Help and advice for guests

We’re proud to welcome you to our part of the UK and we hope you find a safe home here.

People in East Sussex have been moved by the invasion of Ukraine and the suffering it has caused. Many have offered you a place to stay and want to continue to support you.

More than 1,800 Ukrainian guests are now living in East Sussex. Many have full time jobs and have moved out of their hosts' homes. We look forward to welcoming those of you who are due to arrive soon.

About East Sussex

East Sussex is a beautiful place on the UK’s south coast, around 70km south of London.  

About 550,000 people live here. Our largest towns - Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings - are on the coast. Our coastline mixes pebble beaches, a long sandy strip and some famous chalk cliffs.

Away from the coast are farms, hills, woods and heaths – and smaller towns such as Lewes, Hailsham, Uckfield, Crowborough and Battle.

You can reach London by train from many parts of East Sussex in 75 to 120 minutes.

A small port at Newhaven offers ferry crossings to France. Gatwick airport, one of the main airports serving London, is to the west of the county.

The city of Brighton and Hove is also slightly to the west.

East Sussex is a county. England has 27 rural counties like East Sussex, plus larger cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester.

East Sussex has into 5 districts. These districts (or boroughs) are:

  • Eastbourne
  • Lewes
  • Hastings
  • Rother
  • Wealden

Whichever part of East Sussex you stay in, we’re sure you will find a friendly welcome.

Find out more about East Sussex.

- Welcome to East Sussex (Ukrainian) - East Sussex resident Krysta Rafalska

Watch on YouTube: "Welcome to East Sussex (Ukrainian) - East Sussex resident Krysta Rafalska"

There are a number of things you should do as soon as you arrive.

  1. Apply for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
    From 31 December 2024, BRPs will be online only and you will not need a card.
  2. Register for a local GP and dentist.
    This will allow you to access healthcare services and get any medication you need.
  3. Open a bank account with a UK bank
  4. If you have school-age children, apply for school places.
    School places are managed by East Sussex County Council.
  5. Claim benefits if you are entitled to any.

You might also find the answer to your questions in the government's guest guidance.

When you start to feel settled, talk to your host about how you can live together. You should talk about agreements for things such as:

  • using shared areas of the house, like the kitchen and dining room
  • sharing housework, like cleaning and cooking
  • rules your hosts would like you to follow about smoking, drinking alcohol, noise or anything else

Adjusting to life in the UK

Your host will be able to help you settle in the UK. They want to make sure that you’re comfortable and have everything you need.

They may be able to take you to get these things or tell you where you can buy them.

Your host will also know about the area and can help you to find places such as:

  • local schools for your children
  • doctors
  • dentists
  • shops
  • churches
  • community centres
  • council offices

They might not know about everything you want, but they should be able to tell you who can help.

The local council need to make more checks on your host and their home to make sure that you are safe. These checks include Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and can happen at different stages.

Someone from the local council will visit you soon after you arrive. This is to check that you got here safely, that you are comfortable and that the home you are living in is suitable.

If you have questions about local services, you can ask the people from the council when they visit. They might not have the answer but will tell you who can help.

What to expect from your host

Your host will receive a monthly payment as a thank you for hosting. Hosts will receive £500 a month. This increases to £650 for hosts providing homes for 5 or more guests.

Hosts are not expected to use this money to pay for food, or other support, for you. Your host cannot charge you rent while you are staying with them. They may ask you to make a contribution towards food and other expenses during your stay.

If you think you are being asked to contribute too much, speak to your local council.

Your £200 arrival payment is paid to you. This is to help you get some essentials when you arrive.

If your living arrangements aren't working out

Sometimes things do go wrong. It may be something simple that you can resolve with your host. If your host asks you to leave or you want to, speak to your local council who will help you find somewhere else to live.

There are many ways your local council could help you. They may offer:

  • advice (how to talk to your host, or what options you have)
  • emergency housing
  • to rematch you with a new host

The help they offer depends on how urgent your needs are and if you are homeless.

You may get help sooner if:

  • you or someone you live with is pregnant
  • dependent children live with you
  • you are vulnerable, for example because of old age or disability

If you need help to resolve an issue or to find a new place to live, please contact:

You may need to spend time away from your host's home for many reasons. Before you leave, please talk to your host about your plans and how long you will be away. If you can, you should let your host know when you plan to return before you travel. If you aren't sure, you should tell them as soon as you know.

Your host might ask you to leave things tidy so that they can use your room if needed. They may also have other reasonable requests. It is a good idea to share contact details with your host, so you can remain in touch while you are away.

Universal Credit

If you go abroad, you can still get Universal Credit for up to 1 month. You must:

  • be eligible for Universal Credit before you go

  • remain eligible for Universal Credit while you’re abroad

  • tell your work coach that you’re going and let them know when you are back

If you have children

Once in the UK, you should not leave your child in the care of a host (or an adult relative):

  • for 28 days or longer

  • for less than 28 days on a regular basis

If you have no choice but to leave your child in the care of a host, you must take certain steps. Before you leave your child or children you must have:

  • agreed how long the host will be looking after your children

  • the consent of the host

  • told the council and given the council written consent.
    Use the UK hosting arrangement consent form to do this

  • waited for the council to do their required safeguarding checks

English language

If you need to improve your English, there is a lot of help.

The library service runs a range of courses for English language and IT skills. They can help you find the right course.

East Sussex College has many language courses, for all levels of English.

See our full list of language support:

The government website also has courses and resources for learning English.

Finding Employment

Your visa gives you the right to work in the UK. Once you have settled into your new home and are ready to find a job, there is a range of support.

You must provide evidence of your right to work in the UK:

We have more information on finding a job and paying tax.

You can see further information and resources on our website:

Read the government’s guidance for guests on GOV.UK.

Or contact the Homes for Ukraine contact centre:

Whenever you signed up for our newsletter, you can always find information you may have missed.

Not signed up yet? Sign up for newsletters for guests.

Please note some of these newsletters may have information or offers that have now changed or are out of date.

February 2024

Допоможіть покращити підтримку українських гостей у Східному Сассексі

January 2024

Гранти ,які доступні при переїзді до власного будинку

December 2023

.Уряд подовжує виплати «подяки» господарям «Житло для України»

November 2023

Наближається Різдво...чи готові ви до нього?; Як уникнути зимових хвилювань

October 2023

Ласкаво просимо до нашої спеціальної розсилки новин для гостей програми ’Домівки для України’ у Східному Сассексі.

September 2023

ОСТАННЄ: Залишатися в безпеці, бути здоровим і знайти роботу

11 August 2023

Поради у плануванні наступних кроків

10 July 2023

Доступні вакансії на роуд-шоу East Sussex Apprenticeship Roadshow 2023

23 June 2023

Bexhill Hub виділив £5000 на подальшу підтримку українців

23rd December 2022
наше заключне оновлення 2022 року

19th December 2022
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7 November 2022
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