Below is a guide of resources for Ukrainian nationals who have recently arrived in the United Kingdom.
Here you will find information for housing, healthcare, English classes, and children’s education among other important topics.
The United Kingdom organises many of its government services through your local authority also known as your local “council”.
Don’t know which council you live in? You may use this site to locate your council by inputting your post code here
Once you enter the UK you will need to apply for your BRP. This is a government issued residency card which serves as proof that you have the right to live and work In the United Kingdom.
A national insurance number is your UK government tax payer’s number. You will need this when you apply for a job and if you wish to apply for universal credit. Although you can apply for a job and Universal Credit before you receive your government issued NI number, you will eventually be required to have one.
Universal Credit is a government social welfare payment to help you with your living costs. It’s paid monthly (sometimes twice a month if you live in Scotland). Ukrainian nationals recently arriving on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and the Family Sponsor scheme are eligible to receive this if you are on a low income, out of work or if you cannot work.
This payment scheme includes:
- Standard Allowance (support for living expenses)
- Housing Element (support for rent)
- Child Element (support for expenses raising a child)
- Child disability living allowance and carers allowance
- Attendance allowance
- Childcare support for working families
After you make your online application, you will be asked to visit a local Job Centre (they will give you the address of the closest one to you) and you will most likely have a follow up interview over the phone. It often takes up to six weeks before benefits are paid. UC payments are backdated to the date you made your application, so it is strongly advised that if you are eligible for UC you apply as soon as you arrive in the UK.
A payment will be made to a parent or guardian of a child or children by the UK government every four weeks. You may be entitled to receive monthly Child Benefit , if you have a child or children under the age of 16 or under the age of 20, if they stay in approved education or training. You can apply here
Please note that when applying for this benefit you should not submit your child’s original passport. Ask your local JobCentre for a certified copy of it instead.
The government has not created a housing scheme for Ukrainian guests once their hosting arrangement comes to an end. There are several routes that can be taken to find longer term accommodation.
This How to Rent guidebook has information about how private renting in England works here
You are able to claim the housing element of Universal Credit if you rent privately and your are named on the tenancy agreement. There is more information about this here
You cannot receive the housing element of universal credit while you continue to live with your host. This would be additional money that you would receive for your rental costs.
Housing costs vary in different parts of London. This website may be a helpful tool for locating affordable rental property in London.
It is unlikely that you will be eligible for social housing as most councils have strict residency criteria. For example, In Camden, a resident seeking public housing must have lived in Camden for 5 out of the last 7 years (see criteria here).
There is a chronic shortage of social housing in London. Even after you qualify for social housing, long waits of several years are not uncommon. Other councils will have similar residency criteria. There are some exemptions to this rule which you can find here
You may wish to consider “pairing up” with another Ukrainian family to share accommodation. If one or both families receive(s) Universal Credit you should discuss this issue with your job centre coach to make certain you meet all the criteria needed to set up a tenancy agreement.
Housing Emergency and Homelessness
If you are at serious risk of becoming homeless, you will be eligible for homelessness assistance from local councils. Anyone worried about this in Camden can contact Camden’s homelessness prevention team
For further advice contact the Homelessness Prevention team (link above) or Citizens Advice Camden
If you have a housing emergency and need a temporary place to stay, please contact United for Ukraine (Єдині для України)
If you are moving home and searching for household appliances and other household items you may find these websites useful:
Gumtree is a classified ads website.
Freecycle is a non-profit group which set up this website to help people recycleitems. A good source for home goods.
Many Polish and Eastern Europeans food markets sell Ukrainian food stuffs. Here is a list of shops in north west London:
Kubus Polskie Delikatesy 271-273 Neasden Ln, Brent Park, London NW10
If you are struggling to buy food you may be eligible to access local food banks. Many food banks require you to be referred by a charity. You can apply for food bank referrals via Citizen Advice Centre
Some Camden food banks which do not require referrals (otherwise known as “self referral”) include:
Queen’s Crescent Community Centre Food Bank between Queen’s Crescent and Sufra: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-3
West Hampstead Community Food Hub: Saturdays
JW3: Wednesdays @2:30
Food Cycle Kilburn @ St. Cuthbert’s Church: Saturdays 1:00pm
Food bank in 02 Centre Finchley Road community spaces. Open each Wednesday 12.30 to 3pm
Nearly all UK banks will allow Ukrainians to open a bank account.
Most banks will require:
Proof of ID: (Ukrainian passport and Visa stamp)
Proof of address:
You can obtain this from your GP or receive a letter from the council when the welfare officer visits
Letter from your GP can also be used as proof of address.
The United Kingdom has a socialised medicine system which is run by the NHS (National Health Services). To access health care you must first register with a local general practitioner (GP). To find a GP near you, use this site
Once you’ve located a GP surgery in your neighbourhood, you must register with them and apply for an NHS number. The GP will send you a letter confirming that your are registered as a patient. This letter should contain your name and street address. Hold onto this letter as it can serve as proof of address when applying for a bank account.
You will also receive a separate letter from the NHS which confirms your NHS number. This may be required when you make an appointment at your GP or when you access other NHS services.
You can make an initial appointment with your GP for medication prescriptions which can be given to you on a “repeat prescription” basis. If you need to see a specialist (such as an oncologist or cardiologist) you will first need to see the GP who will make a referral to the specialist’s office.
You may request a Ukrainian translator for your medical visit when you make your appointment.
NHS Prescriptions and eye-checks are free for children, pregnant women, women with a child under 12 months old, seniors over the age of 65 years old, or if you are on Universal Credit.
NHS dentistry is only free by exemption (for example, if you are aged under 18 or if you receive Universal Credit)
Preschool children. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to receive childcare allowance. Please read further and apply here.
For free childcare places in Camden, please apply here
You may need to get in contact directly with near-by nurseries and childminders to check availability. This will speed up the process.
The list of the central and local playgrounds for children
London has a range of diverse activities for children and adults of all ages.
Most large museums allow free access to the public and some also run free classes for younger children. Check events at the Natural History Museum, Tate, Science Museum, National Gallery, and Victoria and Albert online.
Often local libraries run free activities for the children
The Roundhouse is a hub of inspiration where artists and emerging talent create extraordinary work and where young talent can grow creatively as individuals. Their Young Creatives programme serves the 11-30 age group and offers courses and projects throughout the year.
Camden Fencing Club is one of the UK’s leading fencing clubs. Fencing coaching is available for beginners to advanced competitive levels. They offer a 10- week beginners course and fencing equipment is supplied.
West Hampstead school of dance offers free children’s ballet lessons for recently arriving Ukrainian children living in NW3.
Bloomsbury football club offers football practice and competition for boy and girls ages 5 to 12 in NW London. They have a select number of bursary places available for Ukrainian children.
SJW Football Club
SJW football club offers football practice and competition for boy and girls ages 5 to 12 in NW London. They have a select number of bursary places available for Ukrainian children.
Universal Credit recipients may purchase £3 tickets to the London Zoo via ZSL’s Community Access Scheme. More detail can be found here.
If you are a refugee but not receiving universal credit, please write to us at email@example.com and we can help you purchase discounted zoo ticket.
English Heritage has an incredible range of sites across the UK including Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall and Battle Abbey. They are extending a warm welcome to Ukrainian guests and are offering free entry to all sites across the UK. No pre-booking is required. Please bring your BRP or other proof of your Ukrainian immigration status. For further information and details of other groups offering free entry visit
Based in North Camden, a charity that offers support to families, children, and adolescents through after school clubs, holiday play schemes and other targeted activities and events.
Kiddo Adventures here is a list of affordable days out for Universal Credit Recipients
Camden runs several after school and holiday time camps for children and adolescents. Their programs are available to all Camden residents.
Children’s activities and summer camp in Camden
BABIES and CHILDREN UNDER 5
Little Village runs banks for baby items and offers other support services for London families with children under the age of five.
UK Education is broken down into five main categories:
Early years: nursery school (up to age 5 years old)
Primary school: 5-11 years old
Secondary school: 12-16 years old
Sixth Form/Vocational programmes: 16-18 years old
Higher Education: university level
All children in England up to the age of 18 years old must be in full time education. Once a child is 16 years old they may choose to attend a 6th form college to continue their academic course work and prepare for their A level exams or they may attend a vocational programme.
To locate schools near you, input your post code here:
Comprehensive information about Camden schools can be accessed here:
You may apply to school via your local council but it may be faster to contact schools directly and ask for availability for your child’s age group. You may find it useful to visit the school to find out more in person about the application process.
You may also consider contacting independent (private) schools to see if they offer bursary places to Ukrainian children.
Universities: There are a few programmes which have recently announced free places for Ukrainian students and scholars. Please check the links below:
Financial support for university aged students:
University support for Ukrainians:
Ukrainian study guide
For students continuing with their Ukrainian studies, this website contains links to the national curriculum textbooks
Here are some useful tips for finding work in the UK.
CV and interview assistance
The government and local authorities often provide free online and in-person support for CV writing, job searches and interview preparation. Below are some useful resources.
This government website link offers practical information for starting a job search.
The Mayor of London website
The Mayor of London website has a host of resources to assist job seekers.
Employment support – Camden Council
Your local Job Centre can help with CV writing. Ask your case manager to help you make an appointment with an adviser.
If you are in need of appropriate clothing for a job interview you may find assistance through the following charities:
Dress for Success
Families4Peace can refer you to Dress for Success. This charity can provide interview clothing and other support.
Smart Works provides clothing for job interviews. Ukrainian nationals may self refer themselves to Smart Works. Smart Works can also help you with information regarding the correct salary expectations and provide advice on interview questions and expectations.
Gaining Confidence with English
To help improve your English language skills and to build confidence you may consider signing up for programmes which may increase your chances of employment.
Resurgo’s Re-Work Programme
Re-Work equips unemployed adults with the skills, mindset and confidence they need to re-enter the work place.
Another way to improve your English is to volunteer.
Here are some websites where you can find volunteer positions:
Do-It helps people build meaningful connections, do good things and feel healthier and happier as a result
London Government’s website
We bring people from different backgrounds and communities together to make London a happier and more unified city.
We offer hundreds of high-quality volunteering roles from a wide range of approved organisations. With both one-off and ongoing roles, there’s something for everyone.
Volunteer at London Zoo
Learning new skills and qualification courses
The British Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ)
This organisation can tell you if and how your profession is regulated in Great Britian.
Westminster Adult Education Services
WAES aims to make learning available to everyone. Fees are structured to ensure our courses are accessible to all parts of the community. Many courses are available for Ukrainians or those receiving universal credit here
If you wish to learn a new trade you may contact the Apprenticeships Team in your local authority: For Camden
Many colleges offer discounts or bursaries for Ukrainians or those who receive universal credit. Look for the “bursaries” section on college websites
Westminster Kingsway College
Thomas Wall Trust
The Thomas Wall Trust may be able to help with a grant for study
How to Find Job Vacancies
There are many ways to learn about job vacancies.
Here are some suggestions:
Local authorities will often hold job fairs. To find one in your area we recommend you search “Job Fairs London” or “Job Fairs near me” in a search engine like Google or Safari.
Some websites with local job offers we can recommend:
Indeed is the #1 job site in the world1 with over 250M unique visitors every month. Indeed strives to put job seekers first, giving them free access to search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies.
LinkedIn will allow you to receive notifications for job vacancies that require knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian Language
One of the UK’s largest hiring platforms, JobSite offers jobseekers the chance to search, view and apply for over 280,000 live job adverts, in any industry, across the whole of the UK.
This is a job search platform to help job seekers look for jobs in the Uk and beyond.
If you are interested in working for a specific company it may be useful to visit their website to learn of job vacancies.
Some companies such as Gail’s bakery support Ukrainians
There are several companies which recruit candidates for jobs.
A few examples are listed below.
This is a King’s Cross based recruitment company that helps local businesses find staff.
Julia’s Cleaning hires individuals for cleaning work
My Temporary Nanny
My temporary nanny is a boutique nanny agency matching Temporary childcarers with families in the UK.
Local Social Media Groups
There are several groups on Facebook that can be used to find work such as for babysitters, dog walking, cat sitting or cleaning.
Some we recommend include:
Queens Park Mums
Cat in a Flat
Refugee Employment Network
This organisation works to ensure ensure every refugee in the UK is able to access appropriate, fulfilling, paid employment or self-employment.
Women Returners works with employers and carer returners to enable professionals to return to work after an extended career break.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Returners
The STEM Returners programme helps employers recruit, develop and retain the best available talent. This group enables highly qualified and experienced candidates to re-start their career.
This website helps women find part-time professional job opportunities.
Find A Job
Part of the government website that lists job openings in your area.
Breaking Barriers enables refugees in London, Birmingham and Manchester to acquire the knowledge, confidence and experience they need to secure stable and fulfilling jobs.
World-wide employment company with regular job postings.
Part Time Work
Some websites offer information specifically for part-time employment.
This is a website that links part time job seekers and recruiters. They also offer CV help.
Indeed Flex helps employers to find the right candidates, and employees to find the working patterns and scenarios to suit their lifestyles.
Flexible Working People
Flexible Working People supports both candidates and businesses on this journey, helping employers adjust to this ‘new normal’ and candidates in finding careers they love, on terms that work for them.
Some other valuable resources include the following.
Groups for Ukrainians
A Telegram app based group that posts job opportunities
Upwork is a website to support self employed workers. They have a Ukrainian specific program.
For women wishing to start their own business:
Guidance for working in Uk healthcare
UK PHONE NUMBER
You will need a local United Kingdom phone number in order to access health care, set up a local bank account and apply for universal credit (government assistance).
Several UK phone companies are offering free UK SIM cards for periods of time.
Companies which have free SIM card offers for Ukrainians include:
Vodafone has pledged to provide free SIM cards for up to 200,000 Ukrainian guests arriving in the UK. The SIM cards are pre-loaded and each comes with 20GB data each month plus unlimited calls and texts for a period of 6 months. Any Ukrainian citizen arriving in the UK via the government’s resettlement scheme is eligible.
You may obtain a Vodafone SIM card by receiving a referral from one of their charity partners. A list of these partners is here
The “3” network has also offered to give Ukrainians a free pre-loaded SIM card that is good for 1 month.
After your free-period contract is finished, you may remain with the same provider or join a new one, keeping your existing mobile number. Most contracts are set up on a monthly “Pay as you go” system or an annual contract.
English Classes (ESOL)
Most local councils run free English courses as part of their Adult Learning programs.
ESOL courses available from Camden Council
ESOL courses available from Islington Council
Online assessment of your English and registration for free ESOL courses.
Some local universities also offer free English classes here
Training Link runs free weekly conversation groups as well as 1 to 1 English lessons
Questions can be sent to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speak Street charity runs free conversations groups as well as sight seeing to improve your English email@example.com
This Camden run gym offers free membership to Ukrainian guests that includes free swimming classes for children
London has an excellent public transport system. The Transport for London website can be used to plan a journey across the city, buy tickets and receive updates on service delays or suspensions.
TFL is offering a few discounts for Ukrainians:
If you live in Barnet you can learn of transport discounts here:
Ukrainian drivers licences are valid for up to 12 months from your arrival.
After 12 months you must apply for a provisional UK drivers licence and take a UK driving test
FREE LEGAL AID
If you need legal advice you may find help from one of the charities listed below:
The Mary Ward Legal Centre provides free, independent advice to people who live and work in London to help them access their legal rights and entitlements.
For free, impartial advice on a range of topics, please visit Camden’s advice website.
Large budget clothing shops like Primark and H&M keep the same prices at all locations, while second hand charity shops will have different prices depending on the neighbourhood and quality of the donations they receive. To find a charity shops near you see this link
Nextdoor is a site with local information and goods to collect or buy.
Vinted is a good site for a cheap second hand clothes.
Freecycle offers free clothes and household items.
UKRAINIAN CHARITIES AND SERVICES
There are many Ukrainian charities and services available in London. Here are some of the most well known:
Ukrainian Social Club (154 Holland Park Avenue, London W11) or contact Svitlana on 07500 068168
At bottom of Ukrainian Charities and Services list — please place after Ukrainian Social Club)
Church in Westminster offering support for Ukrainians:
Refugee Support from Ukrainian institute
Holly Trinity Brompton Church: Humanitarian support for Ukrainians every Thursday, 14:00-17:00 Queen’s Gate, SW7 5LP.
Barnados offers supplies for school children aged 5-10 years old
This charity supports young children and can provide items for pre-school children. You will need a referral which can be written by a GP
The British Red Cross is one of the charities supporting people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine who are now in the UK.