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 to expect when you first arrive
By signing up to the Homes for Ukraine scheme, your Sponsor has agreed to provide you with access to cooking and cleaning facilities in their home and to a bedroom. They must not charge you rent or ask you to do anything as a payment for staying with them. A check will have been carried out by the council to check that the home is safe, and that things like the gas supply are working properly. They and any other adults who live or visit the home will also have checks carried out with police records.
Your bedroom(s) should be big enough for you and your family: you should not have to share a room with anyone outside of your family. In UK law you can only be expected to share a room with your adult partner, your child, or your sibling. Siblings of different genders above the age of ten you should also have their own, separate, rooms. When you arrive, if you find that the arrangements seem different to this, or you are worried about something you have seen in the home, and you don’t want to speak to your Sponsor then you should contact the council immediately.
There may not be a lock on your bedroom door, but the council will provide you with a simple device that means you can keep your door shut from the inside, as some bedroom doors in the UK do not have locks. You do not have to use this, and we have no reason to think that you are unsafe, but we understand that for some people it is important to know that you are able to lock your door if you want to.
Once you arrive, your Sponsor should make you feel at home and show you around your local area. During the first few weeks, it is a good idea to talk about basic arrangements for living together under the same roof: such as any agreements you need to make for sharing common areas such as the kitchen and dining room, sharing housework chores, or rules your hosts would like you to follow concerning things like smoking, alcohol or noise.
They should also help to find a local Doctor (GP), register your children for a place in a school and help you to access any other local services you might need. It is important to do this when you are ready to. If they are trying to go too fast, just let them know. Sponsors are keen to help and will understand if you just need some space and quiet when you first arrive.