In addition to our Ukraine Support page, the admins of the Wellingborough Ukrainian Guests and Sponsors Facebook group, Marion Turner-Hawes and Heather Saunders, have written a step by step process for Ukrainian guests and sponsors, which outlines where to go at whichever stage you are at. Click on the links to get to the section for your current stage:
- Registering Interest
- Preparing your home
- Preparing yourself
- Journey/arrival in the UK
- Arrival at sponsor’s home
- Registration with essential services
- Settling into the area/community
- Getting support and helping each other
This page is being developed all the time, so please watch this space and share it with anyone that needs it. It is full of external links that have been found by the authors and others that have been through the process. More links are also available in the Useful Supporting Information section of this page. If you have a link please do share via the Facebook group or by email. We hope that you find this guide useful.
Speaking to existing sponsors and their guests:
Homes for Ukraine: sponsor guidance – UK Government
Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions – UK Government
NB – Please be aware, these links now contain updated information.
Your ‘thank you’ payments from the government will not affect your benefit
payments or your Council tax discount.
NB – in NNC Area these ‘thank you’ payments will come to you once North Northants Council (NNC) have completed all the checks on you and your home, including DBS checks. Please be aware this may take some time and may not be complete by the end of your first month as a sponsor / host.
3. Registering interest Homes for Ukraine
Record your interest – Record your interest in becoming a sponsor with the Government using this link.
NB – Please be aware – registering here does not enable you to find a family to host. You will need to do your own work to find a person or family to host.
There is no specific government matching process . The websites listed have been useful:
OPORA Independent matching service (also provides baby items)
Reset Communities and Refugees – The UK’s Community Sponsorship Hub • Reset Communities and Refugees (resetuk.org) Government funded matching service
Local Matching Supporting
Since there are many refugees already here more localised approaches to matching are now emerging. Please contact Bogdan or Mila at Victoria Centre in Wellingborough for more details Bogdan@victoriacentre.org.uk
Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)
If you need help, here are the Visa Application Form questions with translations in Ukrainian and Russian.
If you have delays in visa processing or need to process urgently contact your local MP:
- For Wellingborough and Rushden contact Peter Bone by email email@example.com or call his office 01933 279343.
- For Corby and the rest of East Northants the MP is Tom Pursglove.
- For Kettering the MP is Phillip Hollbone.
Alternatively call the Visa Helpline on 0300 7906268 (charges 69p per minute)
6. Preparing your home
Details of Accommodation Requirements:
- Unrelated adults and children over 10 of different sexes cannot share rooms.
- A bathroom with a working lock on the door is required.
- Access to a kitchen is required. You do not have to provide meals.
- Permission from your landlord or housing association if you are in rented accommodation is required.
- Central heating is required (no plug in radiators).
- A gas safe certificate may be required for your boiler, but as long as your boiler has been serviced in the last 12 months this should suffice.
- Any room with a solid fuel heater will need a carbon monoxide detector.
- Each floor will need a fire alarm.
- Fire extinguishers are not required.
A home visit from the Council is required. This will be triggered when the visas are approved. North Northamptonshire Council has access to the Home Office database and will retrieve your information from there and make contact.
7. Preparing yourself
A DBS check is required for every adult living in your home or staying overnight (including students returning from university) if you are sponsoring children under 18 you will need ‘enhanced’ DBS checks.
To apply for a DBS check you will need your birth certificate, passport and/or driving licence (2 of the 3) and 2 utility bills or bank statements.
It is unlikely your existing DBS certificate will be adequate.
North Northamptonshire Council will arrange DBS checks for you and they will pay for them. You will receive two emails, follow the link and log in using the username and password they give you.
Opora have produced a guide to help you prepare for your new arrivals.
8. Journey and Arrival in the UK
Arrange transport to your house (host’s home)
Stenaline Ferries are still offering free travel for Ukrainians fleeing the war and support to charities helping them.
Eurostar is offering free travel for Ukrainians fleeing the war.
‘Opora’ flights are no longer available at this time.
There are welcome desks at St Pancras and major airports including Luton, Birmingham and Heathrow.
National Rail also offers free one off train travel within the UK for newly arrived refugees.
Collect your guests from the arrival point if possible, particularly if they don’t speak or read English.
Interpreters may be available to support sponsors meeting new arrivals; request help on the Wellingborough Ukrainian guests and sponsors | Facebook group, including signs to hold up at the arrival point which can be written in Ukrainian for you.
Amazon Kindle book – ‘Ukrainian, one day at a time: Language learning and advice for adults, plus phrasebook for use with children’.
Install the ‘Say Hi’ translation app on your phone.
Free phrasebook from Lonely Planet.
9. Arrival at sponsor’s home (first week with hosts)
Prepare a ‘welcome pack’
Essential toiletries and little luxuries if you can. Glamis Hall can help assemble welcome packs at minimal costs (often 10% of retail, products may vary)
Contents could include soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, face cloths, hairbrush, sanitary towels, children’s toothpaste and brushes, hand towels, shampoo, children’s shampoo, deodorant, wash bag, shower gel, deodorant. Some little luxuries like fluffy socks or chocolate perhaps.
Support to contact families in Ukraine or elsewhere
Arrange a UK sim card in advance, you can get these from:
- The Victoria Centre – 01933 277400
- Northamptonshire Rights and Equalities Council – 01604 400808
10. Register with essential services
Register for a Bank Account
Proof of address requirements have been loosened by certain banks:
Barclays are offering a ‘no questions asked’ account on production of a visa.
Registering for Universal Credit
Register with a Doctor
Drop into your own surgery and pick up the forms
To find your nearest GP service and for more information please see NHS – How to register with a GP
Register with a Dentist
Try your own Dentist first, or look at NHS dental services for a full list
Registering with HMRC for Tax and National Insurance
NB – You may require an appointment in Peterborough if your guests do not have biometric residence permits.
Register for School Places
Go to Homes for Ukraine – Children applying for a school place |or North Northamptonshire Council (northnorthants.gov.uk) but it is likely school places will be limited. Admission is usually through the above council route, but there are long delays getting Ukrainian Children into schools at present. If you are experiencing this then you might want to contact local schools directly and find out if there are available places.
NB – Please see a note below about the Government’s plans to Ukrainian children accessing schools (Appendix 1)
Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
Most schools and colleges are expected to identify and meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities. Your local council will be able to offer more support and information
Temporary Schooling Solutions
Premises can be made available (at Glamis Hall, Victoria Centre and other community halls) for Ukrainian teachers and parents to set up temporary ‘home schooling’ and play sessions for children. Join the Facebook group ‘Wellingborough Ukrainian guests and sponsors’ as plans are being made for temporary schooling and other lessons (English and Ukrainian) which will be announced there.
Arranging COVID Vaccinations
NHS are providing all COVID jabs to refugees free of charge, same as usual for UK residents.
Once registered with a GP you can use the NHS booking service
If not registered yet with a GP, you can go to one of the many COVID 19 vaccine walk in centres – Find a centre near you.
Biometric Residence Permits (BRP)
This is proof of evidence of a refugee’s right to live, work and study in the UK. This can be used as proof of identity when opening a bank account or renting a property. The electronic chip holds information such as name, date of birth and place of birth. It will also have a photograph, fingerprints, and a person’s immigration status. Ukrainian Refugees will need to access one of these as soon as they arrive in the UK.
Use this online form to help your guests apply to extend their visa to up to 3 years.
Once registered, guests will then need to visit a designated centre to finalise the BRP application. Lifts can be provided to help families get to these centres if sponsors are not available. Please contact Glamis Hall (ask for Mila) on 01933 677326
Accessing the £200 cash from North Northamptonshire Council
North Northamptonshire Council is passing these payments to guests using prepaid vouchers, these will be emailed to you. You will need to print these off. They can be redeemed at local shops that operate ‘Pay-Point’ scheme, but only at Pay Point stores operate the ‘cash out’ system. Check your local stores.
NB – This system has not been working well and NNC are working to change it to a method people can access via the Post Office.
Registering for a National Insurance Number
To work in the UK guests will need a National Insurance Number (NINO). Apply for a NINO here
Applying for Universal Credit
Please help people to apply straightaway, as it can take many weeks to process. Apply for Universal Credit here
NB – Please not guest will not need to do the habitual residency test. They are likely to be called in by the Job Centre once their application is processed – Universal Credit applications need to be done online.
Important Note – Please have a go at supporting your guests through these registrations yourself. If you have any problems, you can contact Bogdan at Victoria Centre and he will do his best to advise and support.
11. Settling in to the area and community (the first few weeks)
Integration phase 1 – During this phase guests will start to access services in the community:
Free second hand clothing is available at Glamis Hall. Wellingborough Eco Group are providing this clothing, plus some children’s books and toys at their Swap Shop at Glamis Hall in the Community room every Tuesday afternoon from 2-6pm. This can also be accessed by going to the Wellingborough Swap Shop | Facebook group.
The Daylight Centre shop in Cambridge Street also have clothing available at a very fair price
Emotional and Psychological Support
There are mainstream support services that can provide help, such as Samaritans.
English for Speakers of Other Languages
This is a big need, things happening now are….
- Basic English skills – ‘Welcome to English’ session by Edeltraud at Victoria Centre – Every Friday, 10am to 12pm – Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
- English Classes at Hope Church, Hemmingwell by North Northamptonshire Council – Every Thursday 11.30am – Contact Sarah King by email email@example.com
- Online Family Learning English Classes by North Northamptonshire Council – now on a few times each week – contact Emilia Ratcliffe by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online Cultural Awareness Classes by North Northamptonshire Council – contact Emilia Ratcliffe by email email@example.com
After people have settled in they will be keen to access paid work if they can .
They have the right to work as soon as they arrive in the UK.
To look for a job, they can use a free government website called ‘Find a Job.’ To apply for a job they will need to create an account or sign in.
Job Centre Plus can also help.
The Victoria Centre and others have also been speaking to local employers and are finding many places that could offer work.
Checking the Right to Work
Employers must check that guest are allowed to work in the UK before employing them. Guest’s Biometric Residence Permit will be helpful as evidence to show a guest’s immigration status in the UK.
To prove their status digitally to an employer they can use the online service.
Possible employers can also use the Right to Work service to check.
The UK European Network Information Centre (UK ENIC, and formerly UK NARIC) provides expert advice on behalf of the UK Government on the comparability of international qualifications, including those from Ukraine to UK qualifications.
People can get help with childcare depending on their circumstances. For more information please follow this link:
12. Getting Support and Helping Each Other
Integration phase 2.
Support Groups and Events
There are regular weekly support and other social meetings in North Northants area. Ukrainian guests are welcome at all of them:
Wellingborough Support Group every Friday 11.30 am to 2.30pm, Basic English Classes also available 10am-12noon at the Victoria Centre, 46-50 Palk Rd, Wellingborough, NN8 1HR – Call 01933 277400.
Corby meet every Tuesday 9am to 12 noon at the Living Centre, 170 Cottingham Rd, Corby, NN17 1SY.
Kettering hold meetings every Saturday 12-3pm organised by Kettering Refugee Assistance Group – see Kettering Refugee Assistance Facebook page for details.
Irthlingborough - Various support meetings are available at Irthlingborough Library.
NB – Other trips, visits and outings are being organised by Glamis Hall and (other groups), from time to time. For details of these please visit the Wellingborough Ukrainian Guests and Sponsors Facebook page
Facebook Support Groups
13. Integration (up to end of first 6
Integration phase 3.
When guests start to find their own feet and decide to stay in UK:
• Ensure they have completed all settlement processes
• Access own housing to rent
Check list about renting a home in England – UK Government
• Settle into work
• Start own businesses
• Support family members to come to UK
Useful Supporting Information
Advice Handbook for Ukrainian Refugees – Available in English, Ukrainian and Russian
Emergency Health Access Information – Available in English, Ukrainian and Russian
Government data about the present level of visa applications and approvals by scheme type.
North Northamptonshire Council’s Ukraine support page.
North Northamptonshire Council Resettlement email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Baby Basics help people and families with children that may need additional support and equipment.
Notes about Education and School Access from the Government Guide to Local Councils
Education and childcare
Just like families entering UK under the Afghan and Hong Kong BN(O) resettlement schemes, children arriving from Ukraine will have no specific additional priority for admission, but the council is under a duty to offer advice to parents on the school application process and should advise them where vacancies exist and how to apply.
If there are school places available in the local area, even if not in the immediate vicinity of the family’s home, the council should work with families arriving from Ukraine to enable the children to attend school as soon as possible. It is expected that councils provide places and, where they can admit above their published admission numbers (PAN); admitting children of Ukrainian refugees as exceptions to the infant class size limit; as well as place such children using the in-year Fair Access Protocol where needed, as permitted by the School Admissions Code.
All young people in England are required to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday and most continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. Councils have a statutory duty to support 16- and 17-year-olds to move into education and training. Guests living in the UK under Ukraine Family Scheme, or the Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine are eligible to enrol as a student, although colleges (but not state-funded schools) may ask to see evidence of eligibility.
The government is providing additional funding to councils to provide education services for children from families if they have arrived through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Ukrainians aged 19+ and their family members settled in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) can access training to gain the skills they need to move on with their lives. This includes provision funded through the Adult Education Budget (including ESOL) and Level 3 – Free Courses for Job Offer.
Notes from Same Document for the ‘Funding section’
The government is also providing additional funding to councils to provide education services for children from families arriving from Ukraine under this scheme. The Department for Education (DfE) will allocate funding on a per pupil basis for the 3 phases of education at the following annual rates:
- Early years (ages 2 to 4) – £3,000
- Primary (ages 5 -11) – £6,580
- Secondary (ages 11-18) – £8,755
These tariffs include support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).