Support for Ukraine
Hillingdon Council, like other councils, has been given an important co-ordinating role in supporting people coming from Ukraine.
Welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK
A welcome guide has been published on the GOV.uk website. This is a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Schemes to help people coming from Ukraine
We are working with a range of partners to deliver a package of support and ensure that all people coming from Ukraine are well looked after in Hillingdon. The government is providing additional funding to the council to deliver this support and ensure people coming from Ukraine are able to start rebuilding their lives and fully integrate into communities. Further funding will be provided to support education services.
We will be supporting all people coming from Ukraine that arrive in Hillingdon via the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.
The support we will be offering includes providing a reception for guests arriving at Heathrow Airport, working with airport staff and partner organisations to meet any initial needs; undertaking welfare, safeguarding and accommodation checks; arranging support for people from Ukraine, such as registering with a GP and school; administering support payments and providing advice and support to hosts, if required.
The government has determined that people from Ukraine will require a visa to enter the UK.
There are presently 2 schemes available to help people from Ukraine.
Ukraine Family Scheme
The Ukrainian Family Scheme allows people from Ukraine to join family members in the UK.
Homes for Ukraine
The Homes for Ukraine scheme allows named Ukrainian nationals to be sponsored by UK households. You do not need to know someone from Ukraine to become a host.
You must commit to provide free accommodation for at least 6 months for which you will receive an optional monthly 'thank you' payment of £350. Guests under this scheme will need to meet security checks prior to being issued with a visa that will entitle them to live, work and access benefits, healthcare and education in the UK for up to 3 years.
Sponsors are required to help organise their guest's arrival, meet them on arrival, signpost them to public services and assist them with tasks, such as registering with a GP.
Information for potential sponsors
The council will be co-ordinating services and offering guests and sponsors support in the following ways:
- providing dedicated support to sponsors
- inspecting sponsor accommodation to check it's safe and of an appropriate size
- carrying out DBS and safeguarding checks for all adults in the sponsor household
- carrying out safeguarding checks with guests when they arrive at the sponsor accommodation
- administering payments for guests and sponsors
- assisting guests to receive Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Housing Benefit where they meet eligibility criteria
- accessing local Jobcentre Plus appointments for benefit assessments and job-seeking
- providing school places for children of school age
- referring guests to health and social care services, as appropriate
- assisting with homelessness if a guest is homeless or at risk of homelessness
- helping guests to integrate into local communities with support from voluntary, community and faith organisations.
Read more information about the Homes for Ukraine scheme, including practical information, on the Asylum welcome website.
Reset has also produced a toolkit for sponsors wishing to welcome people through the Homes for Ukraine programme.
We will be working with a range of partners to offer our support and ensure that all people from the Ukraine are well looked after in Hillingdon.
Voluntary and community support
Hillingdon has an active voluntary and community sector, with many groups already providing support to people from other communities. We regularly meet with representatives from the sector so we together plan how best to support new arrivals.
Community, faith and volunteer groups can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reset - providing a matching and training service for sponsors and people from Ukraine under the UK government's Homes for Ukraine scheme, with support from DLUHC. It will bring together sponsors and people from Ukraine, and assess their eligibility and suitability for the scheme. It will also provide training and advice to the sponsors and community groups. Sponsors and people from Ukraine will need to register on the Reset matching website and will be contacted by the Reset team to begin the matching process.
- Red Cross - information and support for people from Ukraine, including the family migration visa and the Ukrainian family scheme.
- Homes for Ukraine - a reset service for the community helping register and match people from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK.
- Sanctuary Foundation - online information events and support for hosts.
- Refugees at Home - a charity that has experience connecting people from the Ukraine and hosts.
- Room for Refugees - has previously settled unaccompanied child refugees.
- World Jewish Relief - runs a number of projects in Ukraine.
- Barnardos - free helpline (0800 148 8586) staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers to offer support to children and families arriving from Ukraine. Callers will be able to get help and advice on a range of topics.
Free leisure centre membership for Ukrainians
Better leisure centres, sports facilities, pools and gyms across the UK have launched a new initiative that offers Ukrainians a free Better Health Centre membership or a lesson or course membership, for a fixed 3-month period. The scheme is open to Ukrainians who were living in the Ukraine prior to January 2022.
To find out more, visit www.better.org.uk
If you would like to provide a donation to support people from Ukraine, you can do this via the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal website.