Support for refugees arriving from Ukraine
Swindon has an existing, well-established Warm Welcome Team, set up in 2021 to support the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan.
The team is extending its offer to welcome refugees arriving from Ukraine and are getting prepared to provide a comprehensive support service. The team works with partners across the statutory and voluntary sectors to assist individuals and families arriving in Swindon to navigate through services and systems, offering information, advice and practical/emotional support.
We will update this page with further information about the Homes for Ukraine programme and how this will work locally, as well as information about the support and opportunities being offered to Ukraine refugees and their host families.
Homes for Ukraine programme
Register your interest on the Homes for Ukraine campaign website.
For help identifying a Ukrainian family to sponsor please contact Reset on the Homes for Ukraine website.
There are answers to frequently asked questions on GOV.UK.
For further information about sponsorship please contact the Sanctuary Foundation.
Council Tax discount, Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit
Hosting a refugee or refugees will not affect any Council Tax discount you receive.
If you receive Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit, these should also not be affected. However, we advise you to contact the Warm Welcome Team about your change of circumstances, so that they can explain how notifications are made to the respective authorities.
Please email WarmWelcome@swindon.gov.uk and we will be in touch as soon as we can.
Security and security checks
People arriving from the Ukraine will have met standard security checks against the police national computer database and antiterrorism checks as part of the visa application process. Sponsors and all adults in the sponsor household will also be subject to standard security checks as part of the visa process.
As your local authority, we will also visit you to check that the accommodation you are offering is appropriate and that everything is in place for your guest(s). We will also conduct a Disclosure and Barring Service check on all adults in your household. This is typically required for people who work closely with children and vulnerable adults - teachers, doctors, social workers, civil servants - and is a simple, standard safety check. You will receive a certificate valid for two years. These checks and the process will be expedited.
If you are sponsoring a Ukrainian family which includes a child or a vulnerable adult, we will conduct an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check with Barred Lists check.
This government factsheet explains how Ukrainians can apply to the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
GOV.UK also provides guidance on visa applications:
- Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) - in English
- Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) - in Ukrainian
- Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) - in Russian
The government has published a welcome guide including information on what Ukrainians need to know in the 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. It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Other useful links:
- If you are an organisation which would like to register for Community Sponsorship please contact Charis.
- If you would like to donate - Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal. The Disaster emergency committee has combined 15 top UK aid charities to launch this appeal and every pound donated will be matched by the government up to £25 million. Donations will be used to provide food, water, and medication.
- If you would like information about how local charities are supporting the cause, you can contact:
- If you are interested in volunteering, including offering support with translation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org