Advice for Ukrainian arrivals

Lincolnshire

Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your family to the UK.  All Lincolnshire councils and partners are working together to welcome those seeking a safe place to stay in the county.  We understand that this will not only be an incredibly worrying time for you, but also appreciate that some aspects of living in the UK will be different to your experiences in Ukraine.  This document aims to guide our Ukraine guests to local services, it may also be useful to the Sponsors who are hosting you.  We hope this information will be helpful to you during your stay in Lincolnshire.  Further information on Lincolnshire’s Ukrainian response can be found here.

Background

You are here as guests in accordance with one of the following UK Immigration arrangements:

Ukraine Family Scheme Visa

If you came to the UK to join the household of a family member, it is important to note that you did that by mutual agreement and personal arrangement.  The expectation is that you will continue to reside with your family for as long as you need that safe place to stay, or if you are able to source your own accommodation.  Whilst the local authorities are not involved in that arrangement you may find some of the information in this document useful to you during your stay.

Homes for Ukraine Scheme

Those who offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, are called a “sponsor”.  They have registered their interest in being a sponsor with the UK Government.  The sponsors offer of room(s) or a property is for a minimum of six months, but ideally for as long as your, as “guests” need a safe place to stay.  Guests will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years and access benefits, healthcare, employment and other support.

Sponsor and property checks

Ukraine Family Scheme Visa

Local authorities have not been involved in this process at all. There have been no checks on the property or household you are joining.  You have made a mutual and personal arrangement.  It is anticipated that arrangement will last the duration of your stay.  The Host payment of £350 pcm and initial payment of £200 per guest is not applicable under this scheme.

Homes For Ukraine Scheme

Whilst it is important to note that you are participating in a voluntary scheme, you are accepting an offer of accommodation on the understanding it is appropriate for your needs and available for a minimum of six months, but ideally for the duration you need a safe place to stay.  To offer you some reassurance on the household you are joining:

Prior to arrival the Home Office will undertake some checks:

  • guests arriving from Ukraine will be subject to standard security checks prior to being issued with a visa
  • sponsors and all adults in sponsors’ households will be subject to initial Police National Computer, criminal records and warnings index checks by the Home Office

Local councils will then undertake:

  • inspect the property to ensure it meets all minimum UK accommodation standards for example health and safety
  • a basic DBS check for all adults in the sponsor household, or
  • where the incoming guests’ family includes children and, or a vulnerable adult, Councils will undertake an enhanced DBS with barred lists check for all adults in the sponsor household

In any instance where a home check has not taken place, has highlighted an issue or where the DBS confirmation comes back highlighting the need for further investigation, the local council will keep both the sponsor and guest informed.  If you have any concerns on this you can contact by email [email protected].

Barnardo's free helpline

Following discussion with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, Barnardo’s has set up the Ukrainian Support Helpline to provide a holistic support service. The helpline is available to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

Barnardo’s free helpline (0800 148 8586) is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, to offer support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday (10am to 8pm) and Saturday (10am to 3pm). Callers will be able to get help and advice on a range of topics.

A dedicated email address [email protected] and webpage have also been set up for those assisting with the Ukraine response.

Health services

You can find information on how the NHS works translated into Russian, and into Ukrainian.

GP surgery

You need to register with a GP surgery as soon as possible.  You can decide where to register.  It is usual to choose a GP surgery close to where you are living.  Your GP is usually your first contact if you have a health problem.  They can treat many conditions and give health advice.  They can also refer you to other specialist NHS services. You can find a GP here

Pharmacies

Located in many towns, qualified healthcare professionals can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. This is also where you can get prescriptions once issued by the GP.  You can find your local pharmacy here.

Dentist

Some dentists offer NHS treatment and private treatment.  You should try to register with a dentist as an NHS patient, although places are limited and may not be close to where you live.  Inform them if you are in receipt of benefits as checks and some treatments may be free, other treatments are payable.  You can find a dentist here.

Mental health services

Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions.  Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are the most common problems.  If you have been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks or your anxiety is affecting your daily life, make an appointment to speak to your doctor.

Advice is also available on the NHS website to support you on your way to feeling better.

Emergency or urgent access

For acute emergency illness that cannot wait until GP surgery opening hours, telephone 111 for advice, or visit online.  If you have an emergency, needing immediate medical assistance as someone’s life may be at risk, telephone 999 for an Ambulance.  You can find your local Accident and Emergency department here.

Emergency services

The UK emergency services ensure public safety and health, and available 24/7.

Police, Fire and Ambulance can all be contacted in an emergency situation on the same number, 999.

  • police – if a serious offence is in progress or in immediate danger – telephone 999
  • ambulance – if someone’s life is at risk – telephone 999
  • Fire and Rescue – if there is a fire – telephone 999

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

In addition to emergency assistance, our teams can help with non-emergency assistance such as home safety advice, safe and well checks, smoke alarm advice. More details can all be found here.

Lincolnshire Police

The Police in the UK are there to protect the public, their rights and the law.  The Police are there to help, you should not be afraid to approach them if you are a victim of a crime or see a crime happening.  Their role is to:

  • protect life and property
  • prevent public disturbances
  • prevent and detect crime

We want Lincolnshire to be the safest place to live, work and visit, and for everyone in our communities to be free from harassment and fear.  We hope this will be your experience during your stay in Lincolnshire. We work with partners to reduce crime and improve the safety of people and the communities they live and work in.  Our officers are friendly and approachable, so please talk to them if you need to.

If you do need to report a crime:

Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council governs the county of Lincolnshire.  The council is responsible for public services such as education, transport, highways, heritage, social care, libraries, trading standards and waste management.

Wellbeing Lincs

Wellbeing Lincs is a county wide service funded by Lincolnshire County Council supporting adults across Lincolnshire to achieve confident, fulfilled and independent living.  Wellbeing Lincs have established a service designed to assist Ukrainian citizens who have moved to Lincolnshire through the family, or sponsorship schemes recently launched by central government.

We can provide emotional support, as well as help accessing statutory services such as health, education, benefits and council services including housing.  We can also help link you with community support services and charities.

While we will attempt to assist with requests for help outside the above list, we are not able to provide general updates to the public on where to send donations, or how to receive assistance for Ukrainian citizens who have been in the UK since before the current conflict.

To access our service please provide us with your name, address, contact information and a brief idea of your main reason for contacting us to [email protected]. We will contact you as soon as possible to discuss how we can help, which will usually be within two working days.  You can also use our dedicated contact number; however, you should be aware, the telephone line can be very busy, so email is the quickest way to make contact.  Our telephone number is 01507 613044 and will operate between 9am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, then 10am to 4.30 pm Friday.

Urgent social care services

The welfare of you and your family is important to us, if you are in need of urgent assistance please note:

  • Adult Social Care –urgent social care intervention that cannot wait until the next working day 01522 782155
  • Adult Safeguarding – where an adult may be experiencing abuse or neglect. Please note: If you believe a crime has been committed or there is an immediate risk of danger, call the police on 999 or 101
  • Children’s Services – immediate and significant risk of harm 01522 782111, or if outside normal working hours 01522 782333

Education

In the UK, the law states that full-time education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 16.  In England there is an expectation that children will remain in education, employment or training until the age of 18.  You will need to apply for a place for each child, use the registration process do not contact schools direct.  Use this link to apply for a school place for all children in your care.

It is your responsibility to arrange for your child(ren) to get to school.  Transport to access school is only arranged in exceptional circumstances.  Use this link to apply for transport to access school.

If you require assistance with applying for a school place please email [email protected].

Free School Meals

Free School Meals (FSM) will be provided for all school aged children when they start school in Lincolnshire (Reception to Year 13). This will continue until their parents have National Insurance numbers and are registered for Universal Credit or start paid employment. You can make a new application for free school meals via the Lincolnshire County Council Parent Portal.

Your application is means-tested. If you meet the eligibility criteria, free school meals for your child/ren will continue. If you do not meet the criteria you will need to pay for school meals unless your child is in Reception, Year One or Year Two - all infants receive meals under the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme (UIFSM).

We recheck all applications every week night, so you may become eligible in future if your circumstances change, in this instance we will send you a letter.

If you need any support with your application, please contact your school or e-mail [email protected]

Children’s centres

There are 48 children's centres in Lincolnshire, which offer parent and child play opportunities that are free to drop into. We can also advise on other services in the area which may be helpful for you and your family. 

These are free to access for families with children from birth to age five. Any adult who is caring for a child can access services at the centre. You can go along to your nearest centre and drop in you don’t need to make an appointment.  Use our directory to find your nearest children's centre.

A parent or carer who has parental responsibility for the child will be offered a membership form when they arrive at the centre. This is to help us to keep you informed on what’s available in the centres.

Choosing early education or childcare

Choosing early education and childcare is down to personal preference, budget, age and needs of your child.  You should check if you are eligible for help with the cost. Before you decide on a childcare provider, it is a good idea to visit your shortlisted settings. You may choose to see more than one setting and visit more than once to help you decide. 

Think about taking your child with you to meet the childcare setting. You will be able to see:

  • how they get on with other children
  • how the child carer interacts with your child 

Try visiting at a time when there will be children in the setting. Check to see if the other children seem happy and relaxed. Use the Family Services Directory to help find the right local childcare for your family.

Protecting and caring

Carers

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who look after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. 

For many people, caring is a rewarding and positive experience, but for others, caring without the right help and support can feel overwhelming. For some people, caring can trigger feelings of loneliness and frustration and many often find their physical and emotional health, work or finances are affected.

In Lincolnshire we recognise and have support services for carers. If you need help support or advise, you can find it at Connect to Support.

Your sponsor is not responsible for personal care nor supervision of any member of your household including children whilst residing in their home.

Your children

The UK takes children’s rights seriously and is always trying to improve the situation of all children.  For this reason the UK has passed a number of laws that help protect children.  Children have a right to have their views listened to and considered.  In some circumstances in the UK, children aged 14 and older have a right to make certain decisions for themselves, such as medical decisions.

As a parent you are legally responsible for the protection, care and well-being of your children.  It is a parent’s responsibility to make sure their children attend school. If you do not, there can be legal action such as: a Parenting Order, an Education Supervision Order, a School Attendance Order or a fine.  Going to school is very important for the welfare of a child. Helping out with tasks at home must not stop a child from going to school. It is an offence to leave children alone if this will put them at risk. Babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone.

When parents are having difficulties caring for their children, Children’s Services may be able to offer some help or advice. UK laws require Children’s Services to investigate allegations of child neglect or abuse.

Children and young people can get support about their concerns online from Childline or by calling 0800 1111.  The NSPCC website has information on preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a serious crime in the UK. Domestic abuse does not only occur between couples. It can also involve wider family members, including parental abuse by an adolescent or grown child. It can exist between older siblings, or the wider extended family.  It can affect anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

Domestic abuse usually occurs in the home and can take many forms:

  • physical abuse like hitting, kicking or hair pulling
  • emotional abuse like blackmail, mental torture and threats to disown a person or harm those they care about
  • controlling, for example, restricting a person’s movements or access to or contact with family or friends or preventing access to money or a chosen career
  • coercive behaviour for example threats, humiliation or intimidation that is used to harm, punish, frighten
  • it can be rape – being married or in a relationship doesn’t mean that a partner has the right to force sex against the will of the other

Domestic abuse is complex. It can go unidentified by agencies, families, friends, colleagues and even victims themselves.  If you are worried about a relationship you are in, concerned about your own behaviour towards someone or concerned about someone you know then help is available in Lincolnshire.

  • for support to women, men and children experiencing or fleeing Domestic Abuse please contact EDAN Lincs 01522 510041 or email [email protected]
  • help for anyone concerned about how they might be hurting, scaring or controlling their partner or ex partner please contact ‘Make a Change’ 01522 246616
  • for support and advice outside working hours please contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
  • in an emergency call the Police on 999 or for a non emergency 101

Gender and sex in law

Issues related to gender and sex are taken very seriously in the UK. The law says that you cannot be discriminated against because of your sex or your gender. This means:

  • organisations, including companies and individuals in the UK have a legal duty to treat men and women equally
  • men and women have equal rights and duties in employment and in marriage and in all aspects of private and public life in the UK
  • transgender people have equal rights too

Racism and discrimination

In the UK it is illegal to treat anyone differently because of their gender, race, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. 

Racism is unacceptable in the UK. It is a serious offence to injure, harass or verbally abuse someone because of their race or to damage their property for that reason. It is also against the law to stir up racial hatred. It is unacceptable to discriminate against another person because of their race, ethnicity or where they came from. You should not be treated any differently because of your race when applying for a job, looking for somewhere to live, using the National Health Service (NHS) or just buying something in a shop.

You should not experience racial harassment at work, school or in public (where other people make comments about your race or where you come from that are offensive or make you uncomfortable). If you or someone you know is the victim of racism.  Do not try to deal with racism or racist attackers on your own. Get the authorities involved. If you try to resolve it on your own you could get hurt or even get into trouble with the police yourself. Do tell the authorities about it.

You can go to the police. If you don’t want to walk into a police station there are many ways you can report a racist crime; for example you can do it online.

District councils

The county council is the upper tier of local government, below which are seven councils with responsibility for services such as housing, planning applications, council tax and refuge collection.

Use this link to find out which council covers where you are staying.

The districts of Lincolnshire are listed below with their contact details, each council has also established a dedicated single point of contact for all enquiries associated with the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Boston Borough Council                      
Tel: 01205 314200
Website: www.mybostonuk.com
Email:[email protected]

City of Lincoln Council                          
Tel: 01522 881188
Website:www.lincoln.gov.uk
Email: [email protected]

East Lindsey District Council              
Tel: 01507 601111
Website: www.e-lindsey.gov.uk
Email:[email protected]

North Kesteven District Council        
Tel: 01529 414155
Website: www.n-kesteven.gov.uk
Email: [email protected]

South Holland District Council          
Tel: 01775 761161
Website:www.sholland.gov.uk
Email:[email protected]

South Kesteven District Council       
Tel: 01476 406080
Website: www.southkesteven.gov.uk
Email: [email protected]

West Lindsey District Council
Tel: 01427 676676
Website: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk
Email: [email protected]

Where you are staying should be available for you for as long as you need a safe place to stay.  However, in exceptional circumstances where the arrangement has irretrievably broken down and you have no alternative options, the Homelessness Team at the council will be able to offer you information, advice and assistance.  Please use the links above to access the council that covers the area where you are currently staying.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – benefits and financial support

The DWP is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy.  It administers the state pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits such as child benefit, universal credit, personal independent payments, carers allowance.

Applying for Universal Credit

Universal credit is a payment to help with you and your family’s living costs.  It is paid monthly in arrears.  You can apply for universal credit if you are on a low income, not in employment or cannot work.

Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to you, for example if you have children, a disability or health condition preventing you from working or need help paying your rent.  You can apply for Universal Credit here.

Claimants will be allocated a work coach, who will be able to assist with the following:

  • pathway to eligibility for applicable benefits
  • access to bank accounts
  • applications for National Insurance Numbers (NINOs)
  • preparation for being work ready and access to employment opportunities
  • access to training
  • guidance on converting qualifications
  • CV guidance

Guidance for claiming Child Benefit

Anyone coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine scheme is entitled to claim Child Benefit immediately, rather than having to wait for the usual three-month qualifying period.

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.

They 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 and Customs (HMRC) will be in touch to discuss further.

Anyone wanting more information on Child Benefit can call 0300 200 3100 (from inside the UK) or visit gov.uk.

You can find the CH2 Child Benefit claim form here.

Finding employment in the UK

There are a wealth of employment agencies around Lincolnshire who search for candidates that are registered with them for advertised roles. Typical roles may include manufacturing, IT, agriculture.   There are many different avenues into employment, below are several useful links to job search sites where vacant positions can be applied for:

There are also a vast amount of tools online to aid with CV writing, topic areas to covered within an application, interview skills and interview preparation.   Job Centre Sites around Lincolnshire where you can book an appointment to speak with an advisor to gain help and guidance in finding employment.

Employment rights

When offered a job or start work, there are a number of things you should be aware of while working in the UK.

When you go to work, you have the right to be treated fairly and work in a safe environment.  Organisations and businesses have a legal duty to treat everyone fairly in the workplace and in the way they recruit people for jobs. Men and women have the right to work. Men and women have equal rights and duties in employment.  It is illegal to discriminate against anyone applying for a job or in the workplace on the basis of gender, race, religion, being married or in a civil partnership, disability, age, sexual orientation or if they are pregnant.

You also have the right to be able to work without fear or harassment from your employer, colleagues or customers.  Workers over the age of 18 are usually entitled to three types of break – rest breaks at work, daily rest and weekly rest.  

If you work more than six hours in a day, you have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during your working day. The break doesn’t have to be paid – it depends on your employment contract. Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays (also known as public holidays) as part of statutory annual leave.

Every employer in the country must pay their employees a minimum amount per hour. How much this is depends on how old you are. You can find the most up-to-date information on rates of pay here.

Bank account options within the UK

The currency in the UK is the Pound Sterling (£). £1 (one pound) = 100p (100 pennies, or pence). Cash is accepted in most places, but increasingly people use debit or credit cards to pay for goods and services.

You will require a UK bank account in order to be paid for employment, receive benefits, make bill payments for utilities (such as phone bill) or pay rent.  Setting up a bank account should be made a priority upon arrival in the UK.

To open a bank account you will need to complete an application form either in the bank in person or online. They will ask for several documents as proof of identity including full name, date of birth and address. This is usually by means of a passport, driving licence or utility bill. Different forms of identification will be accepted if the previous are not owned, but this may differ depending upon the bank.

You can find further information on banking in the UK here.

Proof of identity – in order of most widely accepted

  • current Passport
  • Biometric Residency Permit (BRP)
  • Department for Work and Pensions letter confirming right or entitlement to benefits
  • current full (or provisional) UK driving licence
  • UK Home Office travel document
  • UK Home Office application registration card
  • UK Home Office immigration status with right to reside
  • notification of other government or local authority grant

Note:  A provisional driving licence can be obtained with a biometric residency permit. There is a fee for getting a provisional driving licence. You can apply for one here.

Proof of address – in order of most widely accepted

  • council tax bill
  • Tenancy Agreement
  • utility bill (electricity, gas or water bill) from the last 3 to 4 months
  • current EU or EEA driver’s licence (or provisional)
  • HMRC Tax Notification
  • Department for Work and Pensions letter confirming right to benefits

You should ask about any charges when you open a bank account. Depending on the terms and conditions of your account, you may be charged if you spend more money than you have or for other services that may be included.

Once you open your account, you will usually be issued with a debit card which can be used to pay for things in most shops. You can also arrange for bills to be paid directly from your account using ‘direct debit’.

Further advice can be found on the Citizens Advice Bureau website or by speaking directly to your bank of choice.

Adult Learning

Adult and Family Learning in Lincolnshire

The Adult Skills and Family Learning Service offers a wide range of courses supporting and enabling people to enhance their quality of life and opportunities. Courses are delivered in community venues, local colleges, schools and children’s centres, and online.

Some courses are specifically designed to support parents and their families and are likely to be available in the daytime, evenings, and weekends.

Courses funded by the government, including ESOL and Level 3 - Courses for Job Offer, will be free of charge to Ukrainian nationals living in the United Kingdom under either the Ukraine Family Scheme, or the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine). Local training providers may charge a small fee for private classes.

To find out about opportunities in your area:

  • Visit www.2aspire.org.uk to find out about courses and training providers in Lincolnshire, or ring 01522 782011
  • Use the National Careers Service website, which offers advice on choosing courses and a postcode search to help you find a suitable class
  • Read notices in local newspapers or on notice boards in schools, children’s centres, doctors’ surgeries, community centres, libraries or voluntary groups
  • Speak to friends, neighbours, and colleagues to find out what’s happening locally and what courses are on offer

Learning English

The primary language in the United Kingdom is English. The UK is very culturally diverse, with many nationalities residing here. There are opportunities to learn the English language either through courses at colleges or education establishments, online resources such as the BBC Learning English page or community-based activities hosted by charities that offer basic English in the area you live. Visit www.2aspire.org.uk to find out about English language courses in Lincolnshire, or ring 01522 782011.

Transport around Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire is the fourth largest county in England covering 5921 square miles.  It is a rural county which has a diverse landscape of sandy beaches, lush woodland, vast fields, rolling hills and bustling communities.  There is no free public transport, some small villages do not have a regular bus or train service so you may be reliant on voluntary offers or private taxi hire.  The links below offer you some transport options:

Household bills

All households are responsible for their own individual costs of running their own home for example utilities such as gas, electric and water, Council Tax.  There are two living arrangements applicable to this Homes for Ukraine scheme:

Sharing accommodation with your host

This is where you live in the same property as your host, sharing some of the facilities such as kitchen, bathroom and living area, but you should have a separate bedroom for your household. The Sponsor will receive a monthly payment of £350 towards the cost of hosting you. This payment is in recognition of them welcoming you into their home and a contribution to some of the additional costs incurred as result of that hosting arrangement. The Sponsor should not be asking you to pay rent but may ask you to contribute to things like the shopping.  It is important that you agree this prior to or on arrival to avoid misunderstandings.

Independent self contained accommodation

This is where the Sponsor has arranged for you to have your own property with sole access which means you do not share facilities with any other household.  The Sponsor will still receive a £350 monthly payment and should not ask you for rent.  However, you will be solely responsible for the household bills associated with that property.  You will be required to pay this from either your wage or salary or your Universal Credit.  One thing to note that is different to living in Ukraine, is that in the UK you are required by law to purchase a TV licence.  This is applicable If you watch or record live TV programmes, watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service, or download and watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer. You can buy or renew a TV licence online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk or by calling 0330 790 6165.  It is illegal not to own a TV licence if you are watching TV in any of these ways. If you do not have a TV licence you can be prosecuted and fined up to £1000.

Shopping and services

Whilst most villages across Lincolnshire will have a basic range of shopping facilities, the widest selection of shops and services are available in the city of Lincoln and towns of Gainsborough, North Hykeham, Louth, Skegness, Grantham, Stamford, Boston and Spalding. 

Some stores open 24 hours per day, others do have set opening hours which can be found on their website.   Most major grocery stores offer an online, pre bookable service that will deliver goods to your door for a charge. Please visit the stores individual websites for details.  Most stores accept debit and credit card payments or cash (£).

Cultural and community information

Information on tourism in Lincolnshire can be found here.