwhelm. We’ve created this web page to signpost to various resources or organisations that individuals and businesses can lean on. 

For some time now, we’ve been working with OnHand to support our volunteering initiatives at Sanctus. And this year, we’re proud to support Refugee Action, as our charity partner for our Sanctus Foundation. Both of these organisations have compiled useful resources, volunteering opportunities and links, which we’ve included in this hub alongside others that we have vetted and consider legitimate. 

It goes without saying that we vehemently oppose this illegal war, and stand by Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, as well as the Russian people who find themselves drawn into a conflict they never asked for.

In here you’ll find:

  1. Signposting to ways you can support Ukraine (immediate crisis support + campaigning/policy reform). 
  2. Guidance for HR and business leaders on supporting your teams during this time (both in and out of Ukraine).
  3. Guidance on how you can support yourself and your mental health during this time.

1. Signposting to ways you can support Ukraine (immediate crisis support + campaigning/policy reform) 

  • A global document with a huge list of ways you can donate, as well as campaign.
  • Refugee Action has listed various ways people can donate, campaign to the government, as well as offer advice for housing or supporting refugees. You can also make a donation to them, which will support all refugees who have been displaced around the world due to war and conflicts. 
  • Make a donation to MSF (Doctors Without Borders) who are providing emergency medical aid on the ground in Ukraine. 

2. Guidance for HR & business leaders on supporting your teams during this time

  • A global document providing support for HR leaders with employees in Ukraine.
  • Further resources for Ukrainian refugees and supporters. 
  • A global document providing support for HR leaders with employees in Russia. 
  • If you’re looking to partner with an organisation that makes it easy for your teams to get involved with campaigning, we use onHand. Otherwise, use the links listed above.
  • Share the below guidance for your teams on how they can manage their mental health during this time.

3. Guidance on supporting yourself

It’s okay if you feel overwhelmed, anxious or scared. Uncertain events that are outside of our control, particularly those that carry some level of threat, can trigger a huge range of emotional responses. Here are some ways that you can help manage you mental health during this time:

  • Know that any feeling or emotion you’re feeling in response to this is okay. You may be feeling a huge range of emotions from anxiety to guilt to even apathy. Please don’t judge yourself for how you’re feeling; everyone has different responses at different times, and it’s natural to oscillate through some extreme, and even conflicting emotions. However, do pay attention to what is arising in you, and let your emotions point you to what you might need. 
  • Focus on what you can control. When the landscape of the larger world is in disarray, it helps to make our focus narrow, and bring our attention to our immediate, controllable reality. Things like getting enough sleep, switching our phones off, tending to our diet, checking in with loved ones, or going for a walk. 
  • Create a media diet that supports your wellbeing. As a start, it may help to  avoid the live breaking news feeds, the sensationalist media and the 24h broadcasts.  When our brain feels threatened, it can be hard to distinguish useful information from noise. We recommend limiting your media diet to one scan of the news per day from a reliable news source. Perhaps try to avoid the ongoing dialogue and emotive footage, and rather focus on what you can practically do to support and contribute. If you’ve been sucked into the whirlpool of news, just pause, and check-in with yourself. Ask yourself: “Is this information useful for me right now? Can I do anything about this right now? What do I need to take care of my wellbeing right now? 

We are in this together.

If you’re struggling to deal with or process your emotions, remember that it’s okay if you need to seek support for yourself. We have a list of free and paid services for people’s mental health here.