Ukrainian refugees support and information

For all Ukrainian refugee and host visa queries, please call the free 24/7 helpline on 0808 164 8810 (if outside the UK, please call +44 808 164 8810). 

The towns and villages of Woking are proud of the diverse communities that chose to make our borough their home. Our thoughts and feelings of compassion are with the people of Ukraine, and their families and friends that live in our borough.

We stand with the UK government and its international partners in condemning the Russian government for its unprovoked war against Ukraine.

In an act of unity and support, we have joined government organisations in the UK and around the world to display the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine, above the council's Civic Offices in Woking. We are also working with partners on other opportunities to display, in public spaces, our unity and support.

Messages of support from Woking's leaders

In response to the ongoing crisis, our leaders have issued messages of support to the Ukrainian people.

Cllr Ayesha Azad, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “The scenes portrayed through the media are horrifying and alarming. Towns similar to ours are being destroyed and their populations forced to flee. If the situation was reversed, we would need international support so we must all do what we can to help the humanitarian relief effort."

Read the full statement by the Leader of Woking Borough Council

Cllr Liam Lyons, Mayor of Woking Borough, said: “Like most people in the world who live in free, elected democracies, the people of Woking are stunned and appalled at the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, and in particular, the media reports of such barbaric attacks on civilian areas and installations in some of Ukraine’s cities."

Read the full statement by the Mayor of Woking Borough

How we're working to support Ukrainians in Woking

Woking Borough Council has a strong reputation working with partners to provide support to refugees, which you will be aware of through our actions of providing homes for five Afghan families and 50 Syrian families. Using this experience, we are providing refugee support and accommodation, including assisting with the government’s Home for Ukraine scheme

Council officers are working with local community and faith groups to put in place and comprehensive package of support to Ukrainian arrivals.

We are also mindful of the impact that the events in Ukraine may have on families in Woking. Our community services teams are ready to provide support to the families affected and in need of assistance and advice.

For any questions relating to accommodation and support (excluding donations), please email refugeesupport@woking.gov.uk

Welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK

The government had produced a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. It covers what they need to know in their first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.

It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Read the welcome guide (in English)

Homes for Ukraine

Homes for Ukraine is a government sponsorship scheme that allows people and organisations in the UK to offer Ukrainians fleeing the war a home. This scheme lets individuals, charities, community groups and businesses offer a route to safety for Ukrainians, even if they have no ties to the UK.

Register your interest to be a Homes for Ukraine sponsor

Read guidance for Homes for Ukraine sponsors

Read frequently asked questions about the Homes for Ukraine scheme

Read about the role of councils in supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme

Pairing Scheme

The government has funded a scheme that offers a matching, training and support service to sponsors and refugees.

Read more about the Pairing Scheme and how to register

Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK.

If you're outside the UK

If you're outside the UK, you must apply online for the Ukraine Family Scheme. This application is also an application for a biometric immigration document.

Apply for the Ukraine Family Scheme

If you're in the UK

You must apply online for the Ukraine Family Scheme if you are in the UK.

You will then book and attend an appointment at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

Apply for the Ukraine Family Scheme

If you have any questions, you can phone the free 24-hour helpline on +44 808 164 8810 or 0808 164 8810 from within the UK.

If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.

Useful information for Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK

Homes for Ukraine factsheet (for Ukrainians)

The government has translated a factsheet into Ukrainian and Russian which explains how Ukrainians can apply to the scheme before arriving in the UK.

Read the Homes for Ukraine factsheet

Free rail travel for Ukrainian refugees

Rail operators are providing Ukrainian refugees with a single onward journey via national rail free of charge on arrival in Great Britain to their final destination. Ukrainian arrivals have 48 hours to make their onward journey.

To access the free rail travel, Ukrainians only need to show their Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours. 

Read the translated information on National Rail Enquiries website

Pets arriving in the UK with Ukrainian refugees

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick license approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays. The government is also covering vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising that Ukrainian arrivals will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pets on its arrival.

Before arrival, please contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Email: pettravel@apha.gov.uk

Phone: +44 3000 200 301 and select option 2

Read more about emergency support for Ukrainians entering the UK with their pets

How to apply for school places and childcare

All children and young people arriving in England from Ukraine via the family route or the sponsorship route have the right to access education and childcare (for children below compulsory school age) whilst in the UK. 

Read a translated article about applying for school places and childcare

Support services provided by Surrey County Council

In most of England, there are two tiers of local government – county and district councils – with responsibility for services split between them. 

Woking borough is managed by Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council, and local services are split between both councils into different areas of responsibility.

Surrey County Council is the health, welfare, education and travel authority for Woking.

View Surrey County Council's webpage for Ukrainian refugees

Make a donation

A wide range of charities and NGOs are operating in the region to provide humanitarian aid and are in need of money to help their work.

Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Supported by 15 charities including British Red Cross, Save the Children and Oxfam.

Make a donation

UN Ukraine Humanitarian Fund

Select ‘British pounds’ to make a donation

Make a donation

Local community appeals

Details of local appeals and organised collections will be added to this webpage. To advertise an organised public event, please email marketing.communications@woking.gov.uk

St Mary's Church, Church Hill, Horsell GU21 4QQ

There is a collection point for donations from Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. 

The charitable group leading this collection, Souls4good, is requesting donations of certain items only and these change on a regular basis.

Please check the latest requests before dropping off any donations, visit Facebook group Souls4Good

Shah Jahan Mosque, 149 Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BA

There is a collection point for donations located in Hall 4. Open between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week.

For more information, visit Facebook group Shah Jahan Mosque