This pack is designed to help Homes for Ukraine hosts navigate the support available to help welcome and settle their Ukrainian guests. It is written by Newcastle City Council’s Active Inclusion Service.
Newcastle is a City of Sanctuary and there are several organisations on hand to support refugees with specialist advice. See https://newcastle.cityofsanctuary.org/
We appreciate that we may not cover everything here, and if you cannot find the answers you need, please contact us on email@example.com.
As the host, you must pass background and property checks and are asked to provide accommodation for a minimum of six months. You should not charge rent and are not expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses but can receive £350 per month for up to the first 12 months of sponsorship, which is administered by the local authority. This is one monthly payment per residential address, regardless of the number of individuals sponsored. Payments will stop when the sponsorship ends.
Guests are eligible for an interim payment of £200 per person for subsistence costs when they first arrive. This payment is administered by the local council and does not need to be repaid. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org when you have confirmation of visa and travel details for guests, and when they have arrived in Newcastle, to help us process these payments promptly.
If you are unable to meet and/or support travel from arrival to your home, and your guest is unable to make this journey independently please let us know: email@example.com.
It is important to signpost your guests to local support services and for them to make a claim for benefits as soon as possible, so they can receive the support they need.
You can help your guests to integrate by supporting them to access relevant services, such as:
· Applying for Universal Credit and other benefits
· Applying for a bank account for their benefits to be paid into
· Supporting children to attend school
· Attending English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) classes
· Accessing Healthcare
· Contacting existing refugee support services in the city
· Accessing legal advice
· Support if things go wrong
Below is information for you about services available in Newcastle, to help you support your guests to access the services they need.
The person you are hosting should consider claiming Universal Credit for themselves and any children. They may receive more than the basic amount if for example, there is a disability or caring involved. Advice on how to claim is on www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/ and www.newcastle.gov.uk/universalcredit.
If they are over pension age (usually 66), they should claim Pension Credit instead. Find their pension age from www.gov.uk/state-pension-age. For children or dependent young people, they should claim Child Benefit. Those with disabilities – including their children, can claim disability benefits like Personal Independence Payment, and the people who look after them can claim carer’s benefits. Further details on applying for benefits are on: www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/support-for-those-fleeing-the-conflict-in-ukraine/
For people who need support to apply for benefits, DWP Jobcentres have interpretation services available to help new arrivals with phone applications, and Work Coaches in DWP Jobcentres can support people making claims online. DWP staff are also delivering additional face-to-face assistance to those who need it – including support to find work and advice on claiming benefits – and will continue to do so.
Most refugees will need to set up a UK bank account for their benefits to be paid into. This could be a current account with a high-street bank, or a fee-free basic bank account without an overdraft facility. Information on accessing basic bank accounts is available at: https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/banking/basic-bank-accounts.
The Admissions Team coordinates applications for children of school age and aim to get all children into school as soon as possible, however, this may not be the closest school to their new address. Post-16 and early years (nursery) children need to approach education settings directly, but if Admissions can advise who to contact if you are unsure.
The Admissions Team will:
· Contact sponsors individually to complete applications with them over the phone where possible (leaving a voicemail and/or email if they cannot make contact)
· Advise on closest schools with places, or other alternatives
· Speak to schools to progress applications quickly
· Ensure schools hold places open if there is a delay in arrival dates
· In the event no school can offer a place, will refer children to the Fair Access Panel who will allocate a place as quickly as possible. This allows vulnerable children to be placed in a school ahead of others on the waiting list
All children in Reception to Year 2 will be eligible for universal free school meals; other year groups may also be eligible depending on circumstances. Children may be entitled to Free School Travel for the child if we cannot offer a close school - apply at https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/schools-learning-and-childcare/help-school-and-learning-costs/apply-free-school-travel. Riverside Community Health Project, or the school itself, may be able to offer support with new or second-hand uniform.
Please contact the Admissions Team if you have any concerns or queries:
· 0191 278 7878 (ask for School Admissions), lines are open 9am – 2.30pm and if you email, we can ring you outside of these hours
We are compiling a register of guests who wish to enrol in ESOL classes. Please can you email firstname.lastname@example.org with ESOL in the subject line to register your guest’s interest. ESOL providers in the city will arrange an information/assessment session in May to meet with learners, conduct assessments and look to enrol people onto the correct provision.
Further information about informal community based ESOL provision in the city and how to access this is available on the is available at: https://newcastle.cityofsanctuary.org/
People arriving from Ukraine have full, free access to NHS healthcare, including hospital services, GP and nurse consultations, urgent care centres and injury units. Further information about accessing healthcare is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukrainians-fleeing-war-granted-free-access-to-nhs-healthcare
Although most NHS health care treatment is free there are still some costs that are charged for, for example, to receive medicines, dental treatment, and eye tests. Depending on individual circumstances there may be help to pay these costs, details of these arrangement can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/help-with-health-costs/.
There are a wide range of voluntary and community organisations that support new arrivals in Newcastle. Services include drop-ins, English (ESOL) sessions and other support. You can find out more about what is on offer here: https://newcastle.cityofsanctuary.org/resources-documents-and-things-that-may-be-of-use and here: https://www.informationnow.org.uk/article/support-for-asylum-seekers-and-refugees/.
Please note Immigration Advice in the UK is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. It is unlawful for anyone to provide unregulated immigration advice or immigration services.
If your guests have any queries about their immigration status please ensure that they seek regulated advice.
Locally, the North East Law Centre can offer specialist legal advice, including:
· Immigration Law Advice Line on a Wednesday 2-4pm: telephone 0191 230 4777
General enquiries via telephone: 0191 230 4777 or email: email@example.com
There is also a national advice scheme: Ukraine Advice Project UK – Free UK immigration and asylum advice for Ukrainians and their families from qualified lawyers (https://advice-ukraine.co.uk/) that gives free one-off telephone legal advice.
While we hope your placement goes smoothly from the start, there is support available if you or your guests are struggling, or your placement breaks down.
The Housing Advice Centre (0800 1707 008 Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4.30pm, out of hours support Monday to Friday, 5.30pm to 8am and Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 8am) can help if you are in rent or mortgage arrears, or homeless in a crisis. Details are online at: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/housing/housing-advice-and-homelessness/what-do-if-you-need-housing-advice-or-are-homeless
If you need support from foodbanks or emergency food parcels, a full breakdown of emergency food in the city is available at: https://www.informationnow.org.uk/article/food-banks-in-newcastle/
For problems with benefits or budgeting you can get advice from advice services and organisations in the city listed in the document Where to get advice in Newcastle at www.newcastle.gov.uk/benefitcontacts.
If you have a concern about an adult or a child, you can report a concern via the Newcastle Safeguarding Children’s Board. You can find out further information about how to report concerns online: Report a Concern - Newcastle Safeguarding
Information on the Council’s support for Ukraine is online: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/our-city/newcastles-international-relationships/support-ukraine. If you are a sponsor in Newcastle and have any questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
InformationNOW provides extensive information on the support available in the city and is regularly updated: https://www.informationnow.org.uk/