Local support and services for Ukrainian refugees
We are coordinating a range of support for new arrivals from Ukraine and their sponsors where it is needed. With our partners, we will be aiming to make contact with and visit all sponsors when we are notified through the Homes for Ukraine scheme that local new arrivals from Ukraine have visas and will be hosted at addresses in the borough.
This is a bi-borough programme, working with Kensington and Chelsea Council.
If you know when the Ukrainian family will be arriving at your home, please let us know by emailing [email protected]. We will then make contact with you to organise an initial visit to complete the checks we are expected to make as outlined in the Government guidance. This will include:
- viewing the accommodation where the refugees will be living to check it is suitable and safe
- a check on the welfare of the newly arrived family or individual
- arranging for the completion of a Data and Barring Service (DBS) check for all adults in the sponsor household, sponsors will be required to complete an Enhanced DBS check if they have agreed for children or a vulnerable adult to stay with them
- where we have confirmed that accommodation being provided is suitable, we will also gather financial details of the sponsor household so we can process the 'thank you' payments being made available through the Homes for Ukraine scheme
- there may be a need for us to make further contact with sponsor households to confirm additional information we have been tasked to gather
More details of Government expectations of sponsors can be found on the GOV.UK website
An additional purpose for our visit is to consider any problems that the newly arrived families or individuals may be experiencing and to provide information or support with getting access to any additional services that may help.
While we aim to arrange visits and carry out checks in good time, the need to do this should not delay access by families and individuals to accommodation.
Additional support and information for families and individuals from Ukraine
We are working closely with Support Ukraine Coordination Hub, who have longstanding links with London’s Ukrainian community and part of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB). They are offering support to all refugees including law surgeries and activities for children.
The Hub also provides a supplementary Saturday school for Ukrainian children, and we are working with teachers in the school to ensure that all refugee children can access this.
The Support Ukraine Coordination Hub can be contacted on 020 3034 2060.
Families with children, who have arrived through either the Homes for Ukraine or Family Visa schemes, are all entitled to access education. We are keen to assist with getting access to school placements where this is required.
Applications for school places are referred to as ‘in-year’ and can be made through the Council’s Admissions team. The team can advise on school place availability and how to apply.
If you want to speak to the team directly, call 020 7745 6432 or 030 7745 6433, or you can email [email protected]
Families with children who are under 5
Support is available for families who need a place in early years provision or nurseries for children aged 2, 3 or 4 years of age. Parents and carers can contact the funding team who will be able to help find a suitable placement in one of our early years settings.
To speak to the team, call 07971 625 922 or 07971 626082, or email [email protected]
All families and individuals arriving in the UK should register with an NHS doctor (known as a GP) for everyday health issues. NHS services including hospitals are free. Newly arrived families may be asked to show their passports or Biometric Residence Permit but are not expected to pay the immigration health surcharge.
Libraries and Internet access
Westminster has library facilities at different locations across the borough. Newly arrived families and individuals will be able to register to use the services available including access to the internet. Further information can be found here.
Refugees arriving at Victoria coach station and Victoria train station
We are working with managers of both stations to provide information and assistance to help Ukrainian refugees to get to their planned destinations should they arrive through either of these key transport hubs.
Most Children arriving in the UK from Ukraine are expected to be in the care of a parent or family member. If children are identified who are not in the care of a parent or appropriate adult, please do make a referral to the Local Authority, contact details are listed below.
Consideration also needs to be given to the needs of vulnerable adults who may need additional support. in these circumstances please also contact the Local Authority.
If you are worried that someone is in immediate danger, please call 999.
Key contacts for the Local Authority:
- During office hours, weekdays from 9am to 5pm, Access and Assessment Team, 020 7641 6000
- Out of hours, daily 5pm to 9am, plus 24 hours Bank Holiday and weekends, Emergency Duty Team, 020 7373 2227
Visit the Ukrainian Cathedral
The Ukrainian Cathedral will now be open during the day, every day, for anyone who would like to visit and say prayers.
We will continue to work with Government officials and London Councils to better understand the process for supporting Ukrainian families or individual where placements with friends, families or sponsors need to end before the six month period specified in the registration process.
We will continuously review and develop our response as circumstances change.
For further enquiries, please email [email protected]