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There has been a flood alert issued for Upper River Wey in Guildford. Find out more about flood advice.

Supporting Ukraine

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. (opens new window)

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. (opens new window)

If you have a question regarding local support for Ukrainians email ukraine@guildford.gov.uk.

Become a Homes for Ukraine sponsor

The Homes for Ukraine scheme (opens new window) 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:

  • sponsors
  • charities
  • businesses
  • community groups

Register your interest to become a Homes for Ukraine sponsor (opens new window)

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 pairing scheme (opens new window) that offers matching, training and support services to sponsors and Ukrainian guests.

Find out how we use your personal data through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Guidance for Ukrainian nationals living in the UK

Homes for Ukraine sponsor guidance (opens new window) 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 (opens new window) is now available in English, Ukrainian and Russian. The government has also published a welcome pack for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. (opens new window)

Find out more using the Homes for Ukraine toolkit (opens new window)

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 (opens new window). 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. (opens new window)

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. (opens new window) 

The how to rent in England guide (opens new window) 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. 

We also have some useful information in our Guildford and Surrey private renting guide. (Word doc) [430KB]

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:

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 ukraine@guildford.gov.uk. 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: ukraine@guildford.gov.uk.

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. (opens new window)

Immigration information

The Home Office has published immigration information about:

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.

Apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (opens new window)

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 with a Homes for Ukraine visa only moves in with someone or to a property occupied they do not have to pay council tax. This will not affect the sponsors own council tax 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 if they hold a Homes for Ukraine visa. If any Ukrainian nationals 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 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: swsurreyfsp@guildford.gov.uk.

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:

  • £600 per month for guests whilst they continue to live with you under the scheme

You will receive these payments for up to 2 years if your sponsorship continues.

Support settling into the community

Experience Guildford

Download the app to get offers and discounts in Guildford town centre using the Privilege Card (opens new window).

Find a job

Travel

Free bus pass

Ukrainian nationals can now claim a free temporary bus pass. 

Apply for a free buss pass (opens new window)

Local bus operators

Find a bus timetable (opens new window)

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.

Barnardo's Ukrainian support line (opens new window)

Support for sponsors

The Sanctuary Foundation is offering a free course as an introduction to refugee safety, wellbeing and support. (opens new window)

Useful information

Donations

Find out more on how to help financially, by donating essential supplies and becoming a sponsor. (opens new window)

Donations can be made to the Disasters Emergency Committee, (opens new window) 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. (opens new window)

For more information on how you can support the Ukrainian crisis visit Surrey County Council website. (opens new window)