Supporting people from Ukraine
We are committed to providing support to displaced families and individuals whose lives have been completely changed by the war and conflict in Ukraine. We want to give them the warmest welcome to East Ayrshire and to make sure they feel safe, secure and supported within our communities.
What we are doing to help
Plans have been put in place to respond to this crisis in partnership with the UK and Scottish Governments, COSLA and other partners and organisations.
- helping to identify suitable accommodation
- assisting with access to services such as GPs, schools, dentists and welfare benefits
Service teams are creating specific plans to support the arrival of displaced people across housing, health and social care, education, community support and other services as appropriate. We will also be working closely with local churches, faith groups and community groups who have already stepped forward offering support.
How you can help
Many East Ayrshire residents have expressed their interest in helping people who have had to leave their homes and lives behind. Here are ways in which you can help:
1) UK Government Homes for Ukraine scheme
If you are considering providing a home for Ukrainians arriving through the government sponsorship scheme, you should firstly sign up on the UK Government Homes for Ukraine portal. The first phase of the scheme allows sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian person or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property.
Your details will then be shared with the Scottish Government to support the Warm Scots Welcome which is Scotland's offer to provide refuge and sanctuary as part of the UK Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.
If you have already registered for the scheme
Once we have received your details from the Scottish Government we will contact you to arrange the necessary checks, including those required for your home to ensure it meets the required standards and a Disclosure Scotland check prior to an individual or family coming to live with you.
If the individual or family you have been matched with arrive before these checks have been completed, they may have to be temporarily accommodated elsewhere, for example in a hotel.
Find out more at:
Please note that if you have identified an individual or family who will be coming to live with you before we have completed these checks, you should e-mail us at RefugeeResettlementTeam@east-ayrshire.gov.uk so that we can urgently arrange to get the checks carried out.
A monthly thank you payment of £350 offered to hosts will be made monthly in arrears.
2) Scottish Government Super Sponsor scheme
The Scottish Government’s super sponsor scheme removes the need for applicants to be matched prior to being given permission travel to the UK. Displaced people can choose the Scottish Government as their sponsor when applying to the Homes for Ukraine scheme if they cannot name a host. If you would like more information about the scheme, please email RefugeeResettlementTeam@east-ayrshire.gov.uk
You can also read the Overview - Ukraine Super Sponsor Scheme: guidance for hosts - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) This guidance is aimed primarily at hosts using Scotland’s Super Sponsor scheme, but it also sets out the expectations and requirements of hosting a displaced person from Ukraine in Scotland for individual/private sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
Please note that if you have already registered as a potential host with the Scottish Government Super Sponsor Scheme, then someone from the Council's Resettlement Team will be in contact with you.
We would ask for your patience at this time as there has been a significant number of people registering their support for this scheme and the team is currently focusing on those who have already been matched with people from Ukraine. The team will be working its way through the Enhanced Disclosure process and arranging property visits over the coming weeks and months, however these will take time to get through.
The Council will process personal information for the purposes of providing a resettlement service in accordance with UK data protection legislation. Further data protection information is contained in our Privacy Notice.
Providing other help
If you're not able to provide a home, but would like to help the people of Ukraine in other ways, you can find out more at Ready Scotland: Humanitarian Support.
A welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK is available on the UK Government website.
This includes information on what Ukrainians need to know in the first few days, as well as advice on getting used to life in the UK including how to:
- find a home
- access essential public services, healthcare, childcare and education services
- find work
It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
The welcome guide is also available in different languages and can be downloaded below:
National Health Service
The Scottish Government has confirmed that people coming from Ukraine to Scotland on the schemes will be able to access the National Health Service (NHS) at no charge on the same basis as people living in Scotland. This approach will also apply to people from Ukraine who were in Scotland on short-term visas when the conflict began, and who apply to extend or switch visas because they cannot return home.
NHS Inform have produced guides to:
The Scottish Government has also confirmed that from 22 March 2022, Scottish legislation will allow people coming to Scotland from Ukraine to meet residency conditions for Scottish social security benefits meaning they will have immediate access to benefits including:
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
- Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance, and Attendance Allowance
- Contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
Information for businesses who want to offer assistance
Guidance for businesses offering work to people coming from Ukraine - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Further support and advice
To access further support and advice, please see the following:
Support for family members
Guidance on support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members can be found at UK Government: UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals.
- Family Migration Visa (for immediate family members of a British National)
- Ukrainian Family Scheme (for extended family members)
- Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine (for those without ties to the UK)
- Ukrainians who remain in the UK with leave due to expire
Charities, voluntary organisations and community support
Organisations across the UK are gathering essential supplies, such as clothes, first aid and sanitary products. Charities with experience of responding to disasters are best placed to reach victims on the ground.
Other support available includes: