Ukrainian Support Project
On this page
As the needs of Ukrainian refugees living in Wandsworth change, we are adapting the support we offer. We offer help with a range of advice issues. We can use interpreters if needed.
You can use our contact form if you need help from us or want to refer someone else for help.
Help with housing
If you have a sponsorship arrangement under the Homes for Ukraine scheme that is coming to an end, you will be thinking about where to live next. The options are:
- stay with your current sponsor
- move into private rented accommodation
- find a new host
- use the council homelessness support
Wandsworth Council has financial support packages available to help with the costs of setting up a private tenancy. These depend on being able to demonstrate that the tenancy is affordable and sustainable. We can provide you with further information about this or you can contact Wandsworth Council directly.
Wandsworth Council has information about support for housing. If you’re renting and claiming Universal Credit or Pension Credit, you should be able to claim some or all your housing costs back through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. The amount you receive might not cover all your rent. You can contact us if you need advice about housing or paying your housing costs.
The type of support you get will depend on your visa, the ages of people in your household and the type of housing you’re currently staying in.
Help with benefits, money and tax
Ukrainian nationals who have arrived in the UK since March 2022 can claim benefits.
You can find more information about financial support for Ukrainian refugees on the government’s Understanding Universal Credit website.
The benefit system is complex and deciding which benefits to claim will depend on many factors, including your age, the property you live in, whether you have children and whether you have any health conditions. In general:
- If you’re aged between 16 and 65 and on a low income, you should be able to claim Universal Credit – some exceptions apply. You can apply for Universal Credit online through GOV.UK. Or, the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service can help you make a claim by phone. You can contact Help to Claim by calling 0800 144 8444. Ukrainian and Russian interpreters are available. If you’ve reached State Pension age you may be able to claim Pension Credit. You can apply for this by calling 0800 99 1234.
- If you have children under 18 in full time education, you should be able to claim Child Benefit. You can apply for this by printing and completing the Child Benefit application form, then taking it to your next appointment at Jobcentre Plus. The application form says that original passport and identity documents need to be sent off with the application, but Jobcentre staff should agree to copy and verify your ID documents so that you don’t have to put them in the post.
If you would like to check whether you can claim these benefits or other benefits for people with disabilities or health problems, you can contact us using the webform below.
If you are working, there is an introduction to tax and National Insurance for refugees on GOV.UK.
Discount on Council Tax
If you have moved into private rented accommodation, and have Homes for Ukraine visas, you will receive a 50% discount on the bill.
Use the Wandsworth Council enquiry form here to ask about this discount.
Help with finding a job
Wandsworth Work Match can help you with local jobs and training opportunities in Wandsworth.
The Find a job service, provided by the government, helps people search and apply for jobs anywhere in England.
GOV.UK has guidance about moving from benefits to work, with information about looking for work, starting a business and help for parents.
Help with immigration advice
The Ukraine Advice Project is a free service that connects people fleeing the war in Ukraine with free immigration advice from qualified lawyers. Advice is available in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. You can also contact the law firm DLA Piper directly at email@example.com to request advice (you should explain your circumstances when you email them).
There is comprehensive guidance about UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals on GOV.UK. The Home Office also has a helpline for people who have questions about the Ukraine Family Scheme (0808 164 8810). This helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. It is available outside the UK by calling +44 (0)175 390 7510.
STEP Ukraine: English Language and Employment Programme *New*
STEP Ukraine is an intensive, virtual, 12-week English language and employment programme for Ukrainians in the UK.
STEP Ukraine is designed to help find meaningful employment in the UK and improve English language skills.
STEP Ukraine is delivered by World Jewish Relief and the British Council and is funded by the UK Government and is completely free for all participants. The programme includes:
- An intensive 10 weeks of 2.5 hour daily English classes by the British Council, with options to take the lessons morning, afternoon or evening
- 12 weeks of weekly employment support with a dedicated employment advisor, to support with: CV writing, job applications, interview prep, support with job search, and specialist workshops
- All classes are remote, and teacher led. They are streamed so you will be with classmates at a similar level.
Complete the referral form here: or call freephone 0800 319 6089. (Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-2pm)
Help with learning English
You can register with these local colleges for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.
- South Thames College
- Lambeth College
- Wandsworth Lifelong Learning (register your interest in ESOL and preparation for employment classes here).
The White Eagle Club provides a free ESOL English Language Course for Ukrainians. This happens every Wednesday evening from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at the White Eagle Club, 211 Balham High Road, London, SW17 7BQ. This course is free to Ukrainian participants to improve English levels in speaking, writing and listening skills, and leads to ESOL certification examinations.
Register your interest for the White Eagle course here.
Help with emotional support and wellbeing
Fleeing your homeland due to conflict can be traumatic and upsetting. There are several organisations nationally and locally that can provide emotional support:
The British Red Cross runs a helpline for people who are lonely, worried and finding it hard to get the help they need in the UK. You can contact them on 0808 196 3651 between 10am and 6pm (8pm on Wednesdays) and request a Ukrainian or Russian speaker.
Barnado’s runs a Ukraine helpline (0800 148 8586) that offers holistic support for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. They can connect you to a qualified psychotherapist who you can talk to by phone or online. They can also offer practical support: including access to digital devices (to make sure you stay connected to loved ones), toys for children, vital baby items and more (subject to demand). Bernado’s helpline is open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm, and they can provide a Ukrainian or Russian interpreter. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re distressed and feel you might harm yourself, you should call emergency services on 999. If you just need to talk to someone now, the Samaritans helpline (116 123) is open 24 hours a day.
The Red Cross has published guides on wellbeing, coping with stress and coping with trauma:
If you want to help Ukrainian refugees
The best way to support Ukraine is to donate to the relief effort. The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal is taking donations on behalf of 15 major charities that are working in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Every donation makes a difference to people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.
If you can make the commitment, applying to be a host through the Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow someone without family in the UK to enter and stay here. You can find more information in the sponsor guides on GOV.UK.
If you want to help by volunteering you can contact Wandsworth Care Alliance, who can connect you to a local organisation supporting the relief effort or Ukrainian refugees settling in the borough.
Wandsworth Council provides information for residents who want to help.
You can use this webform to contact us if:
- You’re a Ukrainian in Wandsworth and need advice.
- You’re supporting a Ukrainian refugee and want to connect them to support.