Welcome to Gloucestershire - useful information
- In an emergency
- Introduction and welcome
- When you first arrive - suggested checklist
- What to expect when you first arrive
- Welcome visits
- Registering with a doctor (GP) and Mental Health assistance
- Extra support if you or your children are vulnerable
- Extra help from the county council - bus passes
- Immigration and Biometric Residence Permits
- Finances, employment and benefits
- Opening a bank account, benefits and minimum wage
- Education and childcare - Finding a place at school
- Learning English, post 16 and post 19 Education and Training
- My sponsor wants us to leave, or I want help finding somewhere else to live
- Help with housing and renting
- Driving licenses, bringing your car and moving to the UK
- Help with other issues
What happens at the end of the six-month sponsorship period?
Sponsors are committed to hosting guests for a minimum of 6 months, but may choose to continue beyond the initial six months if you wish to. If you don’t want to continue the arrangement beyond 6 months (or at any time after that), your sponsor should let you know in plenty of time so you can make other arrangements.
Sponsors should aim to give notice two months before the end of the 6 months (or with 2 months’ notice before 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. The UK Government has useful information on renting property which is available in the How to Rent Guide - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent
Can I get housing and/or homelessness assistance?
People granted leave under the Ukraine Family Scheme or the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme are eligible for social housing and homelessness assistance.
For more information or to make a homelessness application you need to approach your local council (contact details below). To check who to contact you can use this online tool - https://www.gov.uk/homelessness-help-from-council which will also provide a link to their website.
How do I apply for social (‘council’) housing?
If you would like to apply for social rented housing in Gloucestershire, please register with Home Seeker Plus by completing an online application at www.homeseekerplus.co.uk
Properties can be advertised on a daily basis. To make sure that you are able to apply for properties, you should register as soon as possible to allow time for your application to be checked and made active.
Can I get help with my income and paying my rent?
Anyone fleeing Ukraine and provided a visa is entitled to apply for benefits such as universal credit, state pension credit and housing benefit from the date they arrive. Your local Job Centre Plus will be able to help you find out which benefits you may be able to access or call 0800 328 5644 for help with universal credit.
Can I get help to access advice/different services?
Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS) are a local organisation that opens the door to support those seeking asylum in Gloucestershire, welcoming them when they arrive, advocating for them in their daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back and helping them adjust to their long term future. They can help provide information, advocacy and advice on asylum, immigration, housing, health, benefits, law, education, careers etc.
Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS)
The Trust Centre, Falkner St, Gloucester, GL1 4SQ
Telephone: 01452 550528
Housing Advice Teams
Cheltenham Housing Options
01242 387615 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cotswolds Housing Advice
01285 623000 or email@example.com
Forest of Dean Housing Advice
01594 810000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloucester Housing Service
01452 396396 or Homeless.Team@gloucester.gov.uk
Stroud Housing Advice
01453 766321 or email@example.com
Tewkesbury Housing Advice
01684 272122 or firstname.lastname@example.org