On behalf of everyone here at Wychavon we want to welcome you to our district.
We know you have been through a lot and we are happy you are now here and safe. We hope you will be able to return to a peaceful Ukraine soon.
While you are with us, we will do everything we can to make your stay as easy as possible.
This is some brief information to help you settle into your new home and find out more about the area.
If you are living with your host, they may also be able to help you with some of the things included in this guide and answer any questions.
For more general guidance about life in the UK you can read the Government’s guide for Ukrainians arriving in Britain on GOV.UK (opens new window).
The Red Cross has also produced advice for Ukrainians arriving in the UK, with translations available:
- Advice for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (English) (opens new window)
- Інформація для громадян України, які прибувають до Великобританії (Ukrainian) (opens new window)
Use the links below to find the information you need:
- About Wychavon
- Your local councils
- Homes for Ukraine scheme
- Where to go for help
- Homes for Ukraine Liaison Officers
- Opening a bank account
- Looking for a job
- Biometric residence permit and help with immigration issues
- Other emergency services
- School places
- Learning English and other courses
- Your future housing options
- Bin collections
- Leisure centres
- Other useful information and support
Wychavon is a district in the county of Worcestershire in England. About 127,000 people live here.
It is made up of three main towns – Droitwich Spa, Evesham and Pershore – a larger village called Broadway and many other smaller villages.
It is famous for many things including plums, asparagus and making salt.
All three of our towns have different shops and services you can access.
In Evesham you will find the Europa Food Store at 29 Port Street, Evesham, WR11 3LD which sells a range of items traditionally found in Eastern Europe.
The nearest city is Worcester where you will also find similar shops.
We are about an hour’s train ride from Birmingham, which is the second biggest city in England.
You can also get to our capital city London in about 2 hours by train.
Your local councils
There are two main local authorities (called councils) that look after the area and the people who live here.
Worcestershire County Council is responsible for looking after things like schools and roads. Wychavon District Council (that’s us) look after things like collecting waste and recycling bins and housing.
There are also town and parish councils which look after smaller local areas in towns and villages.
We are all working together to support people from Ukraine arriving in our district.
Homes for Ukraine scheme
By signing up to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme your host has agreed to make sure your basic needs are met and will help you to adjust to life in the area.
Once arrived, you will be entitled to receive £200 per person from the local council to help cover your expenses while you apply for benefits. Please refer to the section called money for more information.
Your hosts cannot charge rent or ask you to do anything as payment for staying with them as part of the scheme. However, they can ask for a reasonable contribution towards general household expenses (gas and electric, broadband etc.) should they wish. The host should take into account the personal circumstances of the guest they are hosting in this respect. If you feel you are being asked to pay an unreasonable amount, then please contact Wychavon District Council.
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.
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.
Where to go for help
Here 2 Help is a service run by Worcestershire County Council. They can help you if you need access to food, medicines or other needs and you have nobody else to help you.
You can contact Here 2 Help by filling in the I need help form on the Worcestershire County Council website (opens in new window).
You can also call 01905 768053 then press option 3 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.
Homes for Ukraine Liaison Officers
We have employed two Homes for Ukraine Liaison Officers to act as point of contact for any welfare issues or queries you may have.
These officers are Ukrainian, and are members of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme themselves. Please feel free to contact them if you need support, or with any welfare issues you may have. There contact details are below.
Shortly after you arrive you will be given a payment of £200 (the same as 7,582 Ukrainian hryvnia) which will be given to you in cash.
This will help you while you apply for Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a benefit the Government pays people who cannot work or are currently not working but looking for a job.
It is paid monthly and you need to apply for it online.
Universal Credit can be used to pay for your living expenses such as food, clothing, transport, household bills and anything you want to buy. Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance.
Any extra amounts that apply to you, for example, if you have children; a disability; a health condition which prevents you from working; or need help paying your rent, will be added in addition.
Apply for Universal Credit online (opens new window).
If you need help applying for Universal Credit please speak to your sponsor or you can call 800 328 5644 to speak to Universal Credit Full Service.
You may also qualify for:
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
- Child Disability Living Allowance
- Carers Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
If you live in any of the places listed below then John Martin's Charity may be able to provide you with financial support:
- Evesham Town
- Aston Somerville
- Ashton Under Hill
- Church Lench
- Cleeve Prior
- Elmley Castle
- Hinton on the Green
- North and Middle Littleton
- Norton and Lenchwick
- South Littleton
Find out more about how John Martins Charity is supporting people in Evesham.
Opening a bank account
You will need to open a bank account to receive Universal Credit payments.
To open a bank account, you need to go to a bank and show documents that prove:
- your identity
- your immigration status
- your address
Below is a list of local banks in the Wychavon area. You can visit them when they are open and they will help you open your account. Your host may also be able to support you to do this.
List of banks in Droitwich Spa
- Lloyds bank, 21 Victoria Square, Droitwich Spa
- HSBC bank, 11 Victoria Square, Droitwich Spa
- Santander bank, 15 Victoria Square, Droitwich Spa
List of banks in Evesham
You will find all of the banks below in Evesham Town Centre.
- Lloyds bank, 19 High Street, Evesham
- Barclays bank, 50 High Street, Evesham
- Halifax bank, 46 Bridge Street, Evesham
- Santander bank, 17 Bridge Street, Evesham
- HSBC bank, 32 Bridge Street, Evesham
- TSB bank, 32 Bridge Street, Evesham
- Natwest, The Round House, Market Square, Evesham
- Nationwide Building Society, 37 High Street, Evesham
List of banks in Pershore
- Lloyds bank, 21 Bridge Street, Pershore
Many guests from Ukraine have found online banks, such as Monzo, have a simple process for opening a bank account.
Monzo can be installed from most app stores on a mobile phone, or you can find find out how to open an online account on the Monzo website (opens new window).
Looking for a job
If you would like to look for work while you are here then you can get help to do so by contacting your local Job Centre. Job Centres have lists of jobs available to apply for as well as people who can help you find work.
The local job centre in Wychavon can be found at:
Evesham Job Centre, 3 High St, Evesham WR11 4DA
You can also use the find a job search on gov.uk (opens in new window) to help find work.
You will need to apply for a National Insurance Number if you are over 16 and would like to work in the UK.
Apply for a National Insurance number (opens in new window).
Biometric Residence Permit and help with immigration issues
If you have not already been issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), you must apply for one within the first six months.
This will extend your right to live and work in the UK from 6 months to 3 years.
You are also advised not to travel outside the UK until you have received your BRP, or you may have problems returning to the UK.
How to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit on the Government's website (opens new window).
Help with immigration issues
There are several national charities that can help with immigration issues. These are listed below:
Migrant Help UK
- Tel: 0808 801 0503
- Website: www.migranthelpuk.org
British Red Cross
- Tel: 0808 196 3651
- Tel: 020 7346 6700
- Website: www.refugeecouncil.org.uk
- Tel: 0800 808 3733
- Website: www.salvationarmy.org.uk
You should register with a doctor as soon as possible. Your host can help you do this or contact the Worcestershire Here 2 Help service.
If you have a non-urgent medical need you can get advice by calling 111. You can also visit a Pharmacist who can offer advice and supply you with some medicines.
If you have an urgent medical need then your nearest hospital will be either:
- Royal Worcestershire Hospital, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester WR5 1DD
- Alexandra Hospital, Woodrow Drive, Redditch, B98 7UB
In a life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack, breathing difficulties and similar conditions you should call for an ambulance by dialling 999 from your phone.
Healthcare is free for everyone, although you may need to pay for any medicines you need depending on your circumstances. Each item of prescription medication costs £9.35 (421.28 Ukrainian hryvnia). Prescription medications are free to children under 18 and people claiming Universal Credit.
You may also wish to register with a dentist. Children have their teeth looked after for free. If you are claiming benefits then you may also get some dental treatments for free.
Your host can help you register with a dentist or call Worcestershire Here 2 Help.
pdf Download a guide to how the NHS works in Ukrainian (opens new window) (469 KB) .
South Worcestershire Healthcare is a federation of the 31 GP surgeries in the South Worcestershire area and serve over 300,000 patients. They have created resources to help both new arrivals and the families hosting them to make the most of the NHS services available in our local area. They have developed a new How to Access the NHS in Worcestershire guide in both English and Ukrainian, including translated versions of GP registration forms, which all new arrivals will need to complete in order to register with a GP.
Read the how to access the NHS in Worcestershire guide in English (opens in new window)
Read the how to access the NHS in Worcestershire guide in Ukrainian (opens in new window)
Support with your mental health
If you are experiencing an issue with your mental health then please seek help. Your GP can refer you to services locally which can offer you support.
The Government of Ukraine has also launched a specialist service for Ukrainians fleeing the war who are suffering with mental health issues. To use the service you log your need via the website and a Ukrainian specialist will call you back at the earliest opportunity to provide counselling (mostly cognitive-behavioural therapy).
Find out more about free psychological assistance from the Ukraine government.
The charity Barnardo's has also created a free Ukrainian Support Helpline, offering access to a qualified psychotherapist on the phone or online. Interpreters are available in Ukrainian and Russian.
The helpline is open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm.
Other emergency services
If you need to contact the police then for most issues you should call 101. A translation service is available.
However, if the situation is an emergency – such as a crime is in progress or there is a threat to you, your family or your home - then you should call 999 and ask for the police.
If you need help dealing with a fire then you should call 999 and ask to speak to the fire service.
It is useful for you to discuss with your host what to do in an emergency situation. Make sure you have a copy of the address you are staying at so that this information can be given if contacting emergency services.
It is also important to discuss evacuation procedures for getting out of the house, should an emergency occur. What are the best routes out of the home? Where are keys kept if doors are locked overnight?
If you have a child who is school age, Worcestershire County Council will arrange a place for them. They should contact you about this directly.
You can also find information about how to apply for a school place on the Worcestershire County Council website (opens new window).
Learning English and other courses
School aged children will receive English language classes through their school.
There are a number of volunteer community English classes being run in Wychavon. Visit the Wychavon Ukrainian Network Support page on Facebook for more information.
The Workers Education Association is a charity that provides professional education to communities. They are currently providing online English classes (English for Speakers of Other Languages) which can be accessed by Ukrainians for free.
Find out more about English and maths classes from the Workers Education Association.
Your future housing options
Your host has offered you accommodation for at least six months. After this they may no longer be able to offer you a home or you may wish to move on. Below is a list of your options and who you can contact for help.
You can also read the Government’s guide to housing in the UK after six months.
Stay with your host
If your host is happy for you to stay with them for another six months, or longer, then that is fine. Your host can ask you to pay some money towards water, gas and electricity. This must be reasonable and based on your use. You should also agree with your guest who will pay Council Tax.
Find another host
If your host can no longer look after you after six months, or you would like to move on, then our rematching officers may be able to help you find another host who can offer you a home for at least six months.
We have two Rematching Officers who can help you find a new host within Wychavon. These officers are Ukrainian and are members of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme themselves. Please feel free to contact them if you require support, or with any welfare issues you may have. They can also help if the relationship with your current host has broken down.
You can rent a home from a private landlord. You can find properties by contacting local letting agents or looking at sites such as Rightmove.co.uk or spareroom.co.uk. As well as being able to prove you can afford the rent, you could also need a deposit. We may be able to offer you support with that. If you are thinking about renting privately then get in touch with our housing options team who can offer you advice. The average private rent in Wychavon is about £750 a month for a three bedroom property.
You can rent a home from a social landlord. This is usually a housing association which offers homes to people that meet the qualifying criteria at a reduced monthly rent. The two main housing associations in Wychavon are Platform and Rooftop Housing.
There is a lot of demand for social housing so you will have to bid for properties against other people. Our housing team can help explain to you how the process works in more detail. As you are here as a refugee you will be considered a high priority which will increase your chances of getting a social home to rent but we cannot guarantee you will be successful.
If you are thinking of renting a social home in Wychavon then you will need to apply to join our social housing register. You can do this by visiting www.housingforyou.co.uk.
If you believe you may need a social home after your six month stay with your host has ended then please register as soon as possible.
What if I can’t find anywhere to live?
If your host can no longer offer you a home and you can’t find anywhere else to live then please don’t worry. Our housing team will be able to help you. This may mean we need to put you and your family into temporary accommodation, which can include a hotel or bed and breakfast, while we look for a new home for you.
Help finding accommodation
If you are living with a sponsor then they will be able to explain how waste and recycling collections work. If you are living in your own accommodation then here is a brief explanation.
In Wychavon, we ask residents to separate their rubbish into recycling and general waste. General waste goes in the black bin and recycling in the green bin. We collect one of the bins one week and the other bin the next week. This is known as a fortnightly collection.
Which bin you need to put out and on which week, will depend on where you live. You can find out by looking on our website at www.wychavon.gov.uk/waste and choosing bin collections from the menu.
Find a list of items you can put in your green recycling bin on our recycling page. Anything not on the list needs to go in your black bin.
We have some beautiful award-winning parks in Wychavon you are free to enjoy. Many of them have play areas in for children as well.
Our parks are listed below so you can find the nearest one to you.
• Lido Park, Droitwich Spa WR9 8AA
• St Peter’s Field Droitwich Spa, WR9 7AB
• Vines Park, Droitwich Spa, WR9 8LB
• Abbey Park, Evesham WR11 4ST
• Crown Meadow, Evesham, WR11 4ST
• Corporation Meadow, Evesham, WR11 2GG
• Charity Brook Park, Evesham, WR11 1YZ
• Jubilee Gardens, Evesham, WR11 3DB
• Abbey Park, Pershore WR10 1JP
There is also Broadway Activity Park which is a large adventure playground for children. This can be found at 69 High St, Broadway WR12 7DP.
Visit our dedicated parks page.
If you would like to go swimming or exercise then you can do so at one of our leisure centres. The addresses are listed below and you can find out more about what they offer at www.riversfitness.co.uk (opens new window).
• Droitwich Leisure Centre, Briar Mill, Droitwich Spa, WR9 0RZ
• Evesham Leisure Centre, Abbey Road, Evesham, WR11 4SU
• Pershore Leisure Centre, King George’s Way, Pershore. WR10 1QU
• Droitwich Spa Lido, Lido Park, Droitwich Spa, WR9 8AA
You normally have to pay to use these services but Rivers Fitness is offering use of our leisure centres for free for 6 months for families coming to the UK due to the war in Ukraine. Free swimming sessions at Droitwich Lido are also available in June. You have to apply for a free pass to be able to take up this offer.
Find out how to apply for free Rivers Fitness membership for Ukrainian guests (opens new window).
Each of our towns has a railway station with trains that can take you to different places including Worcester, Birmingham and London.
The major railway stations are listed below:
- Droitwich Spa Railway Station, off Union Lane, Droitwich Spa, WR9 9BD
- Evesham Railway Station, High Street, Evesham, WR11 4JG
- Pershore Railway Station, Station Road, Pinvin near Pershore, WR10 6FG
- Worcestershire Parkway Station, Whittington Road, Norton WR7 4RD
We have several bus companies that will take you to a variety of places. In some areas you may find the bus service is not as frequent as it is in other places.
You can search for bus timetables and journeys on the Worcestershire County Council website (opens new window).
Free bus passes are being issued by Worcestershire County Council for Ukrainian guests to travel throughout the county. These last for three months.
Once your sponsor has confirmed your guest has arrived a request to issue a bus pass will be automatically generated and sent to you by post. It may take a couple of weeks for this to come through.
There are libraries in each of our towns and Broadway. You can borrow books, DVDS and CDs.
There are also computers with an internet connection that are free to use.
Some libraries also run courses and activities.
They are also a hub for providing information and support to you and your sponsor to help you settle into the area. Libraries are free to join. You just need to bring proof of ID with you. Your host will be able to help you.
The addresses of your local libraries are listed below.
You can find out more about your local library on the Worcestershire County Council website (opens new window).
Other useful information and support
Mobile phone SIM cards
There are a number of organisations offering support to Ukrainians around SIM card offers:
- Red Cross, are helping to facilitate access to SIM card offers. Call 0808 196 3651 for more information.
- Three Mobile are offering a 30 day pre-loaded SIM with unlimited calls, texts and data within the UK, as well as free texts and calls to the Ukraine. This can be picked up by going into any Three store.
- Many SIM card providers are offering no charges to text or call back to the Ukraine. Ask in store about these offers
Driving in the UK
You can use your Ukrainian driving licence for the first 12 months after you arrive. You’ll then need to exchange your foreign licence for a British licence..
The Automobile Association (AA) is also providing support around their services, including help with refresher courses for Ukrainians.
Find out more about driving support for Ukrainians from the AA.
Evesham Adventure Playground
The Evesham Adventure playground provides aim to support the community – giving children, young people and familie the space to have fun together.
They offer open access play , wraparound childcare, holiday and youth clubs, bicycle recycling and repair, and a community pantry.
The playground also offers donated and second hand bikes at very affordable prices to both adults and children.
Roundabout is a charity that collects good quality household furniture and other domestic items. These items are distributed to those families and individuals on low incomes and are in financial need or who have experienced devastation, perhaps by flood or fire.
Members of the public can visit their warehouse to purchase furniture and other items including books and ornaments. The income from these sales helps the charity to finance its operating costs.