Toggle menu

Homes for Ukraine FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that sometimes you might want to ask a question, but you don't want to ring up or email the Hub, so we've created these FAQs to help you find out more and get the feedback you need.

When will the DBS checks come through? 

We are completing the verification process on the DBS checks as quickly as possible. Because of how the scheme has been set up we cannot start the monthly payments until these checks are complete. We would ask that you complete the online element as quickly as possible to speed up the process and minimise any delays in payment.

When will we receive a letter from WBC to serve as a proof of address for the guests (for bank account opening and GP surgery registration etc)?

Those that have notified us that guests have arrived should be receiving letters of confirmation that residency at the host address is notified to the Council. It is important that as with the bus passes, payments etc. that you notify us if your guest(s) leave.


Pre-Payment Card FAQs

We've also had questions about the prepayment cards that your guests are receiving:

Can they withdraw cash as well as spend money using the card?

Yes, they can, from banks and post offices.

How do they get the PIN (personal identification number) to use their card? 

Call the number on the letter to get the PIN. They must write this down, as otherwise, it is hard to have the information given again.

How much will I receive?

The amount is £200 per guest, including per child. Children's £200 is put onto their parent or carer's card.


When will they receive the money?

We will arrange to come and see your guests with the payment and other information as soon as the hosts tell us about their arrival.


Can I receive a free bus pass as part of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme?

Yes, you can receive a free bus pass for three months under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme through West Berkshire Council. Hosts must ensure they have notified the Ukraine Hub of their guests arrival and must complete and send back the bus pass application form to the Hub. You can contact West Berkshire Ukraine Hub here.


Can I get a free UK SIM card?

Yes, you can receive a free, 24GB SIM card, with unlimited data for the first six months of your stay here. The British Red Cross and Vodafone have been working together to make it easier for Ukrainians to contact others during their stay in the UK. It is important to note that SIM cards are only distributed through a number of local charities and can take a couple of weeks to be delivered to you. Contact The British Red Cross Charity directly on 0808 196 3651 and they can support you with your enquiry.

In the meantime, the network company, Three, is offering a 30-day free SIM card that can be used in the interim whilst waiting for your Vodafone SIM card to come through. To access this offer, simply go into a Three store and discuss your options with a member of staff. Please note, they will require some documents that show your displacement from the war and may vary from store to store, e.g. BRP (Biometric Residence Permit). If you haven't received your BRP yet, you may be able to show your Permission to Travel Letter, along with your arrival stamp in your passport. You can find your nearest Three store here.  

You may also be able to receive one from the following charities:

Community Furniture Project

Salvation Army


Can I renew my SIM card after the first six months has expired? Will I have to pay for this?

Once your SIM has expired, contact the provider where you initially received the SIM card, e.g. The Community Furniture Project, as you may be able to get another free SIM and keep your original mobile number. Call, email or complete the online form here.


Are there any group events that allow Ukrainians to meet up?

Volunteers have organised a regular meeting point for the Ukrainian community to get together at The Baptist Church, Newbury. They welcome all ages to visit for free and offer the chance to connect with others within the area. Volunteers are available to talk regarding any questions you may have, or, if you are just wanting a little break from day-to-day life, the Baptist Church is a good opportunity to pick up a hot drink and a cake, free of charge, and meet new people. They are scheduled monthly, from 3pm to 5.30pm. You can take a look at their timetable here.

West Berkshire Library is also a fantastic location for all cultures and communities to come together and is home to Educafe, which commences every Wednesday from 11am to 2pm. It is located in the centre of Newbury, next to the bus station. At Educafe, you can join in with many different events or clubs, such as the Community Café, which is a great way to meet new people. They also offer free English lessons that you can sign up to and complete online at home, or on the library computers. You can find out more here.

Other Community meet up groups across West Berkshire are:

Reading Ukraine Centre


Speen Community Centre


What courses can I enrol onto to learn English? Will it provide me with a certificate at the end of it?

There are many free community-funded English courses available either online or face-to-face, in Newbury or Calcot. Some organisations offer evening or Saturday times which may suit around work schedules. Here are the details of some popular courses being completed across West Berkshire:

Educafe run a free English conversation practise class in their weekly community café, known as the 'Chatty Corner' which is suitable for beginners to advanced levels of English. They also work in partnership with Berkshire School of English who run free communit- funded English courses from beginners, intermediate to advance. These are available throughout the year, face-to-face and online.

Vici Language Academy, Newbury,deliver free courses. The sessions are face-to-face during Saturday classes and online from Monday to Friday. Email:

Newbury College will be running an English course for non-native speakers from September 2023. This is an in-house service that requires you to travel to the college for part-time sessions.

Participants that complete all of the courses mentioned above, are awarded certification as evidence of their achievements.

You can have a look at more English language resources available to children, young people and adults through the government website here.

Please read here if you would like to know if your qualification is recognised in the UK.


Can I drive in the UK if I have a Ukrainian licence?

The short answer is yes, however, there are some things to consider and forms to complete first, before you can legally drive in the UK. A Ukrainian driving licence can be converted into a UK licence for a small fee. It is important to consider the type of licence you hold, whether that is automatic or manual, as this will determine the type of car you can drive here in the UK. To start your application, follow the government website here.


Can I bring my car over from Ukraine?

Yes, you can drive your vehicle in the UK for six months without having to make any modifications to your car. Unfortunately, it isn't a simple process and if you plan on using the car for more than six months, you have to ensure your car meets the DVLA car regulations whilst driving in the UK. Some of the modifications needed might include: changing your vehicle to right-hand drive and changing your speedometer measurement to MPH. To begin the process, you will need to complete a DVLA form. Government information on this can be found here.


Can a Ukrainian on a three-year visa sponsor a family member?

It is best to contact Citizens Advice Bureau West Berkshire here (01635 516605) to advise further due to different circumstances.


Am I entitled to any benefits whilst living in the UK on the three-year visa?

Upon arrival in the UK, Ukrainian guests are entitled to Universal Credit and Jobs Support. Guests may be entitled to more benefits which can be found in the Welcome Packs. For more information, please refer to the government's website.


How do I apply for my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)? When will it arrive?

The Home Office are working hard to ensure guests receive their Biometric Residence Permit as soon as possible. When you receive your BRP will depend on where you made your application. If you completed your BRP application in Ukraine, you can find the relevant information here. If you applied within the UK, follow here for further information.


How can I get a visa to live in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme?

Individuals can apply for a three-year visa on the government website here. However, please ensure you have checked you meet the eligibility requirements before starting your application. Before you travel to the UK, you must ensure you have a visa or a letter from the Home Office giving you permission. It is advised against applying for more than one Ukrainian scheme as this may delay a decision being made.


Can I leave my children unattended at home or in a car?

In the UK, the law does not state an age when you can leave a child on their own, but it is an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk. The government's website clearly states that parents can be prosecuted if they leave their child unsupervised 'in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health'. Find more information here.


Can I bring my pet/s to the UK?

Yes, you can bring your pet to the UK considering it meets the requirements stated on the government's website which can be found here. Please note, your pet may be put into quarantine for four months or you may be refused entry if you do not follow the regulations stated.


What are the school holiday dates in West Berkshire?

School term dates vary each year and INSET days vary from school to school so it is best to refer to your child's individual school website or ask at the school office for a printed copy. Here are the term-time dates for schools within West Berkshire. It is important to note that dates may vary in another county.


Is smoking permitted?

In the UK, it is illegal to smoke in any enclosed workplace, public building and on public transport. It is also illegal to smoke tobacco products in a vehicle that is carrying a child under the age of 18; however, this rule does not currently apply to e-cigarettes. Tobacco products and e-cigarettes must only be bought from the age of 18 and over. It is illegal for adults to buy (or try to buy) individuals under 18 these products and they can be fined or taken to court if they are found out.


Where are the nearest Polish shops in West Berkshire?

There is one local Polish shop located in the centre of Newbury, West Berkshire, that is popular to Ukrainian individuals within the community: Balbinka, 82-82 Bartholomew Street, Newbury, RG14 5EF.


What to do if your sponsorship breaks down?

Understandably, some placements may come to an end. This depends on individual circumstances but can be due to changes in family settings, health issues, carrying out improvements of their house or financial concerns. Hosts must ensure the Ukraine Hub at West Berkshire is notified and have completed a procedural end-of-placement form if they can no longer accommodate their guest. It is important to notify the Ukraine Hub immediately, so officers can find another host to re-match them with, or support in finding alternative accommodation for the guest, with minimal delays.


What should I do if I need housing support?

Our housing officers are consistently supporting Ukrainian guests during different stages of their stay in the UK to ensure they, under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, are placed in accommodation. Support is provided to all of our guests when the decision is made to move on from their host into private rented accommodation. For any enquiries relating to housing, please email our Housing Services via or visit the government website for rented accommodation guidance here.


How do I sign up to the Homes for Ukraine newsletter?

To subscribe, email the Ukraine Hub with details of your email address and they will ensure you receive the monthly newsletter.

If you have any enquiries, don't hesitate to contact The Ukraine Hub. We aim to respond to enquiries within two working days. Email:; telephone: 01635 503579.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email