A rabbi organising host families for people fleeing the war in Ukraine has been “overwhelmed” by the numbers wanting to help, and said he feels now is the time for his generation to “step up”.

Jonathan Romain, whose mother fled Germany on the Kindertransport during the Second World War, has been contacted by more than 240 people offering rooms for refugees coming to the UK.

He praised the “amazing” response from those who have got in touch from across England, Scotland and Wales, offering rooms in their houses, mobile homes and even one who has a hotel.

Rabbi Romain said an 84-year-old woman told him she wants to offer her spare room despite being due to have a cataract operation soon, while another whose husband receives kidney dialysis has offered to open up her home if there is a Ukrainian family who are also in need of dialysis, saying she can take them all to hospital at the same time.

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“It’s been that sort of really warm response, really caring response that’s been quite amazing,” he told the PA news agency.

The rabbi, who plans to contact the Government on Monday with the offers he has received so far, said those wanting to help are a mix of people whose ancestors had to flee during the Second World War, and others who have no previous experience of refugees but are “just appalled for humanitarian reasons”.

He said the scheme is open to everybody, adding: “This is both for Jewish and non-Jewish refugees, we’re not distinguishing, anyone in need is someone in need.”

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Rabbi Romain, who is based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, and intends to host a person or family in need himself, said people want to provide practical help as well as donating money.

He said: “So many people have responded and I have been overwhelmed by the numbers, but also the comments because people are so appalled by what’s going on and they feel so impotent and they want to help in some way, and yes of course we can send money and medical equipment, but people want to be much more involved.

“Helping a real, live, genuine Ukrainian family and making a real difference to them is what appeals to a lot of people who’ve got that capacity and therefore they said ‘we’re only too delighted to help’.”

Rabbi Romain’s mother was just 11 when she arrived in the UK and ended up being looked after by a family in Devon.

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He said: “When what’s been happening in Ukraine erupted, I thought ‘well here’s my chance to repay the debt’. If it wasn’t for what Britain offered in hospitality to my mother, I wouldn’t be here and so this is perhaps the time for me and for my generation to step up.”

He said he hopes what happened with refugees coming to the UK from Afghanistan last year and being put up in hotels rather than hosted by British families can be avoided.

He said: “The warmth of human company is enormously important, and also for people who are trying to get to know the language. So it’s not just a matter of a roof over the head, it’s a matter of looking after people and getting them to integrate.”

Anyone who is interested in getting involved can email Rabbi Romain at rabbi@maidshul.org.