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Support for refugees

Support for refugees

This webpage is aimed to help refugees from Ukraine once they have arrived in Wokingham borough.

Read some of the information on this page translated in to Ukrainian (PDF document)

Getting the right help

Our partners at Citizens Advice Wokingham will be opening up its council-supported One Front Door service to support Ukrainian families who need help. You can contact them via:   

There won’t be any Ukrainian or Russian speakers available, so you may have to get an English speaker to help.

Just get in touch, make clear the type of help you need and they’ll connect you with the right charity or organisation to get the help you need. This covers everything from food, school uniforms, mental health help and more.

Using the NHS locally

Our NHS partner Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has produced a handy guide on local services for refugees coming to the borough.

The 20-page guide is translated into Ukrainian and Russian providing information about accessing the right service, the importance of mental health and prescriptions. 

 It aims to help new Berkshire residents feel supported and allow them to take care of themselves and can also be downloaded in an English version to help sponsors access the information.

 The guides can be downloaded below:

Local support

Our local support hub can help you with:

  • Getting a job
  • Health support
  • Food and fuel support   
  • Financial support

Applying for school

Go to our Ukraine support applying for school webpages for details on how to apply and other key information.

English-language courses

Our Adult Education team are running English as a second language courses.

All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine (Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme) are immediately eligible for further education 19+ funding and are exempt from the three-year residency requirement.

Use our Adult Education course listings webpage to see the latest classes and book on. For more information call 07785 314603 or email adulteducation@wokingham.gov.uk

Childcare

We know some of our guests are already expressing an interest in finding childcare, nurseries and pre-schools.

Our childcare, pre schools and nurseries webpages will help you find local services to help with this.

Employment

The Government has detailed advice on how to find a job in its welcome guide for Ukrainians. This includes how to access Jobcentre plus, where to look for jobs and how to create a CV (curriculum vitae) which lists your skills, education and work experience.

You may wish to apply for a job working in care with our partner Optalis. It provides a range of support and care services for older people, adults with a disability and people with mental health needs.

If you're interested call (0118) 9778 676 or visit the Optalis jobs website.

SIM cards

These can be provided by contacting the Citizens Advice Wokingham One Front Door, which should be able to refer you to another charity in the borough which has SIM cards available.

You will then be able to access  Vodafone SIM cards, which they can get to you directly or via your case worker.

These will be free for six months and include 20GB of data, plus free calls and texts. At the moment Vodafone is also offering free calls and texts to Ukraine.

Banking

We know your guests will need to get a bank account set up in the UK shortly after they arrive.

The Government welcome guide for Ukrainians lists advice on how to set up a bank account, including options for different banks.

Our case workers are finding Monzo is the quickest and easiest way to set up an account. It can all be done online and through video calls to ensure this is done quickly.  

Help and support

The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. All those from Ukraine coming to the country under the scheme will be able to seek and take up employment.

Your local Jobcentre Plus will be able to help you find out which benefits your guest may be able to access. This may include:

  • Universal Credit – a payment for those of working age, to help with your living costs if you’re on a low income. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work
  • Pension Credit - extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age which is 66 in the UK and on a low income
  • Disability benefits – extra money to help with additional costs for those who have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • Carer’s Allowance – extra money if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week
  • Child Benefit – extra money to help with the cost of raising a child

If you need help with these services, contact the One Front Door, details in the getting the right help section.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is open immediately to anyone coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine scheme.

People who wish to claim should complete a CH2 Child Benefit claim form and submit this by post to the Child Benefit office. The address is included on the form.

You should provide an original birth certificate and the passport or travel document used to enter the UK. Where this documentation is not immediately available, people are advised to include a note in their claim and someone from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be in touch to discuss further. 

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