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City of York Council – Information on Support for Ukrainian Refugees

Home >> Support for Ukrainian People >> City of York Council, Information on Support for Ukrainian Refugees

Revised 9/6/22

Guidance is still coming through and things are evolving. Therefore, support and information is still developing and will need to be confirmed so there will be several updates over the next few weeks.
This is the information we have currently.

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This information provides guidance and signposting to support Ukrainian Refugees in York.
There are two main routes for Refugees coming to York, they are

  • Homes for Ukraine and
  • Ukraine Family Scheme.
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Homes for Ukraine Scheme

People who want to offer a home to people fleeing Ukraine, can become a ‘sponsor’ as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.  Register with the government’s Homes for Ukraine if:

  • you can offer accommodation to a Ukrainian refugee
  • you’re a Ukrainian looking for a sponsor

The scheme requires potential sponsors to undertake a visa application naming a potential Ukrainian guest.  York City of Sanctuary, in partnership with City of York Council, has set up a sponsorship matching register and support network for Ukraine refugees coming to York

Please contact York City of Sanctuary if you are from the Ukraine in York or surrounding areas and want to help family and friends join the Homes for Ukraine scheme, email [email protected]

If you have accommodation and would like to sponsor a refugee from Ukraine, please fill out the form and register your interest in being a host or sponsor with York City of Sanctuary who will aim to link you with a Ukrainian refugee seeking a visa.

For more information about the Homes for Ukraine scheme see

Welcome: a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK

This is a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

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Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows immediate and extended family members of British nationals, people settled in the UK, and certain others resident here, to come to the country.

Those granted under the scheme will be granted a visa that lasts three years, giving them certainty and ensuring their future in the country.
For more information on the scheme visit Ukraine Family Scheme

Ukraine nationals who have come to York on a Ukraine Family Scheme visa do not have access to the specific support provided under the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme; however, you will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

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Support for Ukraine Family Scheme

Emergency financial support for refugees and hosts may be available from

  • Local charitable funds
  • York Financial Assistance Scheme
  • Discretionary Council Tax Reduction, for single person households who are no longer eligible for Single Person Discount will no longer apply for Council Tax.
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Homes for Ukraine – the process

The Government has set up a portal to provide information to local councils about Home for Ukraine visa applications.  The council will be notified by UK government when a visa application is received.

Notifications of new visa applications will be passed to the CYC Homes for Ukraine team each morning.  Once we have been notified of a visa we will make initial contact with the sponsor by phone.

At the initial contact we will

  • Confirm all the details of the host/sponsor and the details of the Ukrainian people being sponsored
  • Go through the outline requirements of a host/sponsor placement to ensure the basic requirements are met
  • Provide details of Link Workers
  • Outline the process of what happens next and the support available from CYC
  • A housing check will be carried out by CYC Healthy and Sustainable Homes
    • Gas safety checks
    • Disclosure and Barring Service ( DBS ) checks will be needed
  • A home visit will be needed with H4U link worker
  • Register school placements
  • Financial for hosts/sponsors
  • Provide other information and signposting as needed

For information, advice or support about the Homes for Ukraine scheme in York contact [email protected]

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Home checks

Healthy and Sustainable Homes (previously Housing Standards) will be making accommodation suitability checks, this will be a light touch survey regarding condition of property and suitability for the no of occupants.  Link Workers will make the referral to Housing Standards after the initial contact. Healthy and Sustainable Homes will then contact the Host to arrange the Home Check.

Once the Home Check is carried out they will confirm the outcome to the Link Worker, who will then update the Government Portal.  If there are any issues regarding the suitability of the accommodation the Link Worker will liaise with the Host to agree appropriate action and a way forward.

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Gas Safety Checks

Gas will be discussed at the home check by Healthy and Sustainable Homes. If a gas safety check is needed and assistance is requested with this, referral will be made by Healthy and Sustainable Homes teams to CYC Building Services. Building Services will make arrangement for gas safety check to be done.

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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

If the accommodation is self-contained or only adults without specific vulnerabilities (see below) are coming into the property then Basic DBS checks are undertaken on all adult members in the sponsor household.

If children under the age of 18 are going to be accommodated in the household, then an Enhanced DBS check (including a check of the children’s barred list) will be undertaken on all people in the sponsor’s household over 16.

Local Authorities will follow existing guidance for regulated activity with vulnerable adults. Where the local authority officials know that there is an adult guest arriving in the household, who is vulnerable (due to illness, disability or age) and has particular needs for which the sponsor is to provide support, a request for an Enhanced DBS check with check of the Adults’ Barred List can be made.

York CVS will carry out DBS process.

The Link Worker will make a referral to York CVS who will manage the DBS applications.

When the checks has been received by CVS this will be notified to the Host and the Link Worker, who will update the Government Portal.

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When Ukrainian Refugees Arrive

Host need to inform Link Workers their guest/s have arrived by email [email protected] or phone Link Worker.

  • Confirming names of guests arrived and arrival date
  • Whether a £200 interim payment is required for the guests.
  • Any other initial support needs if known

If emergency funds are required outside 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday times host/sponsor should contact – [email protected]

The link worker will then contact the host to check any initial needs and to arrange a visit to support the host and guests.

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Financial support for Home for Ukraine guests

Link workers will arrange £200 emergency payment for Ukrainian refugees. This will be provided by pre-payment cards which can be used at ATM.

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Financial support for Home for Ukraine hosts

A £350 monthly optional thank you payment is available for hosts. This is paid in arrears following the arrival if guests. Link workers will explain payments at the home visit when guests have arrived. Hosts will need to provide bank account details to the Link Worker or via email to [email protected]

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Entitlement to housing benefit under Homes for Ukraine Scheme

The sponsorship scheme assumes no rent will be paid.

There is no requirement to use an agreement as part of the sponsorship scheme, but it could be helpful in ensuring all parties are clear on the terms of their arrangement, including agreement on who will pay the council tax bill. Some mortgage lenders may ask for a licence agreement to be used.
There are two kinds of model agreement that could be used; an Excluded Licence Agreement or an Excluded Tenancy Agreement.

If your guests are sharing accommodation with you, for example using guest bedrooms and sharing a kitchen with you, the Excluded Licence Agreement (ODT, 31.6 KB) is most suitable.

If your guests are living in self-contained accommodation (such as a holiday let) then the Excluded Tenancy Agreement (ODT, 35.9 KB) is most suitable.

Where someone wishes to rent privately, or when the sponsorship ends, guests will have access to public funds and will be able to rent a property like anyone else. The UK government has useful information on renting property which is available in the How to Rent Guide.

If they need to, they’ll be able to claim the housing part of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. And may get help with all or part of the rent.

The maximum help with the cost of rent people renting from a private landlord may receive is up to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. The Local Housing Allowance differs from place to place and is set by central government.

Check with this online calculator to find the LHA to see if the maximum support available for a particular area/property and whether it is affordable. Money Helper provide advice about managing rent payments on Universal Credit

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Council Tax  ## REVISED 9/6/22 ##

The Government has introduced regulations to ensure that housing Ukrainian refugees would not affect council tax.

The new council tax regulations, Council Tax (Discount Disregards and Exempt Dwellings) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 came into force on 12 April 2022.

  1. Households hosting Ukrainian refugees under the Homes for Ukrainian Scheme or Family Scheme, should notify Council Tax of any arrivals and change of circumstances via email at [email protected] including
    • Names of refugees, all those 18 years or over.
    • The address they are staying at
    • Whether this with a host family or a second/empty home
    • Host name
    • Host address, if different
    • Date they moved into property
  2. Homes for Ukraine team, will email CTU to advise them of every Ukrainian refugee arrival on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, providing the information above.
  3. Council Tax team will check any CT discounts, including
    • 50% discount for second/empty homes
    • single persons discount exemption
  4. Where the 50% discount applies the Ukrainian refugees will be the liable party. They will receive a new bill in their name.
  5. Any other queries re Council Tax for Ukrainian refugees should be made via email [email protected]
  6. Ukrainian refugees who are liable for Council Tax and have received a council tax bill may be able to claim Council Tax support. Claims are made online at
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Support for Ukrainian refugees in York

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Clothing, furniture and other items

Clothing, furniture and other items

There have been many offers of support to assist with items that people might need.

The Churches in York are coordinating donations of excellent quality clothes, toys, books, Mobile phones and toiletries for Ukrainian refugees. They are making them into welcome packs sorted by children’s gender/age and female clothes size.

If you’d like to donate or if you are supporting a family who would appreciate one – please contact us: [email protected]. We can deliver them to you.

For Baby/Toddler items we are partnering with Bundles of Joy York who specialise in receiving and giving out items for children ages new born to toddler. Email: [email protected]

York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS) provides help to local people in financial difficulties due to exceptional circumstances. For more information and to apply see

Other support may be available through other local charities and funds, Link Workers or other local advice and support services will be able to provide guidance to get the right support depending on what is needed.

The Community Furniture Store provides affordable new and reused furniture, electrical appliances and paint.

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Opening a bank account

Refugee Council Banking Guide for Refugees – English

Moneyhelper guide – Opening a UK bank or building society account if you are from Ukraine
These guides include:

  • A step-by-step process with tips on how to get a bank account
  • The right documents you need to get a bank account
  • Explanations of different types of bank accounts
  • Things to consider after you get a bank account
  • Information on scams and how to deal with them.

To get more information, or if you are unsure of anything, see the Helpful Contacts page to speak to The Refugee Council, or other organisations.

Several banks have produced guides and information on their own websites.

Community first credit union also provide bank accounts.  Visit to discuss credit union membership before applying, call 03030300010.

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Claiming benefits

People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim benefits immediately. For more information see Government press release 21 March.  National benefits are administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and health benefits. Other benefits are administered by local councils, including Council Tax Support and emergency support.

Working age guests
Apply for Universal Credit at  To make an application for Universal Credit people will need an email, contact phone no. and bank account details.

Step by step guide to making UC claim

Pension age guest – age 66 or over

Apply for Pension Credit at

Age UK guide to claiming Pension Credit

Citizens Advice York can help people make claims for UC

Phone Adviceline on 0808 278 7895* (Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm)

*This no. can get busy at peak times. It is a freephone no. from UK landlines & mobiles.

If you would like them call you instead, click here for online call-back form
Citizens Advice operates a national webchat service for help with basic queries, available on the national Citizens Advice website. This is usually available Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm.

For more information see

Ukrainians making a claim to Universal Credit will get individual support to find work and advice on benefit eligibility. Work coaches in DWP jobcentres will also be able to deliver additional face-to-face translator assistance for those who need it. All claimants with have a Claimant Commitment agreed with their Work Coach. This will be tailored to the claimant’s circumstances and focus on work preparation activities, including language skills and job applications etc.

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Digital support

York City of Sanctuary are able to provide assistance with sim cards and IT equipment. Contact [email protected] Mobile: (+ 44) 07591 815485

York IT ReUse – can provide computers, mobile phones and/or network connection for people in need. They take donations of IT equipment from the general public and companies and make them useable for the general public. Free of charge.

Refugees in the Home for Ukraine scheme can apply through their Link Worker. Others will need to apply via a Community Support Worker. See

If you are unsure who may be able to refer please contact York IT ReUse to find out more.

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Registering with a GP

To receive medical treatment, you and your children must register with a GP as soon as possible, even if you are not ill.

You need to find GPs that are near where you are living and can use this website to find one:

You will be asked to fill out a registration form and bring identification and proof of your address if you can. You can download a GMS1 registration form on GOV.UK

Please note ID (Identity Document) and proof of address is not necessary for registering with a GP. You should not be asked about your immigration status.

Healthwatch Norfolk has translated NHS information into Ukrainian: Information for refugees from Ukraine – Healthwatch Norfolk

NHS for Asylum-Seekers – This is a guide to the NHS for asylum-seekers which has been translated into Ukrainian

How The NHS Works – is a leaflet with images about how the NHS works which has also been translated into Ukrainian and Russian,

To access NHS 111 in another language, you just need to say “interpreter” to the call handler and say the language you wish to communicate in.

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Register with a dentist

There is no need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area.

Simply find a dental surgery that’s convenient for you, whether it’s near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any appointments available. You can search for an NHS dentist near you on this site.

Currently there are no dental surgeries in York with the capacity to take on new NHS patients. You will have to join a waiting list or be seen privately.  If you need any further support contact [email protected]  In a dental emergency call NHS 111 for advice and support.
Missing Link Oral Healthcare for asylum seekers and refugees.pdf

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School placements

Schools do not deal with admissions directly.

If the child is on the Homes for Ukraine scheme:

  • School application is made via Parent Portal. Link and information can be found at including a note is in the free text box under reasons for their preference school to advise that they are part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
  • Link Worker lets School Admissions Team know the application has been made by emailing [email protected] with the child’s full name dob and address
  • School Admissions looks to place at a local school through normal admissions
  • If this is not possible (because the schools is full) we use our Fair Access admission route to agree the best match school.

If the child is not on the Homes for Ukraine scheme:

If the child is not on the Homes for Ukraine scheme applications go through normal admissions process.

School admission and free school meal applications are submitted through this online Parent Portal.

  • To apply for a school place online please visit our parent portal.
  • In Year applications are made when a child has already started school and when a move is required during the school year.

For further information or queries on applications email [email protected] or
call 01094 551554 option 2.

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Apply for free school meals

You may be entitled to apply for free school meals for your children if you receive their parent or guardian receive certain income-related benefits or have you’ve just started working less than 16 hours a week.  For further information about free school meals including eligibility and to apply please go to our website

You will need to have a National Insurance number to apply for FSM. If you choose to apply for Universal Credit, when you go to the Job Centre to meet your ‘work coach’ they will help you apply for a National Insurance Number (NINO). It takes about 2-6 weeks for a NINO to come. It will be sent to you in the post. In the interim period, if support is needed then the school should be approached to provide meals from the central funding that has been provided as support for the child’s school place.

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Pre-school child care

For families receiving Universal Credit

  • With 2-year-old children can get 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • With 3 and 4-year-old children can get 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks

For working families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children can get 30 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks.  Parent and child must meet the eligibility criteria.

For information about eligibility and the application process for childcare funding, please visit Childcare Choices.

You can also get more information about finding, choosing and paying for childcare in York by visiting

The York Family Information Service is a free and impartial information service for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-19 (or up to 25 for disabled children).

They can help with anything and everything around family life and being a young person. If you’re a parent, carer or young person and have a question but don’t know where to go, then please get in touch.

Tel: Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm 01904 554444
Text Only: 07786202241 Email: [email protected]

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The Healthy Child Service

Our team of Health Visitors, School Nurses and Child Health and Development Workers provide a range of support, advice and information to children and young people aged 0-19 years and their parents. Key areas of support offered are: infant feeding, child health and development and parenting support for children’s diet, sleep, behaviour and toileting. Health Visitors also provide a perinatal mental health service to mothers up to 12 months following the birth of their child. For older children; healthy relationship advice, healthy lifestyle and emotional wellbeing support are available with School Nurses.

The service is well-linked with primary care and other health specialities to ensure children and young people are signposted and referred to the right services.

Once notified of arrival of children and young people, the service will make contact and offer a home visit to complete a health needs assessment and offer a package of support/ make necessary onward referrals as required. However, the service can be contacted at any time for support on 01904 555475, email [email protected]

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Resources for Children

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Other care needs

Where a guest may have care and support needs, referral should be made for a needs assessment in line with the requirements of the Care Act 2014.  Before we can offer you care and support services, we will need to find out more about your circumstances. To help us do this we’ll complete an assessment to look at your needs.

Download our ‘quick guide to Adult Social Care‘ which provides further information about requesting an assessment and agreeing a support plan.  If your assessment identifies that you’re eligible, we’ll help to arrange your social care services. If your needs are less severe, we will offer you advice about other services and organisations which may help you in your daily life, including available benefits, local services and care providers.

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Colleges and universities

STAR (Student Action for Refugees) have information for students affected by the invasion of Ukraine in the UK and looking for financial or educational support

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) announced on 23 March 2022, that a new FE fees eligibility category for Ukrainian nationals and their family members would immediately be introduced. For more information see–Advice/Fees-and-Money/England-FE-fee-status#9-ukrainian-nationals-and-family

Links are being made with University of York, York St John University and York College to support people looking to study in York. Referrals and contacts will be made through Link Workers and York Learning, who will be at the drop-in sessions.

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English Language Support (ESOL)

English assessments are being provided by the York Learning team at the Citadel Café drop in, alternate Thursdays – see below.

Adult classes at different levels will be running at the Citadel on Fridays between now and the end of August, and there will also be an option with childcare for families with pre-school children. We will be reviewing language needs over the summer to plan for September.

Information about this is available on York Learning’s website

York College English language courses for young people 16-18 and adults who want to improve their English for work, education and everyday life. Contact: Tilly Dickenson
Email: [email protected] Phone: 01904 770100

Learning English in Yorkshire and the Humber – LEYH! provides information about English language classes in your area and across the Yorkshire and Humber region.
You can find out which classes are free, where they are held, what level they are and whether childcare is available.

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Support for Employment

Job Centre Plus will offer support with job seeking and training. Universal Credit claimants will be assigned a job coach who will discuss support available at their claimant interview.

York Learning offer one to one careers appointments for adults who wish to consider employment and training/learning options.

Connecting Opportunities works with new migrants to develop their skills and opportunities to find work and be part of the local community. We are open for new referrals from migrants and refugees living in York.
Further details can be found at

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Extending your stay in the UK

Guest under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme will need to submit biometrics within 6 months of arriving in the UK to extend their stay for up to 3 years and be issued with a biometric residence permit (BRP) as evidence of your immigration status.

You can start the process to provide your biometric information by completing the online form.  Once the form has been received, you will be asked to provide your biometric information.

You do not need to do this as soon as you reach the UK, but you do need to make sure that you have provided your biometrics before the 6 months leave you are granted ends.

Use this form to apply to extend your permission to be in the UK if:

  • you have a Ukraine passport
  • you are in the UK
  • you applied under the Ukraine Family Scheme or the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) before you arrived in the UK
  • your application has not been decided but you received a letter saying you could travel to the UK
  • you were given 6 months permission to enter at the border and are now applying to extend your stay

You should only use this form to apply under the Ukraine Schemes. If you apply on this form we will only consider whether you qualify for an extension under the Ukraine Schemes.

How long it takes you to complete the application will depend on your particular circumstances. You will be able to save your application and come back to it at another time if you need to.
If you are inactive for 25 minutes you will be automatically logged out.

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Mental health and emotional support

The war in Ukraine has devastating consequences for the mental health of Ukraine’s people; consequences that might reverberate for years to come.
Having one’s human rights violated can lead to painful short and/or long-term physical and/or psychological consequences.

The council is working with partner organisations including Migration Yorkshire, Solace, Refugee Action York, and City of Sanctuary to provide support for Refugees and Hosts to help with emotional and psychological impacts of the situation.

York Mind has secured funding to provide support to guests and hosts. They are currently in the process of setting this up. More information will be available shortly.

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General support

Drop-in for Ukrainian refugees at York City Church. The Citadel, Gillygate, York YO31 7EA
Every-other Thursday afternoon from from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

  • Thursday 16th June
  • Thursday 30th June
  • Thursday 14th July
  • Thursday 28th July
  • Thursday 11th August
  • Thursday 25th August
  • Thursday 8th September

. The purpose of the drop-in is two-fold.

  • A social space for Ukrainians to connect with each other – to be together is a safe space, to speak their own language to comfort one another and grieve together. A meal will be provided.
  • A supportive space for Ukrainians to access advice and services – the drop-in will have advisors to help refugees’ access health care, English lessons, benefits and other services.

General support and friendship is available for Ukrainians from the York City of Sanctuary website or email: [email protected]

York City of Sanctuary are putting in place a community support network for Ukrainians. Any Ukrainians living in York, or anyone who has Ukrainian friends or relatives should get in touch with the charity, email: [email protected]

Refugee Action York (RAY) offers a number of services for refugees arriving in York, including information, support, weekly coffee morning with EOSL support (Wednesdays 10-12 at York St John University), one-to-one ESOL support with a volunteer, a Hardship Fund, free SIM cards including data, a befriending scheme, and a weekly Youth Group. or [email protected]

CYC Community Involvement officer offers support and information to empower migrants regardless of their status to reach their full potential, through various projects including Our City Hub which will be based at York Explore, including signpost to existing services, volunteering, becoming a community interpreter or becoming more involvement in their local community. Contact me via email Bianca Vartic [email protected]

Ukrainian nationals arriving in York can receive support and general advice from the Red Cross.

Many of the children and families arriving in the UK who have fled the conflict in Ukraine, have experienced trauma; the Barnado’s Ukrainian Support Helpline staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, can offer support – help and advice is available on a range of issues.
To contact Barnardo’s free helpline, telephone: 0800 148 8586, Monday to Friday, from 10.00am to 8.00pm, or Saturday, 10.00am to 3.00pm. Alternatively, email: [email protected].

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If the accommodation is not suitable or the placement breaks down

  • Host and/or refugees in the Home for Ukraine scheme should contact their Link Worker for advice and support.
  • York City of Sanctuary may be able to assist in matching refugees with another host family.
  • Government guidance directs any refugees outside the Home for Ukraine scheme to use Local Authority homeless support routes.

Our Housing Options Team provide advice about housing issues and homelessness. Call telephone: 01904 554500 between 9.30am and 12.00pm or between 2.00pm and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. A duty worker will discuss your circumstances with you to enable them to decide what further action is required. Alternatively, email the team at [email protected].

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Useful contacts

General queries [email protected]

York City of Sanctuary
Rebecca Russell [email protected]
Mobile: (+ 44) 07591 815485
Paul Wordsworth [email protected]

Refugee Action York
Carrie Wheater [email protected]
Enquiries – [email protected]
Mobile: (+ 44) 07510544692

CYC refugee support [email protected]
CYC Customer Services 01904 551550, between 8.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday (9.30am to 5.30pm on Thursdays).

Refugee Council
[email protected]

The Churches in York [email protected]

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