The best way to help provide food, water, shelter, healthcare and protection to families fleeing the conflict in Ukraine is to make a donation to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis. The charities, including the British Red Cross, Save The Children and Oxfam, are experienced in delivering practical aid directly to the victims of conflict.
Homes for Ukraine
If you want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, you can become a ‘sponsor’ as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
You can register as an individual or as an organisation.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will contact you about your interest. You will then need to apply to be a sponsor.
You will be paired with someone needing somewhere to live if your application is successful.
DLUHC will carry out checks on both sponsors and people seeking to come to the UK, including the standard of accommodation. This may include a visit to your home. Sponsors will also get a support pack.
The role of Worcester City Council
Once you have been accepted as a sponsor, the City Council will visit your home to confirm that the accommodation you have offered to provide is suitable, that your guest is well and that there are no serious safeguarding or welfare concerns.
The Council will provide an interim payment of £200 per guest for living costs; this payment does not need to be repaid. The Council may also make additional payments, depending on specific circumstances.
Sponsors will be eligible for an optional ‘thank you payment’ of £350 per month, as long as the sponsorship arrangement exists, for up to 12 months in total. There will be a maximum of one monthly payment per address paid in arrears, regardless of the number of guests being hosted, and regardless of size or location of the property. These ‘thank you payments’ will be administered by the City Council.
The City Council will play a key role in supporting the integration of Ukrainian families into Worcester’s community. This work is still being developed and is likely to include the provision of translation services, working with local voluntary sector organisations and faith groups to help signpost advice and support, and the organisation of community events.
Support for matching Ukrainian guests with UK sponsors
The Government has endorsed several voluntary and community sector organisations that are running schemes to provide support for and help match people coming from Ukraine with sponsors in the UK, as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. These organisations can help Ukrainian guests find a sponsor and also help would-be sponsors link up with people fleeing the conflict.
How you can help welcome Ukrainian guests
If you are a resident who would like to volunteer to help support Ukrainian guests arriving in Worcester, or if you are an organisation or service that is in a position to provide practical or emotional support, you can register to help with the Worcestershire Here2Help scheme.
Offering work to people from Ukraine
The United Kingdom has a long and proud history of supporting people in their time of need, and an unprecedented number of British businesses have come forward to offer support to people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
The Government is providing guidance and information to businesses who are hoping to provide work to Ukrainian guests.
Guidance for Ukrainians arriving in Worcester
The UK Government has produced a useful guidance document for Ukrainian guests arriving in the UK, covering important matters like benefits, healthcare, schools, legal rights are more.
The Red Cross has also produced advice for Ukrainians arriving in the UK, with translations available:
- Advice for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (English)
- Інформація для громадян України, які прибувають до Великобританії (Ukrainian)
Information is available on how to access health care services in Worcester and South Worcestershire. Find out more about healthcare
A free helpline service for Ukrainian guests is available on 0800 148 8586. It is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, and offers support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine. The helpline is open Monday-Friday (10am–8pm) and Saturday (10am–3pm). Callers will be able to get help and advice on a range of topics. Find out more about the Barnardo’s’ Ukrainian Support Helpline.
Welcome guide for Ukrainian children under 18
The Introductory welcome guide for children under 18 is aimed at those who are not traveling with or joining a parent or legal guardian. The guide is a starting point and includes information about arriving and living in the UK, including where Ukrainian children can go for help if they have any problems, and how they will interact with councils.
Getting financial help
You can get a one-off payment of £200 per person when you arrive in the UK if you have a Homes for Ukraine visa. Contact the council to get this.
You can also apply for Universal Credit. This is a benefit paid to you each month if you do not have a job, cannot work or you’re on a low income. The amount you get depends on things like if you have a child or need help with housing costs.
You can open a UK bank account to get your benefits payments. If you’re not able to open a UK bank account you can still get benefits, but you’ll have to collect your benefits in person and take proof of identity with you.
If you have a family member fleeing Ukraine
If you have a family member fleeing Ukraine, you do not need to register your interest as a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Instead, you should apply to the Ukraine Family Scheme visa.
This also applies to extended family members such as aunts, uncles, cousins etc – full details are on the above webpage.
VISA application queries
For VISA application queries, the sponsor or applicant should contact the UKVI Support Desk - (translation services available)
The telephone number is +44 808 164 8810. Calls are free and lines are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Those who cannot contact 0808 numbers can call +44 175390 7510. Calls to this number may be charged, check with your phone provider.
Once either number has been called, select from the following options:
- Press 1: For the Ukraine Family Scheme
- Press 2: If you are a Ukraine national, or Ukraine national family member, applying under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme
- Press 3: If you are in the UK inquiring about sponsoring a Ukraine national, or Ukraine national family member under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme
- Press 4: If you are calling from a charity or an organisation
If you arrive in a personal vehicle
You will not need to register or tax your vehicle in the UK if all of the following apply:
- you have arrived in the UK and are coming from Ukraine
- the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
- you only use the vehicle in the UK for no more than 6 months
When entering the UK, you can drive past a customs control point (usually a green channel marked ‘nothing to declare’) without speaking to a customs officer.
If you become a resident or stay for longer than 6 months, you must register and tax your vehicle in the UK.