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Hertfordshire County Council
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Ukraine support in Hertfordshire


Ukrainian families – things you might need

Sponsors – information and advice


Ukrainian families – things you might need

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Newly arrived guests

Let us know you've arrived

Ask your sponsor to let Hertfordshire County Council know you have arrived. They should email and tell us:

  • your full name(s) and dates of birth
  • the date that your visas were issued
  • the date that you arrived at their home.

When we are notified, we’ll make a £200 payment (per person) via email.  These payments will be in the form of Post Office vouchers which don't require a bank account to use. You can visit any Post Office branch to scan the code and receive the cash payment – Find a Post Office.

Next, you need to: 

  1. apply for a biometric residence permit
  2. Find a doctor
  3. Contact us about school places  if you have a child with you.

Week one guidance for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (GOV.UK)


Jobs and benefits

Jobcentre Plus

Find your nearest Jobcentre Plus

  • They offer courses for people looking for work. That includes how to write a CV and preparing for interviews.
  • They have details of local employers who have job vacancies and support refugee schemes.
  • People claiming Universal Credit can get up to 85% off their childcare costs.
  • Assistance with travel costs is available for people who do find employment. Temporary bus passes and cheaper travel cards may also be available.
  • If you need to prove your qualifications, you could get a Statement of Comparability, even if the original documentation is not available.

Speak to a Jobcentre Plus adviser for more information.


Find a job

Find full or part-time jobs

You can use your Biometric Residence Permit as evidence of your immigration status in the UK, including your right to work.

You can also prove your right to work at

If an employer requires a DBS check, you can get a Criminal Record Certificate from Ukraine – Criminal Record Certificate from Ukraine

The Refugee Council can also help you get a job – contact or call 07931308165.


Setting up your own business

The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications can advise you on working as a professional or setting up your own business.


Calculating take home pay

Work out how much salary you take home and how much tax and National Insurance you pay –


Claiming benefits

You may be eligible to claim certain benefits. More about claiming benefits

Translation services are available to help with phone applications – call 0800 328 5644.



When you apply for a school place, ensure that you note on the application that the child is an arrival from Ukraine and what scheme they are under.

You will need to provide:

  • proof of the child’s UK address (an email from your sponsor confirming that the child is living at their address, including full names and address)
  • a copy of the parent and child's entry documentation (copy of visa and Ukraine passport). 


Once we receive your application and documents, your child will be allocated a school place within 15-20 school days (depending on availability of places in the area). 

Whilst we are processing your application, you will not receive any updates from us unless there are any queries or issues to discuss. The child should start at the school within 10 school days of being offered the place.

Make sure that where any child has health or special needs that this is indicated on the application. If they had a Ukrainian equivalent of an education, health and care plan, give details of this we will need to ensure our Special Educational Needs team can support children who need specialist placements.

Schools have been asked to place children in a year group where their abilities best fit rather than based on age. This is a decision that the school will be best placed to make.


Free school meals

We expect that most of our Ukrainian guest children will be entitled to free school meals when they first arrive in Hertfordshire. This means they will be given a lunchtime meal every day they attend school. This may change if their parent’s work status changes.


School uniform

Most schools in the UK have a uniform policy where children must where a specific school uniform when they're at school. Once you have your school place, your school will provide you with further details. Many school uniform items can be bought quite affordably in supermarkets, but certain items e.g. secondary school blazers are more expensive.


Education for 16-18 year olds

If your child is 16 or over, they will need to find a sixth form or college. Sixth forms are part of secondary schools for 16-18 year olds. Contact schools direct


Childcare for younger children

Most children start full-time school the September following their 4th birthday. The government welcome pack explains the different type of childcare options available for children who are too young to attend school.  Depending on your circumstances and the age of your child you may be entitled to some free childcare.

Hertfordshire childcare finder


If your child is under 2,there is no government scheme to assist with the cost of childcare for children under two. However, the Family Centre Service offers support, fun play sessions and a chance to meet new people. 

If your child is 2, you may be eligible for 15 hours of free childcare each week (during term-time). This depends upon your circumstances. Check whether you are eligible online

If your child is 3 or 4, you are entitled to at least 15 hours of free childcare each week (during term-time). There's no application, code or voucher required. Just find a childcare provider and contact them directly about accessing some free childcare with them.


Hertfordshire adult learning

Step2Skills adult learning

Step2Skills aim to deliver English languages classes where there is a demand,  so if you can't find any courses available on their website, email

You can also find free online English courses at ESOL Courses - Free English Lessons Online.



Homes for Ukraine rent deposit scheme

This scheme is aimed at guests who are in employment and can afford monthly rent / living costs, but don't have enough savings to cover a deposit and a month’s rent in advance.

More about the deposit scheme


Moving on from current hosting arrangements

Many Ukrainian guests have now been living in Hertfordshire for at least 6 months and will be looking to the future and their longer-term housing arrangementsThe main options for accommodation beyond your original hosting arrangement are:

  • continue with your original host sponsor
  • find a new host sponsor
  • secure your own private rented accommodation. 

There's currently a shortage of affordable housing in Hertfordshire. Most guests will find it difficult to find affordable private rented accommodation where you're currently settled.

The reality is that living with a host is likely to be the best, most affordable option.

Some current sponsorship arrangements may need to come to an end for a variety of reasons, and new accommodation will need to be found.


What to do if your sponsorship is coming to an end

If you think that your current sponsorship arrangement may come to an end soon, it's important to start planning, reviewing your options and organising your finances. 

A planned and managed move to new accommodation will always be the best option for you but, if you believe that your current hosting arrangement might end before you find alternative accommodation, email as soon as possible.


How to find a new sponsor

Some Ukrainian guests will choose to look for a new host sponsor and this process is referred to as ‘re-matching’.


Community re-matching

In the first instance, guests are encouraged to seek new hosts themselves, this is known as community rematching. Email as soon as you know the current hosting arrangement may be coming to an end.

Any new hosts must be registered on the government Homes for Ukraine Scheme website and go through the process of completing the required checks undertaken by local authorities.

Although this may take some time, if a guest decides to proceed with a host who has not undergone these checks, then the new host will not receive any Thank You payments until the checks have been carried out and the new host has been approved as suitable by the Council. If the new host is found to be unsuitable by the Council, then the guest will be informed and advised to move out. 

If the guest is out of the scheme, the host would not be entitled to claim the £350 monthly thank you payment or any further support associated with the scheme. If the guest is still in the scheme, the £350 monthly payments will continue until the end of the 12 months after the guest had first arrived in the UK.


Re-matching via Hertfordshire County Council

Once notified, the Homes for Ukraine team can try to find another host for you. In Hertfordshire, there are only a limited number of potential sponsors currently available for hosting new guests.

We will attempt to re-match families in the area where they have become established, but this will very often not be possible. You may need to move to a different area of Hertfordshire. If a suitable host is found within Hertfordshire, but you don't accept the match, you'll be removed from the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. 

Any new host will be entitled to claim the £350 monthly payment once the necessary checks have been completed. These monthly payments to hosts will end once their guests have been in the UK for 24 months, not from the date of any move.


Can local councils provide housing?

One of the main reasons the Homes for Ukraine (and other sponsorship schemes) exist is that councils don't have enough affordable, readily available homes to house people to meet demand. There are already extremely long waiting lists. Most councils, including Hertfordshire, will therefore not be able to support Ukrainian arrivals with long-term accommodation once their sponsorships conclude.

The worst case scenario is where private rented accommodation is not possible, and a suitable re-match can't be found. In this case, you'll be referred to your local district or borough council to be considered for emergency temporary housing.

If granted, this temporary accommodation would unlikely be as comfortable as existing hosting arrangements. It will be temporary and likely have shared kitchen and bathroom. Unfortunately, temporary accommodation placements are often outside of Hertfordshire, sometimes as far away as Birmingham.

This is why we encourage guests and sponsors to persist with hosting arrangements wherever possible. Staying with a host or finding alternative accommodation will always be better than any temporary accommodation, except in cases where safety is at risk.


Private renting in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire is among the most expensive areas for rental accommodation in England.

Therefore, you may want to consider moving to a town or area which offers the best value for money.

Your host may talk to you about moving to a lodging arrangement, which is slightly different to private renting. 

Local groups and support

Unpaid carers

You might be an unpaid carer without realising it and may be entitled to additional help and support.


Mental health

  • Flourish – help for refugees who need support with their mental wellbeing.


Local groups

Many local groups host regular meet ups and activity sessions. As these can change at short notice, contact the relevant group in your area for up-to-date information.





East Herts




North Herts


St Albans


Three Rivers






Welwyn Hatfield


Social care and child protection

Adult social care in Hertfordshire – support for adults with disabilities or health conditions, older people and carers.

Report a concern about an adult

Report a concern about a child

If a child or adult is in immediate danger, call 999.

Things to do in Hertfordshire

Libraries – borrow books, eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines, DVDs and use computers, printers and photocopiers. 

Things to do and places to stay in Hertfordshire

LGBTQ+ support

Online LGBTQ+ Group – weekly online zoom meetings provided by Herts Mind Network. A safe space, free from discrimination, where you can share experiences, learn new skills and improve your quality of life.

Transgender and non-binary support group – monthly group meetings, swim sessions and more.

Acceptance UK (Herts) – a Facebook support group and place to chat for transgender young people under 18, their family and friends.


The way you access healthcare and prescription medication in the UK is different to in Ukraine.

Ukrainian residents currently lawfully in the UK are exempt from charges for National Health Service (NHS) treatment in England.

GPs are the main route for general and non-emergency healthcare.

GPs (doctors)

Everyone in the UK needs to be registered with a family doctor. In the UK, this is called your GP (a general practitioner). You need to register before being given an NHS number.

The reception staff at your local GP’s surgery can guide through the registration process, either in person or on the phone. You don't need proof of address, immigration status, ID or an NHS number to register, but it would be helpful to bring any background medical information.

It's really important that you register with a GP as soon as possible after arrival, even if you don't have existing health issues.

It can take some time to get a GP appointment. It may also be necessary to then be referred to a specialist before being given a prescription for medicine.

Don't wait for existing medicine supplies to run low before contacting a GP.

All guests should also receive a health assessment with their GP within 6 months of arrival. Contact your GP if you have not been offered this after 6 months.

About NHS Health Checks

Urgent and emergency medical help

For urgent, but non-emergency advice, phone 111 or visit an urgent care centre.

For emergency situations likely requiring an ambulance, dial 999 or attend an Accident and Emergency (A & E) department at a local hospital. A & E departments in Hertfordshire: 

  • Lister Hospital, Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 4AB (01438 314333)
  • Watford General Hospital, Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0HB (01923 244366).

Pharmacies and medication

In Ukraine, medication is purchased over the counter at pharmacists so it can often be collected without forward planning. The UK system is different and many medicines are not available over the counter without a prescription. 

Most medication for ongoing conditions must be prescribed by a GP or specialist doctor prior to being collected at a pharmacy, which can take time to organise. 

When you collect the prescription, you'll be asked if you're eligible for free prescriptions or if you usually pay. If you must pay the full amount, the current cost of a prescription in England is £9.35. However, you may not have to pay due to age, income or medical exemption.

Who can get free prescriptions (NHS)


Pharmacists also offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for minor illnesses such as:

  • coughs
  • colds
  • sore throats
  • stomach trouble
  • aches and pains. 

Seeing a pharmacist is often the quickest way to get professional advice about a minor health concern.

Find a pharmacy (NHS)


You can get dental services from the NHS, although not every dentist accepts NHS patients.

Find a dentist (NHS)

About NHS dental charges

Wellbeing support

Anyone struggling with their wellbeing, integration into the community or daily challenges can contact Flourish for support.

Flourish is flexible and can provide:

  • support with relationships with hosting families
  • emotional and practical support
  • help to improve your health and wellbeing
  • housing related support and advice, including homelessness
  • support with benefit applications and other applications such as visa applications
  • support with job applications
  • support to attend appointments with other services and community resources
  • help to reduce episodes of crisis
  • building life skills, confidence and self-esteem
  • support to build social networks and reduce isolation
  • drug and alcohol support
  • weekly peer support groups.


Crisis support

Flourish is likely to be the fastest way to get help.

But Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust provides a wide range of services. 

If someone is experiencing a mental health crisis outside of usual working hours, Herts Mind Network also operates a crisis line.


Samaritans is a well-known charity that provides a 24 hour helpline every day of the year for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure or is feeling suicidal. Call 116 123.


Bereavement support

Some guests may be struggling with the loss of a loved one. There are bereavement support services in Hertfordshire available to help.


Young People’s Sanctuary

A new support service in Hertfordshire suitable for Ukrainian young people aged 11 to 16 yrs. The aim of the service is to create opportunities for young people seeking sanctuary in the UK to build support and friendship networks, reduce isolation and access activity sessions in the community. Contact for more information. 

Drug and alcohol support

FRANK is an honest service that provides information about drugs - get friendly, confidential advice.

Spectrum drug and alcohol recovery services – offer ongoing clinical interventions and recovery support for a wide range of lifestyle challenges.

Spectrum families and young people’s service – a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for young people aged under 18, young adults up to the age of 25 and their families in Hertfordshire.

The Living Room – abstinence-based group therapy, support and rehabilitation for drug and other addictions. Treatments follow a structured programme based on the 12-step progress, including peer support.

Sexual health

Contraception (including emergency contraception) and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI) is free and confidential. In Hertfordshire, services and support are available from:


More about sexual health and contraception services in Hertfordshire, including HIV support and sexual assault referral centres.

Different types of contraception (NHS)

Family health

Family centres – here to support children, young people, their parents, families and carers. There’s a range of different support groups, activities and services on offer for children and their families, from pregnancy through to when a child reaches 19.

Health visitors – support for all families with children aged 0-5 and families who are expecting a baby. For families with a child with special educational needs, this support can continue until the child is 6 years old. 

School nursing – when your child starts school at 5 years old, the school nursing service takes over from the health visiting service. They help with physical and mental health for children and young people.

Smoking and weight loss

Healthy Hubs – anyone living in Hertfordshire can visit their local Healthy Hub to talk about things like keeping active, local activities, help to stop smoking, reducing drug use and alcohol intake, ways to lose weight and money advice. 

Stop smoking service – support for up to 12 weeks, advising on nicotine replacement therapy, e-cigarettes and other products as well as support with how to manage cravings.

Weight management – a 12 week free weight management programme for adults with a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30. Includes face-to-face and digital support.


Need help getting online? Use computers and the internet for free at your local library.


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