We Stand With Ukraine

In Devon, we welcome refugees seeking a safe home in our communities.

We want to reach out to all of our Ukrainian residents, and anyone with friends and families affected by, or concerned about, events in Ukraine.

In Devon, we welcome refugees seeking a safe home in our communities. In recent years we have welcomed refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, and we will do what we can to support people escaping war in Ukraine.

Last summer, we received an overwhelming number of incredibly generous offers of support from people across both South Hams and West Devon in response to the crisis in Afghanistan. We know that the people of Devon will want to show the same compassionate welcome to people fleeing Ukraine.

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

The UK government has published guidance for Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme. The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

It is free to apply and Ukrainians can stay in the UK for up to three years. Ukrainians will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

If your guests have arrived, use the link below to let us know. This will register your guest(s) for their emergency welcome payment and you as the host for your monthly thank you payment.

Tell us about your guests

If you are hosting guests, you can find the answers to some commonly asked questions below.

If you are interested in sponsorship, you can find all the information you need on the Devon County Council website.


The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is coordinating the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

  • DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities, raising funds to respond to overseas disasters quickly and effectively
  • The DEC said the message from aid workers was that money was needed rather than specific donated items, which are often not necessarily what people require and are difficult to transport.

To make a donation towards the UN's humanitarian work in Ukraine, please visit Ukrainian Humanitarian Fund UN Crisis Relief.

There are many other charities collecting donations, both financial and supplies such as food and clothing. The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have urged the public to 'give safely' to registered charities helping and supporting those affected by the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine embassy in London

If you are a resident with friends and family in Ukraine and need information or support about what is happening please contact the Ukrainian Embassy in London:

For official information on travel advice to and from Ukraine visit GOV.UK.

Ukraine Family Scheme visa

The UK government has published guidance for family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

Barnardo's Ukrainian Support Helpline

The helpline is available to anyone who has fled the conflict in Ukraine. It is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, to offer support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine.

Full details, including opening hours and the phone number, are available on Barnardo's webpage for Ukrainian Support Helpline

Free travel for Ukrainians

The UK Rail Delivery Group is offering free travel to Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK on National Rail services, to help them get to a safe place.

For parents of young children or young people

With the situation developing in Ukraine, your children may be asking questions that you are unsure how to answer.

Other Support

If you are able to offer support to refugees other than accommodation or finance, please contact the Council. This could be schemes like social gatherings for refugees in the area, help with transport, childcare, job applications and other support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Ukraine Support

I currently receive single persons discount on my council tax or another benefit - will this be impacted if I accommodate a refugee?

The Council Tax legislation is being amended so that a person who has secured a visa under the Homes for Ukraine scheme is disregarded for Council tax discounts. This protects a sponsor's single person discount and 50% discount for occupants who are already disregarded.

How does our guest receive the £200 emergency welcome payment?

We are using the Post Office Pay Out Now Scheme.  When you inform us your guests have arrived, we will email them with a barcode that can be taken to any Post Office to redeem the welcome payment for their group.

How do I inform you my guests have arrived?

You need to complete our simple webform, available using the link below.

This will register your guests for their emergency welcome payment and also register you as the host for your monthly arrears thank you payment of £350.

Tell us about your guests.

­­­­­­­­How do my guests open a bank account?

Banks are dealing with the Ukrainian Refugees in different ways.  For some you need an appointment, you may need to apply online, or you may be able to simply walk into a branch and set one up.  There are also many online-only providers that you can use.

You will need a UK bank account to be able to apply for welfare support (benefits).

If your guests require a proof of address from the Council please email supportforukraine@swdevon.gov.uk and we will arrange this.

What income could my guests be eligible for?

Benefits are monthly payments from the state to support your guests with living costs, such as travel and food.

Ukrainian guests can access Universal Credit (if working age) or Pension Credits (If pensionable age), as soon as they arrive in the UK. The payments are intended to support living costs.

It is important that your guests apply for benefits as a priority when they arrive.  They also need to understand that they are eligible for this assistance and it does not have to be paid back, unlike the welfare system in Ukraine that is a loan scheme.

You should apply for Universal Credit as soon as possible. Even if you do not currently have a UK bank account, this can be added later.  The Jobcentre will invite you to an appointment where they will assist you in applying for Child Benefit and obtaining a National Insurance Number.

If a member of the group has a disability you can apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) if under pension age or Attendance Allowance (AA) if over pension age.

How do my guests obtain a National Insurance Number?

When your guests apply for Universal Credit or Pension Credit, this should start their application for a National Insurance number.

However, you can also apply at Gov.UK.

My guests include children. How do they apply for school places?

The government has published guidance for families arriving from Ukraine on how to apply for a school place and childcare in England, in English and Ukrainian:

Once you have decided which school/s you want to apply for you can complete an application on the Devon County Council schools portal.

You will need an email address in order to create an account.

If you need help with the application process, or you would like advice about schools with vacancies, please contact the Devon County Council School Admissions Team by email at admissions@devon.gov.uk or call 01392 383829.

Following guidance from the Department for Education, Devon are following normal age rules to determine the school year a child gets placed in.

I cannot help with accommodation, how else might I be able to support?

The most effective way to support is to make a donation through the Disaster Emergency Committee, as this ensures the right things get to the right place. The fastest way to donate to a DEC appeal is by donating online.  Visit the DEC webpage for more information.

How do I donate specific items?

While it is recognised that cash is the most effective way to donate, there may be local collections in your community that are collecting specific items. The best way to find out about this is through local social media or community groups, as the requirements change frequently.

What support groups are in my area?

Devon County Council are collating information in relation to support groups in the area.

The details can be found on their website.  

You can register by contacting Devon County using the following email address:  ukraineresettlement@devon.gov.uk