Ukraine: Information for Guests

Health, money, school places and other support.

Welcome to Suffolk graphic in Ukraine colours

Якщо ви - український біженець у Саффолк і вам потрібна інформація на українській мові, просимо зателефонувати за номером 0345 606 6067.

Welcome to Suffolk - we hope you will soon feel at home here. 

We have put together some information to help you find support as you settle in. There is some general information from the Government here:

Week One: A Guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK | GOV.UK

Or you may find it helpful to click the following dropdown menus to find information on a specific topic.

£200 arrival one off payment

As a Ukrainian refugee, you are entitled to a one off payment of £200 upon arrival. To claim this, either you or your host should email once you are at their accommodation, and use the title ‘Refugee £200 payment’ in the subject line. You will need to provide your name and either a contact email or mobile phone number, the address where you are living and your date of arrival. If you have children, please provide their names but your email address or phone number.

You will receive one e-voucher per person (for example, if you have two children, you will receive three e-vouchers. The vouchers all look the same, so you need to open all three text messages or emails in order to access all three E-vouchers). The e-voucher link can be opened directly from the text or email; there is no need to download the Wonde app, but if you have any difficulty opening the e-vouchers, please email us at

The e-vouchers can be cashed at Post Offices, and you can choose to cash all three at the same time, or separately on different dates. Please note that it can take up to 3 working days for the Post Office computer system to be able to recognise and redeem the voucher number and provide the cash payment. This means, for instance, this means that any e-vouchers we request on a Friday are not live on the Post Office system before the following Tuesday.

Universal Credit / Pension Credit

It is important that you make a claim for Universal Credit or Pension Credit (depending on your age) as soon as you arrive in the UK. This monthly payment will help with your living costs.

If you are claiming as a couple and only one partner is over pension age, you should both claim Universal Credit. The partner who is above pension age will be moved into the 'No Work Related Requirements' group. When both partners are over pension age, you can claim Pension Credit.

The easiest way to make a new Universal Credit application is online with GOV.UK. You can also call 0800 328 5644 for advice. 

Other Financial support

You may also be eligible for other financial support including Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance, Carers Allowance and/or Attendance Allowance, depending on your situation. Visit the Government website to find out what you are entitled to.

Opening a UK bank account

To receive Universal Credit and other benefits, you will need to open a bank account. You can do this by visiting any bank.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has published information on how to do this in both English and Ukrainian: how to open a bank account . You do not need to be in Scotland to bank with them.

Whichever bank you choose, when you go to open your bank account you will need to take the documents that show your identity, immigration status and address.

National Debtline

The National Debtline offers free, confidential and independent advice about debt and money problems. Telephone 0808 808 4000 or visit the National Debtline website.

Citizens Advice

You can get advice on issues including benefits, employment, immigration, debt and legal advice from your local Citizens Advice centre. They also offer a Help to Claim scheme that can support you to apply for benefits. Visit the Citizens Advice website or call 03444 111 444


How the NHS works

How the NHS Works: Ukrainian version (PDF, 470KB)

How the NHS works: Russian version (PDF 470KB)

How the NHS works: English version (PDF, 581KB)

Using the NHS when moving to England

Find a Doctor

You can receive emergency treatment from a local doctor (called a General Practitioner or GP) for up to 14 days after your arrival without registering. After that, you need to register. Find out how to register with a doctor on the NHS website.

If you are pregnant, a GP can arrange an appointment with a midwife for you.

If you take regular medication, you will need to visit your new GP to get a prescription for this to continue. You should then take this prescription to a pharmacy or chemist to receive the medication. You may need to pay for prescription medicines. Pharmacists can also give free advice on treating minor health problems, such as colds and coughs. Find a pharmacy near you.

You can get free health advice from the NHS by phoning 111 (interpreter service available) or visit the NHS 111 website

Find a Dentist

Ukrainian nationals can register with a dentist as either an NHS patient or a private patient. Find a dentist near you.

If you are receiving Universal Credit, you should let the practice know and register as an NHS patient, then your check-ups and necessary treatments will be free. 

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

The UK charity Barnardo's have set up 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).

Psychology Tools has provided free resources about trauma and stress in Ukrainian, Polish and Russian. 

School staff may find these resources to welcome refugee children and families and help them to process the difficulties they have faced, published by our Psychology & Therapeutic Services team, useful.

COVID vaccinations

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.

Health information in other languages

The NHS has collated a range of health information that is available in different languages, including Ukrainian and Russian. The topics include babies, cancer, heart health and mental health. View health information in other languages.

Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19

As we learn to live safely with coronavirus (COVID-19), there are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others. View this information in other languages including English, Russian and Ukrainian.

Citizens Advice

You can get advice on issues including benefits, employment, immigration, debt and legal advice from your local Citizens Advice centre. They also offer a Help to Claim scheme that can support you to apply for benefits. Visit the Citizens Advice website or call 03444 111 444.

Migrant Help UK

Migrant Help UK provides advice and support to asylum seekers, refugees and victims of modern slavery and trafficking. Telephone: 0808 801 0503, email or visit the Migrant Help UK website.

Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline

This helpline provides information and remediation support to people who have suffered labour exploitation and labour abuse. Telephone: 08000 121700.

Refugee Council

The Refugee Council provides support and advice to refugees and asylum seekers. Telephone: 0207 346 6700 or visit the Refugee Council website 

Suffolk Refugee Support

Suffolk Refugee Support provide help for refugees and asylum seekers, including free advice sessions and dedicated activities. Telephone: 01473 400785 or visit the Suffolk Refugee Support website.  

Ukrainian Embassy 

Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom

You can apply for a school place for your child as soon as you arrive. Starting school can help children settle in and make friends. You can apply yourself, or ask your host to help you.

You can apply for your child to start in the new school year in September or in the middle of the school year by using the links below.

Applications for the school year 2021/22 ("In-Year applications")

Applications for school places for refugee pupils should be made to the School Admissions Team for community and voluntary controlled schools, or to academies and voluntary aided schools directly. 

To make an application for a school place for the current (2021/2022) school year, please visit our page on moving to a different school

Applying for a secondary school place for September 2022/2023

Find information on how to apply for a secondary school place

Applying for a primary school place from September 2022/2023

Find information on how to apply for a primary school place.


Home to school transport

Some children are eligible for free home to school transport. To find out more and apply, visit the Suffolk on Board website.

Free school meals

Children in the school years Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 automatically get free school meals. Children in Year 3 or above may be eligible for free school meals. This includes if their parent is receiving Universal Credit.

Find out more information or apply for free school meals.


Ukrainian nationals can get advice and support to find childcare from our Family Information Service. 

Ukrainian refugees who come to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will receive a visa giving you the right to remain for an initial period of three years. You will have the right to work, to receive public funds such as Universal Credit, and access to public services such as schools and health care. 

It’s important that you know your rights and entitlements if you do work. You can find more information about your rights and how to report your concerns in this leaflet.

Workers Rights Leaflet – Ukrainian version

Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline

This helpline provides information and remediation support to people who have suffered labour exploitation and labour abuse. Telephone: 08000 121700.

Learning to speak English

There are a number of places in Suffolk that offer English courses for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). These include:

  • West Suffolk College - campuses based at:
  1.           Bury St Edmunds
  2.           Haverhill
  3.           Ipswich
  4.           Newmarket
  5.           Sudbury
  6.           Thetford

You will have an assessment first to see which level of provision would best meet your needs. 


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 in both English and Ukrainian.

Connecting Communities is a transport service provided by Suffolk County Council designed to help people travel around the county of Suffolk who might not have access to a regular bus service. 

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.


Food banks can provide you with free food and other essential items. Visit Trussell Trust to find a local food bank 

Phones and connectivity

The mobile phone provider Three is offering a package for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK with a free, 30 day, pay-as-you-go SIM card, unlimited UK calls and texts and free calls and texts from the UK to Ukraine.

Vodafone offer offering free SIM cards for 6 months. These can only be received via their charity partners - Suffolk Refugee Support are one of these partners.

Virgin Media O2 have removed data charges for data use in Ukraine and will credit charges for calls and texts to and from Ukraine and the UK for their customers. 

Fire Safety in the home 

Ukrainian (PDF, 3578KB)

English (GOV.UK)

Anti-Social Behaviour and Hate Crimes

We want everyone to feel safe and at home here in Suffolk. No-one should be made to feel unwelcome or threatened, and so Suffolk Police have translated their "No Hate In Suffolk" leaflet into Ukrainian. Download the No Hate Crime leaflet here.