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New Forest for Ukraine, refugee support


The hosts role includes signposting their guests to public services and assist them with tasks such as registering with schools and GPs once they have arrived in the UK.

UK government guidance on what guests may expect on arrival in the UK.


Guests with a valid international passport will not have attended a visa application centre (VAC) before arriving in the UK. They need to book an appointment to provide their biometric information within 6 months of arriving in the UK. This allows them to stay in the UK for 3 years and they will  be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Guests who attended a VAC before arriving in the UK will collect their BRP from a Post Office. They can choose to pick up their BRP from a more convenient Post Office if needed by going to the branch that they wish to use and paying a redirection fee.


Post Offices that offer BRP card collection:


Shirley, Southampton

Portswood, Southampton


Guests arriving under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme have the right to free access to the National Health Service (NHS) for all their health care needs.

Information on how to apply to:

  • Schools (Age 4 - 16)

  • Colleges (17-18)

Guests will need to open a bank account to manage their money in the UK.

The New Forest Bike Project is a non-profit volunteer organisation. They aim to get as many local people as possible on the road on a safe working bike. 


If you have an existing bike for a refugee guest to use the Bike Project offer a safety check, minor adjustments etc for FREE although a small payment may be charged if replacement parts are needed. They upcycle parts so the cost is never much.

They also provide bikes at very low prices (£25-40 depending on the bike) - just enough to cover their costs of refurbishing the bikes that have been donated to them.


Their experience shows this also creates a sense of ownership and the bike is valued - freebies are often under appreciated.

Decathalon and Halfords have cycle helments from £15 upwards.

PetPlan are offering free pet insurance for Ukrainians arriving under the Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Owners can claim up to £4,000 to cover the costs of veterinary treatment if their pet is ill or injured in the first 12 months of arrival in the UK. 

If the animal is taken to a UK veterinary practice by a Ukrainian refugee without PetPlan insurance, the practice team should phone PetPlan's vet line on 0330102 1606

A National Insurance (NI) number is used to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only. This is an alphanumeric code and never changes.

You do not need to apply for a National Insurance number if you already have a Biometric Residence Permit as this has an NI number on it.

When you make an application for a national Insurance (NI) number you will need to provide a copy of your passport or Biometric Residence Permit as proof that you have the right to work and claim benefits.

Above is a link to the online application.

Or you can call the National Insurance helpline - 0800 141 2075.

The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs.

Under the UK Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme guests are entitled to claim benefits to provide them with financial support while they are resident in the UK if they

  • are not working, or

  • have children or

  • are over retirement age or

  • have a disability or

  • provide care for someone else

Vodafone are offering free SIM cards with 20GB data per month and free calls and texts to Ukrainian guests. These have to be claimed through a charity - you can apply online to Refugease.

See this page for possible sources of local employment and for details of what you need to prove your right to work.

Some Ukrainian guests have bought or have access to a car while here but don't feel confident to drive on the 'other' side.

The AA Charitable Trust is offering a free Drive Confident course from AA Driving School and BSM to build confidence.


To register interest  email with guest's:

  • Name and date of birth

  • Address (including postcode) and phone number

  • Which nationality licence is held

  • Whether your licence is for manual or automatic cars

  • At the start of the course, they'll need to show their licence.



Hosts and guests who have arrived under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, will receive a communication from the County Council this week (beginning 13/06/22) with details and a link to the application form which guests will need to complete.


Bus passes will then be issued and will be valid for three months. Guests will receive a pass for the local bus company covering the area in which they are staying.


We are monitoring this and will advise of any offers here

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