We stand with Ukraine
We stand with the UK government and its international partners in condemning the Russian government for its unprovoked war against Ukraine. The UK government is providing a range of assistance to Ukraine.
Support for those affected
If you are:
- a British national with family members in Ukraine
- a Ukrainian national in Ukraine or the UK
you can get advice and support on temporary visa concessions on the Government website.
If you have a question regarding local support for Ukrainians email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a Homes for Ukraine sponsor
The Homes for Ukraine scheme offers Ukrainian nationals a way to come to the UK. They will stay with someone willing to provide them with a home. The scheme matches Ukrainian nationals that do not have families already in the country to:
- community groups
We are responsible for protecting refugees who come to our borough through the scheme. Your application may be refused if your household or property does not meet the criteria needed. We will take extra care to review and assess your application if this is the case. We will work with Surrey County Council to make sure that we are being fair and consistent. There is no right of appeal and our decision will be final.
The government funded a paring scheme that offers matching, training and support services to sponsors and Ukrainian guests.
Guidance for Ukrainian nationals living in the UK
Homes for Ukraine sponsor guidance offers information and support to those considering sponsoring Ukrainian guests via the scheme. A factsheet explaining how Ukrainians can apply to the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme is now available in English, Ukrainian and Russian. The government has also published a welcome pack for Ukrainians arriving in the UK.
Staying with a host after six months and ongoing support
Your sponsor may be happy for you to continue to stay with them for longer. Not every sponsor will be able to offer accommodation after six months. We encourage guests to plan with their sponsor for what happens next.
Sponsors and guests are recommended to read the private renting advice. This is to ensure that both are fully aware of their responsibilities.
If you have lived in the UK for six months here is some useful information about your next steps.
Finding a new sponsor
To support you, the government have developed a list of links to support you finding a new sponsor:
Renting private accommodation
Make sure you understand private renting laws in the UK Find out about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
The how to rent in England guide can help you when you are ready and able to move out of sponsorship.
Help with your rent deposits
We cannot act as a guarantor but we may be able to provide financial help with your deposit. This is to assist you to secure affordable private rented accommodation. Book an appointment to discuss your options. Phone us on 01483 505050 and request a housing options appointment.
Have the following information available when you call:
- names, gender and date of birth for all household members
- current address and move in date/expected move out date (if known)
- sponsors contact details
- former address in Ukraine plus move in date/move out date
Let us know if you need an interpretor for the call.
Moving to another area of the UK
Here is a list of organisations that may be able to connect you to a new sponsor in a different part of the UK:
- London Plus offers list of organisations providing support across London
- VCS Emergencies Partnership list shows support available across the country
- City of Sanctuary's published a list of local refugee support and solidarity groups
- The New Forest for Ukraine have a list of voluntary interpreters as well as matching people to homes
Contacting us for alternative accommodation
We have a limited supply of alternative sponsors on the rematching register. You will be prioritised by risk or emergency basis. If you cannot use any of the above options and you are concerned about where you will live after your sponsorship ends email email@example.com. We will discuss with you:
- emergency housing if you have been made homeless. We cannot guarantee accommodating large families as a one group. You may be placed outside of our borough. The time you spend in emergency housing will depend on the availability of other housing
- finding a new sponsor. Our potential sponsors are limited. We will find new sponsors on a priority basis. If you have any safety, wellbeing or safeguarding concerns about yourself, or another guest contact us by phone: 01483 505050 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other things to consider
Ongoing support for guests and sponsors
Surrey County Council offers support on how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services across Surrey.
The Home Office has published immigration information about:
- the next steps Ukrainians need to take after arriving in the UK
- visa support information to Ukrainians and their family members
The entry stamp you received on arrival into the UK provides evidence of your right to stay in the UK. The stamp is valid for the first six months only. To extend your stay for up to the 3 years you will need to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit.
Support from us
We currently offer the following support:
Help with council tax
The government changed the council tax rules for Ukrainian nationals living in the UK to:
- if a Ukrainian national moves in with someone or to a property occupied they do not have to pay council tax. This will not affect the owners council tax usual arrangements
- if a Ukrainian national moves into an empty property, they will need to pay council tax. They will be entitled to a 50% discount. This depends on visa entry requirements. If they are on low income, they can claim help with the remaining balance by applying for local council tax support
Benefits and financial support
- if you're on housing benefit and struggling financially, you can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment
- tell us about any changes that may affect your housing benefit or council tax support
- if you're facing financial problems you might be able to apply for our Local Support Fund
- if you live in the centre of Guildford you can apply to Guildford Poyle Charities for help with travel and training costs
If you have any questions or support call us on 01483 505050.
Find out what other help and support we offer by visiting our cost of living support pages
Guildford's family support
Our family support programme offers support to guests and hosts. We will be visiting or calling all guests and hosts over the coming months. This is to discuss any issues, concerns or help needed. Our team includes a Ukrainian speaker. If you want to speak to someone sooner, email us your contact details: email@example.com.
We are not able to provide specific housing advice.
Thank you payments under the Homes for Ukraine scheme
Sponsors of Ukrainian families will receive a monthly payment. The payment amount depends on the length of time your guests stay with you.
You will receive:
- £350 per month for guests that stay up to 1 year
- £500 per month for guests that stay over 1 year up to 2 years
You will receive these payments for up to 2 years if your sponsorship continues.
Support settling into the community
Download the app to get offers and discounts in Guildford town centre using the Privilege Card.
Find a job
- find Guildford town centre jobs
- jobs at Royal Surrey County Hospital
- NHS jobs
- jobs at the University of Surrey
- jobs in Surrey Research Park
- public sector jobs and careers
Free bus pass
Ukrainian nationals can now claim a free temporary bus pass.
Local bus operators
- Compass travel - Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead
- Falcon travel - Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Guildford, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Woking
- First bus- Guildford, Woking, Runnymede, Spelthorne
- Metro bus - Epsom & Ewell, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge
- Reptons coaches - Elmbridge, Guildford, Mole Valley, Runnymede
- Southdown- Reigate & Banstead, Tandridge
- Stagecoach - Guildford, Surrey Heath, Waverley, Woking,
- White bus - Guildford, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Woking
Barnardo's free helpline to support Ukrainian families
Barnardo's has set up a helpline to provide support for Ukrainian families. The helpline is for anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, including children and families arriving in the UK. It offers help and advice on a range of topics.
Support for sponsors
The Sanctuary Foundation is offering a free course as an introduction to refugee safety, wellbeing and support.
- Surrey Adult learning English course for Ukrainians
- Ukrainian Institute London free English lessons
- finding work in the UK
- teaching and learning in English
- accessing financial support
- resources to help children learn English
- introduction to security of tenure
- citizens advice on lodging
- rental agreements for lodgers
- model agreement for a short tenancy
Donations can be made to the Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 15 leading UK charities. They provide emergency aid and rapid relief to civilians suffering during the conflict.
Charities involved in the Disasters Emergency Committee include:
The Ukrainian Embassy in the UK has set up its own donation service, With Ukraine.
For more information on how you can support the Ukrainian crisis visit Surrey County Council website.