We are adding a list of Question and Answers that people might have about the Homes for Ukraine scheme to this page.
If you have a question but you don't see the answer here, you can contact our Homes for Ukraine Action Team by emailing HomesforUkraine@sefton.gov.uk .
Or you can telephone our Call Centre on 0345 140 0845
It is open Monday to Thursday – 9am to 5.30pm
Fridays – 9am to 5pm.
We will write to you sending the following two attached documents:
- Initial Letter detailing next steps of the process and what to expect
- A property self-assessment form
The Council will then contact you within the following seven days to discuss visiting your property.
If you have any enquiries in the meantime you can send them to HomesForUkraine@Sefton.gov.uk or alternatively, contact Sefton Council's Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.
The visa process is being run by the UK Visas and Immigration service and the Home Office.
To help Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK, train companies across the UK, including Merseyrail, are offering free onward travel on train services to a safe place for people arriving into the region from Ukraine.
They will just need to show their Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing their arrival into the UK. They then have 48 hours from arrival in the UK to complete their journey.
Ukrainians arriving in London can use the offer on London Underground/DLR services if their journey requires you to travel between London national rail stations.
Those arriving at Liverpool John Lennon Airport will be able to use their Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing their arrival into the UK on Arriva bus services to connect with the rail network, or complete their ‘arrival’ journey within the 48 hour period.
Merseytravel's Over 60s Concessionary Travel Pass provides free travel on local bus and train services to those who are eligible and can meet the criteria, which includes proof of residency in Merseyside.
Merseytravel is happy to work with applicants on an individual basis to help them apply if required.
To access the payment each guest, over the age of 16, will have a prepaid card account set up in their name. This is a bank account and can be used at ATMs, in shops, to receive payments etc.
Under-16s will also receive the £200 payment that will be issued onto a guardian's card.
To complete the registration for this card account, the Homes For Ukraine team will send the sponsor an initial payment form for the sponsor to fill out and return when your guests arrive. The team will then notify Sefton Carer’s Centre that the guests have arrived in Sefton.
Guests or their sponsors will then be contacted by Sefton Carer’s Centre by telephone or email to arrange collection of their card and appropriate monies.
The following initiatives have been set up by mobile phone providers to help Ukrainians forced to leave their country.
Mobile operator Three UK has announced it will provide Ukrainian arriving in the UK with a free 30-day Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM card that comes preloaded with unlimited domestic calls, texts and mobile broadband data.
The free SIMS can be collected from Three’s 311 UK stores.
Vodafone has also offered free connectivity to 200,000 refugees arriving in the UK from Ukraine through its charities.connected initiative.
Registered charities can apply for the free connectivity, in the form of SIM cards with 20GB data, plus free calls and texts every month for 6 months.
To help refugees who arrive in the UK without devices, Vodafone has also launched a Tech Appeal for refugees with a donation of 3,000 smartphones (including connectivity) and 1,000 portable power banks.
Virgin Media O2
To help its customers in Ukraine, and to ensure that customers in the UK can contact family or loved ones directly impacted, Virgin Media O2 has removed all charges for data use in Ukraine and are crediting back all charges for calls and texts between Ukraine and the UK.
As Ukrainian residents are increasingly displaced to other countries, Virgin Media O2 will continue to cover the costs of our customers making calls and texts to Ukrainian mobile numbers in whatever country they are in.
These measures apply to O2 Pay Monthly, O2 Pay As You Go, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Media O2 Business and Virgin Media home phone customers, as well as giffgaff customers. Customers do not need to do anything as the charges will be credited back automatically.
Remote education resource
With ongoing disruption to schooling and access to education, we’ve also provided free unlimited access to a Ukrainian education site created by the Ukrainian Education Ministry, the All Ukrainian Online School – Про проєкт | ВШО.
It is a digital learning platform for Ukrainian students grades 5-11, providing video lessons, tests and support materials across a variety of subjects. All content is linked to the state educational curriculum and is quality checked by the Ukrainian Institute for Educational Development.
This website contains a wide range of information on the services and support available in Sefton.
You can use the drop-down residents menu on the Home Page to find them (see below).
The Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) Here For You online directory includes contact details and service information for all known non-profit organisations and charities in and around Sefton.
There are more than 1,000 Voluntary, Community & Faith (VCF) sector organisations delivering over 3,000 services for residents across Sefton.
GPs are doctors who can offer medical advice, provide a diagnosis and prescribe medicines.
They might be your first point of contact for many physical and mental health concerns.
Your GP practice is also responsible for coordinating and managing your long-term healthcare and can refer you to specialised hospital services if you need them.
It is best to register with a local GP practice to meet your ongoing health needs.
You may be given a registration form on your arrival in Sefton and details of support to complete it.
Each family member needs to complete a GMS1 registration form.
A parent/guardian should complete on behalf of children under 16.
A photograph of each completed GMS1 form should be taken (both sides), and then emailed to CCG.firstname.lastname@example.org together with information on whether an interpreter is required for appointments ( please include which language).
The CCG will then co-ordinate the registration at a local GP practice.
If you are unable to download the registration form or if you have any other queries, you can call our Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845 - Monday to Thursday – 9am to 5.30pm and Fridays – 9am to 5pm.
Ukrainians arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will be able to access healthcare services.
- Dentists and opticians;
- GP practices and medical centres;
- Community Health services;
- Walk in or Urgent Treatment Centres;
- Emergency Services;
- Emergency Mental Health services.
- Стоматологи та оптики;
- терапевтичні та медичні центри;
- Служби громадського здоров'я;
- Прогулянка або центри невідкладної терапії;
- Служби екстреної допомоги;
- Невідкладні служби психічного здоров'я.
- Стоматологи и оптики;
- ВОП и медицинские центры;
- Службы общественного здравоохранения;
- Прогулка или неотложные лечебные центры;
- Экстренные службы;
- Службы неотложной психологической помощи.
Here are some of the local services that can provide you with advice and treatment if you or your family are unwell:
NHS 111 will direct you to the right advice and support when you need medical help, but it is not an emergency.
You can contact the 24-hour service online at www.111.nhs.uk or free phone by dialling 111.
You can ask for an interpreter in your language by saying "interpreter please".
Pharmacies provide expert health advice on minor illnesses and ailments.
They are qualified healthcare professionals and can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as sore throats, tummy trouble, aches and pains.
They will let you know if you need to visit a doctor or direct you to other healthcare professionals to make sure you get the help you need.
You can find your nearest pharmacy at www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/find-a-pharmacy.
Walk-in and urgent treatment centres
You can get help for minor illnesses and minor injuries at the walk-in centres in Skelmersdale and Litherland and the urgent treatment centre in Ormskirk.
They are open seven days a week from 8am until 8pm, including Bank Holidays.
You can simply walk in, or you can make an appointment online at www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.
More about the centres and their addresses can be found at www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/accessing-health-and-care-services
Dentists and opticians
You can get teeth and eye care by searching for your nearest dentist and optician at the following links:
- Find a dentist - www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist
- Find an optician - www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/opticians/
If your tooth is painful, you should call 111 for Urgent Dental Care Services.
Emergency hospital services
Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
The telephone operator will advise you what to do or where to go next.
An ambulance may be sent to provide treatment or transport the patient to hospital. Hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments are open 24 hours every day of the year.
You can access these services directly and without an appointment at www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/urgent-and-emergency-care-services/when-to-call-999/
Emergency mental health
If you have seriously harmed yourself or are about to do so, call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E.
If you are thinking about suicide, talk to someone at the Samaritans by calling 116 123.
Other ways to get support for your mental health and wellbeing
- GP practices can advise on mental health support for you or your family and refer you to specialist services if you need them.
- Talking Matters is a free, confidential service to help deal with common mental health difficulties for those registered with a GP in Sefton.
Call them on 0300 303 2708 or go to www.mhm.org.uk/talking-matters-sefton.
- For practical tips and expert advice to improve your mental health, you can also visit www.kindtoyourmind.org.
- There’s also a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. Text HEAL to 85258.
- For anyone over 16 in need of urgent mental health support, as they no longer feel able to cope or be in control of their situation, there is a free 24-hour telephone service on 0800 145 6570.
- For practical tips and expert advice to improve your mental health, you can also visit kindtoyourmind.org.
Services for children and young people
Mental health services for children and young people
Useful resources to support mental health and wellbeing for children and young people can be found at www.seftonliverpoolcamhs.com.
Young people aged 14 and over and their parents or carers can also make a referral to Sefton & Liverpool Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at www.seftonliverpoolcamhs.com.
Health experts at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital have developed an online symptom checker to help parents and carers understand common symptoms in children and when to seek further help.
The Symptom Checker is at www.alderhey.nhs.uk/symptom-checker.
Healthy Child Programme
Health visitors work with all babies and their parents or carers from birth to five years to make sure that they can access all the health services they need.
Infant feeding coordinators work alongside health visitors to support new parents with feeding and weaning advice. Health support is also available in schools for children and young people. School nurses work with the immunisation team to do this.
You can find more information about how to access services, and contact details, at www.sefton.gov.uk/health-services.
If you are aged between 5 and 17 years of age and looking after someone in your family who couldn’t manage without you, you are a young carer.
Living Well Sefton
Living Well Sefton is a FREE service with a focus on supporting people with issues that may be affecting their health and wellbeing.
It is a collaboration of various Sefton organisations with the expertise and knowledge to help.
Find out more about Living Well Sefton.
All children and young people arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme have the right to access education and childcare while in the UK.
Sefton Council is working to find local school places and will work with families arriving from Ukraine to enable children to attend school as soon as possible.
Our Principal Admissions Officer is overseeing the process.
Please email email@example.com to request an applications form.
Or you can call 0151 934 3487, or 0151 934 3590.
Hugh Baird College in Bootle is offering free English classes to Ukrainian adults and their family members who find themselves displaced to the Liverpool City Region.
The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes will help with linguistic obstacles and reading, writing and listening. Learning these skills aims to make it easier for the refugees to feel more at ease and less isolated whilst staying in the UK.
The free ESOL classes are available to all Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the UK government’s ‘Ukraine Family Scheme’ and the ‘Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme’.
Or call 0151 353 4444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sefton’s libraries offer a wide range of free services including:
- Books – standard print and large print, plus talking books on CD to borrow for free.
- Free Internet and Computer access.
- a digital library that includes e-books/e-audio books and PressReader (1000s of newspapers and magazines from across the world which can be translated into most languages)
- Story and Rhyme time for pre-school children, their parents and carers.
From Wednesday 1st June, we will also have Transparent Language Learning available via our website for library members.
This is new software that will enable people to learn languages in their native tongue. For example, someone from Ukraine will learn English in Ukrainian.
It will help guests from Ukraine learn English more quickly and is free to use.
Available from Wednesday 1st June.
The Red Cross website contains information that can help people with the different emotions they may be feeling after leaving their homeland.
This includes downloadable information for adults and children in English, Ukrainian and Russian.
There is also a wide range of other information and support for people from Ukraine.
Ukraine Welcome Centres have been set up in North and South Sefton.
In North Sefton, the Welcome Centre is at the Victoria Centre, 197a Sussex Road, Southport, PR8 6DG.
Drop-in every Thursday 2pm to 4pm
Holy Trinity Church
Open Mondays, 10am to 12noon
Open Wednesdays, 2pm to 3pm
South Sefton’s Welcome centre is at South Sefton Methodist Church, Mersey Road, Blundellsands L23 3AE.
A Ukraine Welcome Centre has been set up at South Sefton Methodist Church, Mersey Road, Blundellsands L23 3AE.
As well as having a Community room & kitchen to provide a ‘village hall’ style place to meet and relax, the Ukraine Welcome Centre can also provide:
- an Internet café with free Wi-Fi: keep in touch or work and learn online;
- Advice: Organisations and charities that may help you;
- Information: local services, schools, doctors, transport;
- a Clothes Bank: free clothes, shoes + bedding, toiletries;
- a Children’s Room with activities, toys, social games and play;
- a Games Room: Pool for table tennis, badminton, volleyball and video games;
Out and about activities such as outdoor trips and activities, beach, parks, gardening & games can also be organised.
Any abuse is wrong and everyone has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse.
What is abuse?
Abuse can take many forms.
It might be:
- something that happens once or repeatedly;
- a deliberate act or something that was unintentional, perhaps due to a lack of understanding;
- a crime.
Types of Abuse
There are many different kinds of abuse - these are just some examples:
- Physical abuse, such as being hit, kicked, being locked in a room or inappropriate restraint;
- Sexual abuse, such as being made to take part in a sexual activity when a person has not, or is not able to give their consent;
- Psychological abuse, such as being shouted at, ridiculed or bullied, as well as being made to feel frightened;
- Financial or material abuse, such as stealing someone’s money or belongings, or misusing them for someone else’s benefit;
- Neglect involves the failure to provide care or support which results in someone being harmed.
- Discriminatory abuse, involves treatment or harassment based on age, gender, sexuality, disability, race or religious belief.
- Organisational abuse, happens when companies that provide care do not provide services to the required level due to poor management or practices. The abuse may affect an individual, some or all those under their care.
- When abuse occurs between partners or by a family member, it is often called domestic abuse.
- Self-neglect - covers a wide range of behaviours, such as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviours such as hoarding
Do you think a vulnerable adult is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed by someone else or is neglecting themselves?
Are you worried that a vulnerable adult is living in circumstances (at home or in care) where they are being treated badly or neglected?
If you've answered yes to either of these questions, then please call 0345 140 0845 to report your concerns.
Don't worry if you are not sure. All reports will be looked into and no action will be taken unless it is needed.
Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board
Sefton has a Safeguarding Adults Board that promises to:
- listen carefully;
- take all of your concerns seriously;
- take no decisions about you without you;
- ask what the person who has been abused wants to happen to make them feel safe and support them to make their own decisions about this;
- treat the person affected with dignity and respect;
- support the person affected and their family or carers as appropriate;
- work with other relevant agencies to get help and support where needed;
- keep the person affected up to date with any actions we have agreed to carry out.
We will make sure that the person who has been abused is involved as much as possible in any enquiries we make.
The law says that if the person has difficulty in understanding or making decisions about a safeguarding concern and has no one to help, we must arrange for someone called an advocate to support them. This is someone who is totally independent and will make sure that the person understands what is happening.
Information will be treated as confidential. There may be occasions when some information needs to be shared when it is in the best interest of the abused person or when it is necessary to protect other adults at risk.
Ukrainians arriving under the scheme may also be able to claim UK benefits including:
- 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.
Advice about entitlement to Benefits and applying for them is available from the Council’s Welfare Rights team.
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 3-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 & Customs (HMRC) will be in touch to discuss further.
Anyone wanting more information on Child Benefit can visit GOV.UK or call 0300 200 3100 (from inside the UK).
Ukrainians arriving under the Home for Ukraine scheme have the right to live and work in the UK for up to three years.
Sefton@Work offers a range of free and confidential job-related services including employment advice, guidance, job preparation skills and paid work placements.
You can find out more, including information about jobs and training at www.seftonatwork.net.
Volunteering in Sefton
For anyone interested in volunteering and getting involved in the local community, the Volunteer Centre Sefton can provide you with links to the latest opportunities available.
You can find details at www.volunteeringsefton.org.uk.
To talk to the Volunteer Centre Sefton directly, call 0151 920 0726 or email email@example.com.
No. The thank you payment will be disregarded when calculating your income for assessing Council Tax Reduction.
If you are making an application for the first time, you should declare it on the application but it will not count towards your assessed total income.
Existing applicants need not do anything as we will note our records when the payments are approved.
No. The £150 council tax rebate does not have to be paid back.
No these will remain in place.
The Government has stated that people who have secured a visa under the Homes for Ukraine scheme are disregarded for Council Tax discounts.
That means their sponsor’s Single Person Discount and the 50% discount received by any households where all the occupants are already disregarded will stay in place.
Where people arriving from Ukraine under the Homes for Ukraine scheme form their own household (for instance, in a sponsor’s empty home) and their occupation lasts for more than six weeks, then any exemptions applied, or if the Empty Homes Premium has been applied, it would come to an end.
People arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will be disregarded for Council Tax discounts. This means that where they form their own household, they will receive a 50% discount on the Council Tax bill after the exemption or Empty Homes Premium has been removed.
The Sponsor providing the home can pay the bill if they choose. However, if this does not happen, then liability for the bill will almost certainly rest with the occupants.
Local Council Tax Support will, like other benefits, be available to them in cases of financial hardship as persons arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will have access to public funds
People arriving from Ukraine via the Homes for Ukraine and other schemes will have access to local Council Tax support in cases of financial hardship.
Through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, sponsors are committed to hosting guests for a minimum of six months, although they may agree with their guests to continue beyond that initial period.
If you don’t want to continue the arrangement beyond six months (or at any time after that), you should let your guest know in plenty of time so they can make other arrangements.
Sponsors should aim to give notice two months before the end of the six months (or with two months’ notice of any later date).
Guests will have access to public funds and, after leaving your home, will be able to rent a property like anyone else.
If they need to, they’ll be able to claim the housing part of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.
Homes for Ukraine sponsors are expected to provide accommodation for at least 6 months, and we expect that people arriving under the Ukraine Family Scheme will generally be accommodated by their family members.
In some instances this may fall through, or sponsoring family members may not have sufficient space to accommodate their relatives.
If this happens, sponsors are asked to contact Sefton Housing Options Team by
- emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- calling 0151 934 3541
Sponsors also need to notify email@example.com if a placement breaks down as our Finance department will need to ends the £350 payment if they no longer have any guests under the scheme.