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Ukrainian refugee support


Please remember that people you are inviting into your home likely have been through a lot. They may be traumatised by their ordeal and may still have family members trapped in Ukraine, fighting in the Ukrainian forces, or even killed.


They have been forced to flee to a strange country and will feel uncomfortable because they are imposing themselves on you. Their culture, manner and cuisine are different to what we know in Britain but tact, patience, kindness and empathy are a universal language.

These lessons from  a Polish host maybe a useful read as part of your preparation in receiving guests.

Hosting under 5 year olds?

Useful checklists here and we can help you source anything you need

Its not only mothers and children fleeing Ukraine

Exemptions to Ukrainian Martial Law allow men to leave 

A useful presentation from the Sanctuary Foundation for those considering hosting.


As a language not taught in UK schools, Ukrainian will be new to most hosts and the Cyrillic alphabet used by both Russian and Ukrainian guests makes it more difficult to read their written word.

Installing a translator app (such as SayHi), Ukrainian or Russian language pack and Cyrillic keyboard on your smart phone maybe offers the simplest solution for many.

You may also like to take a look at our Ukraine English picture matching here.


We are not in anyway proposing you aim for fluency but a please, thank you, you're welcome and hello go a long way.


The New Forest

guide in Russian.

New Forest for Ukraine

The New Forest is a National Park on the south coast of England. Wild ponies, donkeys and cattle roam free and it is their grazing that maintains the unique character of this area. A largely rural area, the New Forest's small towns provide fast access to the national rail network.


Hosts will probably want to make their guests' travel to the New Forest as painless as possible and so help with the arrangement, airport transfers and possibly even costs of the journey.


Some airlines are offering  free flights for Ukrainian Nationals on all continental Europe flights departing from Ukraine’s border countries. The offers are constantly changing so please check with the airlines directly.


Travelling across EU Countries

The European Commission's Information for travel across the EU can be found here. It includes information of all the companies offering free rail travel across Europe.

Border Control

When you bring personal belongings to the UK, you will usually not need to stop or speak to a customs officer. You can walk through a customs control point (usually a green channel marked ‘nothing to declare’), unless you arrive with any of the following:

  • a personal vehicle

  • a pet

  • prohibited or restricted goods​​ (e.g. weapons, controlled drugs, meat and dairy products)

  • £10,000 or more in cash (or the equivalent in another currency)

There is no value limit on items you bring into the UK. For more information click here.

Border Welcome Points

There are a number of major entry points to the UK, including airports, where there will be Welcome Points for you to meet your sponsor and where you can seek support, including to arrange your onward travel. If you are unsure location of the welcome point speak to Border Force or a member of staff at your port of arrival.

  • At airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Luton

  • Rail stations - St Pancras, London.

  • At Dover and Portsmouth for those arriving by ferry

The Welcome Points will be able to support you by providing access to:

  • rest point, with toilet facilities, telephone, telephone charging facilities and translation capability

  • provision of any necessary immediate assistance including food, drink, (over the counter) medical supplies and other sundries

  • triage point if matching arrangements fall down

  • signposting access to public services and advice

On arrival in the UK

Hosts may chose to meet their guests at their point of arrival in the UK. If not, it's useful to know that guests arriving in the UK are eligible for a single onward journey via national rail, bus, light rail, and coach to their new accommodation. This will be free of charge to anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales. Further information is available at:


Travelling with Pets

Using an emergency licence, people fleeing Ukraine can bring their pets to the UK.

Before arrival, people leaving the Ukraine or their carrier should contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency at or call +44 3000 200 301 option 2. They will then be able to confirm their approval for their emergency licence and organise any necessary stay in quarantine which is required to complete the UK rabies risk management process.

The UK Government will pay for vaccination, micro-chipping and quarantine costs, as many individuals from Ukraine will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pet on arrival.

There is a limited amount of quarantine facilities in the UK but we understand those fleeing Ukraine will be prioritised.

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