Guest Information - New Arrivals
Information and advice for Ukrainian Nationals arriving in the UK and West Berkshire
The Government has produced a welcome pack for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. You can view or download the Government welcome guide here.
As West Berkshire Council, we have created a Welcome Pack with more detail about our area and what services you can access.
The pack is available to download or view in English, Ukrainian and Russian:
- View or download the English version -
- View or download the Ukrainian version -
- View or download the Russian version -
Both hosts and guests can access support from our Ukraine Support Hub. The Hub can offer signposting and information about social care, access to employment, school places and other council services.
You can contact the Hub by phoning 01635 503579 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 West Berkshire. We will also provide you with a one-off £200 payment. We will process this as soon as possible. It is important that your hosts let us know as soon as you have arrived, so we can visit you and organise your payment.
We aim to make the transition to being in the UK as smooth as possible; everyone needs more support sometimes.
Working with voluntary groups across the district, we hope that they can offer you further support:
- West Berkshire's Community Life Connected Map - This website can help you find groups close to use, by either searching or using the map to zoom in, the events and groups are being updated constantly.
- West Berkshire Ukraine Support - This website is available to read in English or Ukrainian and features information such as community transport, and language tuition. It is also being regularly updated to ensure that everyone is kept up to date.
You can find information and support for people from Ukraine, including the family migration visa and the Ukrainian Family Scheme, on the Red Cross website here.
Register with a doctor
You should register with a doctor as soon as possible. Your host can help you to do this. Everyone in your family should do this as soon as they can, so that they can access support from a GP if they need it.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone in the UK, including migrants.
You can find information about getting a vaccine if you don't have an NHS number on the GOV.UK website. This information is available in English and Ukrainian.
Work and benefits
Your nearest Jobcentre will provide advice on benefits and finding work. Jobcentres also offer translation services and can support you if you are starting a benefits claim.
You can also start a Universal Credit claim online.
Ukrainian children and young people will be offered places at the schools that have enough spaces closest to their homes. You can find details of how to apply for a local school place on our In Year Admissions webpage.
Accessing local facilities
You can join a library to use free computers and access groups and other services.
The West Berkshire Directory contains information about activities, services and groups to help all residents live healthy, active and fulfilling lives.
Travel and transport
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 the GOV.UK website here.
Rail operators are providing Ukrainian refugees with a single onward journey via national rail to their final destination, free of charge on arrival in Great Britain. 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. You can find more information on the National Rail Enquiries website - it will be translated into Ukrainian and Russian in due course.
You can find more information on the GOV.UK website.