For all Ukrainian refugee and host visa queries, please call the free 24/7 helpline on 0808 164 8810 (if outside the UK, please call +44 808 164 8810).
The towns and villages of Woking are proud of the diverse communities that chose to make our borough their home. Our thoughts and feelings of compassion are with the people of Ukraine, and their families and friends that live in our borough.
We stand with the UK government and its international partners in condemning the Russian government for its unprovoked war against Ukraine.
In an act of unity and support, we have joined government organisations in the UK and around the world to display the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine, above the council's Civic Offices in Woking. We are also working with partners on other opportunities to display, in public spaces, our unity and support.
How we're working to support Ukrainians in Woking
We have a strong reputation working with partners to provide support to refugees, which you will be aware of through our actions of providing homes for five Afghan families and 50 Syrian families. Using this experience, we are providing refugee support and accommodation, including assisting with the government’s Home for Ukraine scheme.
Our council officers are working with local community and faith groups to put in place and comprehensive package of support to Ukrainian arrivals.
We are also mindful of the impact that the events in Ukraine may have on families in Woking. Our community services teams are ready to provide support to the families affected and in need of assistance and advice.
For any questions relating to accommodation and support (excluding donations), please email email@example.com
Welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK
The government had produced a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. It covers what they need to know in their first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.
Homes for Ukraine
Homes for Ukraine is a government sponsorship scheme that allows people and organisations in the UK to offer Ukrainians fleeing the war a home. This scheme lets individuals, charities, community groups and businesses offer a route to safety for Ukrainians, even if they have no ties to the UK.
There will be no limit on this scheme and we will welcome as many Ukrainians as wish to come and have matched sponsors.
Those who come under this scheme will also be granted leave for an initial period of 12 months and able to work and access public services.
The government will work closely with international partners and neighbouring countries on the scheme to ensure that displaced Ukrainians are supported to apply.
The government has funded a scheme that offers a matching, training and support service to sponsors and refugees.
Ukraine Family Scheme
The Ukraine Family Scheme allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK.
If you're outside the UK
If you're outside the UK, you must apply online for the Ukraine Family Scheme. This application is also an application for a biometric immigration document.
If you're in the UK
You must apply online for the Ukraine Family Scheme if you are in the UK.
You will then book and attend an appointment at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
If you have any questions, you can phone the free 24-hour helpline on +44 808 164 8810 or 0808 164 8810 from within the UK.
If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.
Useful information for Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK
Homes for Ukraine factsheet (for Ukrainians)
The government has translated a factsheet into Ukrainian and Russian which explains how Ukrainians can apply to the scheme before arriving in the UK.
Claiming benefits and getting a National Insurance number
The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. This welfare system allows someone to claim regular monetary payments, called 'benefits or allowances'. Your local Job Centre Plus will be able to help you find out which of these you may be able to claim. You can find your local Job Centre Plus by visiting the GOV.UK Contact Job Centre Plus webpage. The benefits or allowances 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 are over the age of 66 and on a low income. Applications for Pensions is online or via phone.
- Disability benefits – extra money to help with additional costs if you have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability.
- Child benefit - a universal benefit for parents or guardians that issues monthly payments equating to £21.80 per week for the eldest child and £14.45 per week for each additional child.
Applying for Universal Credit
There is a Help to Claim service provided by Citizens Advice which is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree. You can find a link to its service on the Citizens Advice Contact us about applying for Universal Credit webpage.
If you are unable to claim online or to get help with your claim, you can call the Universal Credit helpline by calling 0800 328 5644. Calls to the Universal Credit helpline are free.
National Insurance number
You only need to apply for a National Insurance number if you're planning to work but you can start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you have the right to work in the UK.
Free rail travel for Ukrainian refugees
Rail operators are providing Ukrainian refugees with a single onward journey via national rail free of charge on arrival in Great Britain to their final destination. Ukrainian arrivals have 48 hours to make their onward journey.
To access the free rail travel, Ukrainians only need to show their Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours.
Free bus travel for Ukrainian refugees settling in Surrey
Bus operators in Surrey are offering Ukrainian nationals a bus pass to give them free travel on their most used bus route. The temporary bus passes are valid for three months from issue to help Ukrainians newly arrived in Surrey on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, to get around. Each person aged 5+ years intending to travel by bus will need to show their individual bus pass. Children under 5 years don't need their own bus pass.
Pets arriving in the UK with Ukrainian refugees
The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick licence approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays. The government is also covering vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising that Ukrainian arrivals will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pets on its arrival.
Before arrival, please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
Phone: +44 3000 200 301 and select option 2
How to apply for school places and childcare
All children and young people arriving in England from Ukraine via the family route or the sponsorship route have the right to access education and childcare (for children below compulsory school age) whilst in the UK.
Support services provided by Surrey County Council
In most of England, there are two tiers of local government – county and district councils – with responsibility for services split between them.
Woking borough is managed by Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council, and local services are split between both councils into different areas of responsibility.
Surrey County Council is the health, welfare, education and travel authority for Woking.
Make a donation
A wide range of charities and NGOs are operating in the region to provide humanitarian aid and are in need of money to help their work.
Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
Supported by 15 charities including British Red Cross, Save the Children and Oxfam.
UN Ukraine Humanitarian Fund
Select ‘British pounds’ to make a donation
Local community appeals
Details of local appeals and organised collections will be added to this webpage. To advertise an organised public event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Mary's Church, Church Hill, Horsell GU21 4QQ
There is a collection point for donations from Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.
The charitable group leading this collection, Souls4good, is requesting donations of certain items only and these change on a regular basis.
Please check the latest requests before dropping off any donations, visit Facebook group Souls4Good
Shah Jahan Mosque, 149 Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BA
There is a collection point for donations located in Hall 4. Open between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week.
For more information, visit Facebook group Shah Jahan Mosque