Bonsall & Derbyshire Dales Link  
 

Questions & Answers

We’ve prepared a small FAQ section below for those families who are considering hosting but want to know more information about it. We aimed to cover most of the questions asked by prospective host families, but just in case if your question is not listed here, please feel free to ask us at 01629 824512 (ask Chris or Janice Broome), or at chair.bonsall@ccll.org.uk .

What is hosting about?

As a children’s charity, CCLL see hosting as being more than simply allowing the children to live under your roof and share the food on your table. During their stay in the UK, the children, as a group, take part in a rich entertainment programme, visiting local (and a few further afield) places of interest, having fun outdoors, and generally leading an active and healthy life style. While we don’t expect you to participate in all of the activities in the programme (host families are welcome to make use of an occasional full-day or multi-day group trip to have some time for themselves), you are expected to bring ‘your children’ to the meeting points (which would normally be Bonsall or a place nearby such as Matlock) and collect them at the end of the day.

Why host children - what are the reasons and goals?

The children that CCLL brings over to the UK live in contaminated and mainly deprived areas of Ukraine and Belarus. Left alone to themselves, they have little or no chance of escaping the way of life led by their families for decades, and they urgently need our support to re-gain self-esteem and confidence to try to improve their prospects for their future. A month-long holiday in the UK gives the children a chance to see the world outside the gloomy environment they have got used to, improve their health by breathing clean Derbyshire air and eating healthy food (and having their teeth and eyes professionally checked too), and build self-confidence by spending quality time with people who just want to help them in whatever way we can.

How many children do I/we have to host? How old are they?

Each host family host two children (either two boys or two girls) usually of between 9 and 11 years of age. You can choose whether you want to host the children for the whole length of their holiday i.e. 4 weeks, or just for 2 weeks. We have found that children under the age of nine can be more prone to home sickness than the older ones – 4 weeks is a long time for the children to be away from their own families.

What is required from me/us as a host?

Not to overload you with information, your responsibilities as a host family include: (1) providing the children with a comfortable and safe home, good quality meals, and (most of all) giving them some TLC (2) bringing children over to the group meeting points on group trip days and collecting them from there when the group activity is over, (3) treating the children with respect, like you would your own children, and help them spend quality time whilst here in the UK learning about our country and culture and encouraging them to speak English. Our primary aim is to ‘make the children happy’ and to send them home with a big smile on their, hopefully, rosy faces.

Oh, and if you are hosting for the first time, you would also need to complete a DBS check. This procedure is very straightforward and simple and does not involve any hassle or cost. The Link will help you with completing the DBS application form.

What if I/we agree to host but our plans change unexpectedly during or before the children’s visit?

This can and does sometimes occur and it then depends on the nature of the change. If you are still OK to host but just need to take a couple of days off in the middle of your hosting period, that’s totally fine. Our support families will happily take care of the children during those days while you are busy with your affairs.

If you unexpectedly realise that you can’t host at all, we will address that problem at the time – we normally have a ‘reserve’ host family who are there to step in if a host family becomes unavailable for whatever reason.

Your itinerary is quite busy. Do I/we need to participate in all the activities?

Whilst you are welcome to participate in all the activities if you wish, there is no requirement to do that. You are already doing a lot by hosting children, so we always encourage our host families to allow some time for themselves, particularly on a trip day, which can be covered by our support families.  Where possible, we would ask you to bring the children you are hosting to the group meeting point for the trip and then collect them when they return. But again, if you are not able to do this on the odd day, then we will arrange for a support family or one of the other host families to take and/or collect them.

 

 

Our own children live with us. Can we host?

Sure! Your ‘extended family’ will definitely have a great time together. We have had a lot of host families with their own children (some younger, older, or about the same age as our little guests). All of them had lots of fun together, and some even became ‘pen friends’ and still communicate with each other.

Is there a language barrier?

The children are learning English in school, so most of them can understand basic English, and some take the opportunity to improve it. They come over with their group leader, who is usually their English teacher, who is given a mobile phone which is kept on 24/7 so that host families can call them at any time for assistance. There also are several Russian and Ukrainian-speaking supporters in the Link who will be happy to offer their 24/7 interpretation services as well should you come across a communication issue.

As the children come from areas contaminated with radiation, can living with them be dangerous to my family’s health?

No more than living with a typical British child. Whilst indeed the children do ingest low levels of radiation from their food and water, it cannot be ‘passed on’ to anyone. There is no health risk whatsoever from hosting the children.

What expenses does hosting incur?

The expenses you will incur are mainly about paying for the children’s food (cooked at home or at cafés). While the children’s attraction entry tickets are paid for by the charity, you may be asked to pay for yourself (and your own children) if you plan to visit the attractions too.

Many host families take the children out for some shopping. Whether you do this, which stores to take the kids to and how much to spend on them is completely up to you. We do though ask host families not to spoil the children and not to buy any expensive gifts, particularly electronic things, including mobile phones. The main thing we like to send them home with is clothing, good quality second hand clothes are fine, they don’t have to be new.

What if my family doesn’t get on with the children well or there is an issue with the children’s behavior?

Our experience over the last 13 years shows us that such cases are very rare. Most of the children are well-behaved, often quiet and polite. Upon their arrival in Bonsall, the kids will have already been met by the charity chairman at the airport, if not in their own country. Before the children arrive, our charity host families will share their experience and insights into common issues you might face (such as home sickness), and how to deal with them. Any behavioral problem with the children gets to be nipped in the bud by the Group Leader before it becomes a bigger issue.

Is there a contact to call in case of emergency?

The Group Leader and the Link Chairman will be accessible by phone 24/7. If you feel that something poses immediate danger to you or the children, call 999. If a child has an accident you take them to A & E like you would with your own child and inform the Leader and Chairman immediately who would then join you at the hospital.

 

 

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