Last updated:

26th April 2024

Support for new arrivals

Getting the right help

You can contact Citizens Advice, Wokingham, to find the best support for your situation. Use the online referral form or call 0808 278 7958, Monday to Friday. 

Just get in touch, make clear the type of help you need, and they will connect you with the most appropriate charity or organisation. This covers everything from food, school uniforms, mental health support and more.


You will need a UK bank account to receive wages and social security benefits. You can apply to any High Street or online bank. Advice can be found here:

Get a bank account and your arrival payment: Homes for Ukraine - GOV.UK (

Getting a bank account - Citizens Advice

Benefits (Universal Credit)

The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. If you have the right to access public funds you will be able to seek and take up employment.

Claiming Universal Credit and other benefits if you are a refugee - GOV.UK

Your local Jobcentre Plus will be able to help you find out which benefits you 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.

Useful contacts

As part of your claim for Universal Credit you will be signposted to your local Job Centre who will assign you a “work coach” to help you look for work.

BRP (British Residence Permit)

If you need to apply for a BRP you can find information here: Biometric residence permits (BRPs): What a BRP is - GOV.UK

If you have a query about collecting your BRP you can complete this form: From where were you asked to collect your BRP? – GOV.UK


Please see our dedicated page regarding applying for a school place (ADD LINK applying to school)

You can also email one of our Refugee Education Welfare Officers who can support you with your application at


The Refugee Employability Programme supports refugees to find work and settle into their local communities. Refugee Employability Programme - GOV.UK

You can look for jobs via the GOV.UK “Find A Job” webpage.

Anyone who wants to work in the UK must have a National Insurance (NI) number. Apply for a National Insurance number.

English Language

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

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

There are a number of websites that can help with learning English.

Financial Planning

For help with budgeting, bills, cost of living, please contact:

Citizens Advice, Wokingham.

Use the online referral form or call 0808 278 7958, Monday to Friday. 

Their budget tool entitled to budget can help with financial planning.

Get help with the cost-of-living crisis, paying your bills, financial support and more:

Getting Around

The MyJourney Wokingham website highlights major stations and transport hubs as well as all bus and train stops.

Health / GP

Healthcare information for new residents.

The National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare to everyone in the UK. To access services, you will need to register with a GP

Doctors / General Practitioners (GPs)

  • GPs, as they are known, are your family doctors and they can treat many conditions, give health advice or refer you to other National Health Service services if needed.
  • It's free to register with a GP and you do not need proof of address, immigration status, or identity documents.
  • To find a local Doctor use the search below: Search for a doctor
  • If you have problems finding or registering with a local GP phone NHS England Customer Service Centre on 0300 311 22 33.

Trauma support

We know you've been through a traumatic time. To speak to somebody email us at and we'll arrange support for you.


Visit our Housing and tenants page for more information.

Looking for private housing

If you do not already have permanent housing in Wokingham we have help and support on our website to help you find permanent accommodation.

Our Private housing explained webpage provides information about private housing in the UK.


If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days, please make a referral via the Housing Jigsaw website. Select the option 'Are you homeless or at risk of being made homeless'.

Once the referral has been received, the Duty Homelessness Prevention Officer will contact you. We can only accept referrals which are made through Housing Jigsaw.

If you are unable to make a referral, contact us as soon as possible by:


Phoning: 0118 974 6000 during office hours or 0800 212 111 outside of office hours

More information can be found on our dedicated webpage: Homelessness.

Need more help?

If you are at risk of homelessness Transform Housing provide housing related support to vulnerable adults at risk of homelessness living within Wokingham Borough

The areas that they cover are:

  • Help with financial issues including budgeting, rent or mortgage payments, debts
  • Advice on maintaining a safe and secure home
  • Support with physical, emotional and mental health
  • Advice on finding training or employment
  • Liaison with partner agencies, for example the local authority
  • Support to access social and leisure activities
  • Signposting of other advice and support services

Other support available from WBC:

Council tax guidance

Free school meals and extra funding for your child’s education

Local Charities offering support:

Wokingham Foodbank

Food sharing charity | SHARE Wokingham

The Cowshed | Showing love and support to those in need in Berkshire

First Days Children's Charity | working to reduce child poverty

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