Support for Ukrainian nationals
What to expect in the first few days
- We will keep you updated with services and community schemes to help you settle into your new home in Kent.
- We will provide you with a one-off £200 payment. We will process this as soon as possible after your host has contacted us to tell us you have arrived.
Support for you
To help you over the first few weeks and months you are here, we've developed a welcome handbook containing lots of useful information about Kent and the UK:
- Read the Welcome to Kent handbook in English (PDF, 1.3 MB).
- Read the Welcome to Kent handbook in Ukrainian (PDF, 2.2 MB)
- Read the Welcome to Kent handbook in Russian (PDF, 1.9 MB).
The UK government has also produced a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK which is available in Ukrainian and Russian. It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Barnardo's have also setup a free Ukrainian Support Helpline, which is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers. To get help and advice on a range of topics, call 0800 148 8586, Monday to Friday (10am to 8pm) and Saturday (10am to 3pm).
The information below will help you access things that are important to everyday life. You can also get support to access these things from your host and from your district and borough council.
Information and support for people from Ukraine, including the family migration visa and the Ukrainian Family Scheme is provided by the Red Cross.
Register with a doctor
You should register with a doctor as soon as possible. Everyone in your family should visit your doctor as soon as they can, so that they can make sure you're healthy and get you any support you may need.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone in the UK, including migrants. Information about getting a vaccine if you don't have an NHS number is available on GOV.UK in English and Ukrainian.
- Find your nearest Jobcentre for advice on benefits and finding work. Jobcentres also offer translation services and can support when starting a benefits claim.
- Start a Universal Credit claim.
- You can get advice and support to apply for benefits and find work from Citizens Advice who can put you in touch with their local advisors.
- Kent Children and Families Information Service (CFIS) offer support for all parents and carers with children aged 0 to 5 years.
- If you're worried about your child, you can get support from our Early Help team.
- Contact us if you’re concerned about a child in Kent and want to speak to someone.
- Everyone has the right to live in a safe environment. If you're worried about yourself or someone else, read a leaflet from the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board on how to protect yourself from abuse:
Ukrainian children and young people will be offered places at the schools that have enough spaces closest to their homes.
Parents or carers need to complete the In Year Admissions Form (PDF, 303.3 KB) for each child that needs a school place and then send this form to the school you would like your child to attend.
Alternatively, you can email the In-Year Admissions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- the name of your child or children
- their date of birth
- the full address (including postcode) of where you're staying.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer places at full schools.
Families with more than one child needing a school place may need to travel to a school further away from their home to make sure that all siblings can attend the same school.
If we cannot offer your child a school place that is a reasonable distance from your home, we will make sure local alternatives are provided.
If your child has to travel a long way to school you may be eligible for free school transport.
Free school meals and uniforms
Schools are given funding to cover the initial cost of school meals and uniform when your child is allocated a place. Please contact your child's school directly to access the funding.
Your borough or district council can give you support with things like leisure facilities and housing:
- Ashford Borough Council
- Canterbury City Council
- Dartford Borough Council
- Dover District Council
- Folkestone and Hythe District Council
- Gravesham Borough Council
- Maidstone Borough Council
- Sevenoaks District Council
- Swale District Council
- Thanet District Council
- Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
- Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
If you are unsure who your nearest district or borough council is visit the government website.
You can join a library to use free computers and access groups and other services.
Our community directory contains information about activities, services and groups to help all Kent residents live healthy, active and fulfilling lives.
- If you have a Ukrainian driving licence, you can exchange it for a UK licence for a small fee, as Ukraine has an exchange agreement with the UK. Find out how to exchange a foreign driving licence on GOV.UK.
- Community transport gives you access to a bus or car service if you can't access public transport.
- Rail operators are providing Ukrainian refugees with a single onward journey via national rail free of charge on arrival in Great Britain to their final destination. You have 48 hours to make your onward journey. You only need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours. All the information is on the National Rail Enquiries website and it will be translated into Ukrainian and Russian in due course.
If you'd like to know more about the English language or our culture, you may want to watch some of the videos on a YouTube channel called English with Ukrainians.
Kent Adult Education also offer a range of courses to support learning English and most of them are free. Find out more on the Kent Adult Education website.