Living and working in Trafford as a Ukrainian refugee

As Ukrainian refugees begin to arrive in the UK, we want to ensure that those in Trafford have access to all that they need. There are a range of incredible groups, services and personal support currently being arranged by generous people across our borough.

Back to top

Getting to the UK

How to apply for a visa to live and work in Trafford

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor who can provide accommodation. The UK Government has all the necessary information for applying for a visa under the Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine).

We are not involved in any part of the visa process and we cannot assist with queries about your visa application.

Meeting your sponsor or host

You can make your own arrangements to meet your host. We recommend that you share phone numbers, confirm the address that you will be moving into and agree a suitable arrival date and time to meet.

Help when you arrive at the airport or ferry port

There are Welcome Points for people arriving from Ukraine at several of the major airports, including Manchester International Airport, and St Pancras International train station. There will also be welcome arrangements at the other airports, including Liverpool Airport, ferry ports and London Victoria coach station too.

Staff at Welcome Points will be able to support you on your arrival to the UK and resolve any immediate problems. This may be through helping make onward travel arrangements, or through answering any questions you may have on the next steps. The Welcome Points will be able to support guests by providing access to:

  • Welcome / rest point, with toilet facilities, telephone, telephone charging facilities and translation capability.
  • Provision of any necessary immediate assistance including food, drink, (over the counter) medical supplies and other sundries; and
  • Signposting access to public services and advice.

Help travelling to your host’s home

Public transport providers in the UK are working together to support Ukrainian arrivals by offering them free onward travel from their port of entry in the UK to their final destinations.

All Ukrainian nationals will be able to access free travel for up to 48 hours after arriving in the UK. This is available from wherever you arrive in the UK to transport you to your sponsor’s home in Trafford. This includes all National Rail services, National Express coach services, and Greater Manchester public transport including Metrolink (the tram system in Trafford) and most bus services in the Greater Manchester region.

You will need to show your Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket to be eligible for the scheme. Please present this to the ticket office at the train or coach station, to the ticket inspector on the train or tram, or to the bus driver as you board your bus.


Back to top

Money and funding

Funding for arriving refugees

Each person arriving under the Homes for Ukraine visa scheme is entitled to £200 in one-off payment. This is to provide financial support until you can register for benefits and/or employment.

You will need to verify your arrival in the UK with a valid visa stamp in your passport. If you do not have a passport, you would need to verify your arrival with your IS116 travel document.

This funding support is only available for those on the Home for Ukraine scheme. If you have arrived on the Family Scheme you are entitled to apply for other benefits, see the benefits section below.

How to claim

You should receive a welcome call from us once you are at your sponsor’s home. In this call, the Council officer will process your request and issue the payment on the same day. If this call has not happened within one week of arriving at your sponsor’s home, please contact Access Trafford with your name, and officers will respond to you as soon as possible.

Funding payments can be made via:

  • A BACS bank transfer if you have an existing UK bank account
  • Issue a PayPoint voucher that can be exchanged for cash in any PayPoint store. There are 27,000 stores nationwide
  • HUGGG Vouchers for online or selected stores (including leading supermarkets) and can be redeemed for any purchases

Opening a bank account

To receive Universal Credit and other benefits, you will need to open a UK bank account. You can open a bank account by visiting any bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland and the NatWest Bank welcome Ukrainian refugees opening accounts.

You will need to have documents that show:

  • Your identity (your passport, driving licence or biometric residence permit)
  • Your immigration status (passport or IS116)
  • Some UK banks ask for proof of address although this is not required by law to open a bank account and the government is working with them to encourage them to relax this requirement

Support from The British Red Cross

The British Red Cross are also giving financial support of £50 and a choice between two free sim cards. You must apply for these within the first 14 days of arrival.

You can request one of two types of sim card:

  • Vodafone sim card includes free calls, texts, 20gb data for 6 months (UK only)
  • Tesco sim card includes 3 months of free calls to Ukraine, 1000 minutes of calls in the UK, 5000 texts and 8GB data

To apply call 0808 196 3651 and select option 3. The phonelines are open daily between 10am-6pm and translators are available. 

The British Red Cross will complete a form which will be emailed to you to check and return with photos of your passport page, visa and date of entry stamp. 


Ukrainians aged 16-65 can apply for Universal Credit and may also be eligible for Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance.

Contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) are also available for those Ukrainians who meet the criteria.

Applying for Universal Credit

You can apply for Universal Credit online. You will need to create an account to make a claim.

To apply online you will need:

  • Your bank, building society or credit union account details
  • An email address
  • Access to a phone

You will also have to prove your identity. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example:

  • A full or provisional Ukraine photo driving licence
  • Any national identity card, except those issued under the UK ID Card Scheme
  • A residence permit, registration certificate or document certifying or indicating
    • permanent residence issued by the Home Office or the United Kingdom Border Agency
    • you are a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  • A Biometric Residence Permit issued by the United Kingdom Border Agency

If you are unable to claim online or to get help with your claim, you can call the Universal Credit helpline. Calls to the Universal Credit helpline are free. Telephone: 0800 328 5644

When your UC claim has been made you will be invited for a meeting with your Work Coach at your local Jobcentre Plus. 

Applying for a Pension Credit

If you are aged over 65, you can apply for Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance.

You can find out more on how to apply for Pension Credit.

You can also contact a voluntary organisation like Citizens Advice or Age UK if you need help with the form.

Applying for Child Benefit

Anyone coming to the UK under either the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine scheme and has responsibility for children (0-16) is entitled to claim Child Benefit. Please note that you can apply immediately, rather than having to wait for the usual three-month qualifying period.

You need to complete a CH2 Child Benefit claim form and submit this by post to the Child Benefit office. The address is included on the form.

You should provide an original birth certificate and the passport or travel document used to enter the UK. Where this documentation is not immediately available, you are advised to include a note in their claim and someone from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be in touch to discuss further.

Anyone wanting more information on Child Benefit can visit the Child Benefit website or call 0300 200 3100 (from inside the UK).

Other benefits for Ukrainians arriving in the UK

If you have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Furthermore, if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week, you may be eligible for a carer’s allowance. See the Help to Claim service for further guidance.

Getting advice for applying for benefits

There is a Help to Claim service provided by Citizens Advice which is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree.

Back to top

Education - schools and childcare

All arriving children from age 2-18 will be eligible for an education place.

Early Years Places (Age 2 to 4 years)

Information about free early years places for families arriving from Ukraine is on the Trafford Directory, including contact details for Trafford Family Information Service who can help families find a place.

School Places (Age 4 to 16 years)

Demand for school places in some areas of Trafford is high. In the first instance, an application should be made for whichever school the family wants without worrying about looking for schools with vacancies. The School Admissions team will let the family know whether or not a place is available at one of their preferred schools. If no places are available they will help with the appeals process and advise where places are available.

Education - 16 to 18 Years

People can apply directly for places at colleges, sixth form centres and schools offering education to 16-18 years olds. This includes A Levels and a range of technical, vocational and professional courses. Each college or institution should be able to provide information on its application process, what its students are able to study and the courses available.

Trafford College has campuses in Altrincham and Stretford and it has a skills training centre based at the Trafford Centre.

A directory of Trafford schools and colleges that provide A Levels, T Levels and other vocational courses.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

SENDIASS can provide detailed information and advice about the support on offer. To contact the service you can email or call 0161 912 3150.

Back to top

Healthcare and the NHS

People ordinarily a resident in Ukraine, and their immediate family members, who are lawfully in the UK, can access NHS care in England for free.

We recommend that all those arriving from Ukraine register with their local doctor as one of the first things you do when you have moved into in your host’s home.

How to register with your local doctor (also known as a General Practitioner or GP)

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery. It's free to register. You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

Your GP will be able to advise on the health and dental services available for you and your family. This will include support for a full range of medical services including COVID-19 vaccination, antenatal support for pregnant women and mental health support.

If you need help registering or filling in forms, call the GP surgery and let them know.

Back to top

Community support

There is support and guidance available throughout Trafford from our community hub partners. The six community hubs can be found in Altrincham, Old Trafford, Partington, Sale, Stretford and Urmston. The Hubs hope to provide information and advice that will help those arriving in the borough and to link with other members of the local Ukrainian community.

There is also a significant Ukrainian community in Greater Manchester. Further information is available from the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Manchester

Back to top

Food banks and emergency support

If you are struggling to provide food for you and your family, there are what are known as food banks in the UK that provide emergency support for people in need. Anyone who is struggling to afford food may be able to get help from a food bank. The Trussell Trust run Food Banks across Trafford.

That Bread and Butter Thing are a charity that provide low cost, nutritious food for their members. They provide food at much discounted rates. They run their services across Trafford on specific days.

Back to top

Working in the UK

Help finding a job

Jobcentre Plus helps people move from benefits into work and helps employers advertise jobs. It also deals with benefits for people who are unemployed or unable to work because of a health condition or disability. Jobcentre Plus provides a free employment advice service to everyone of working age, they can provide access to training opportunities and signpost to trusted partner organisations for specialist support. Jobcentre Plus has public computers to help you in your job search and offices can be found in most cities and some towns across the UK.

Proving you are allowed to work in the UK

You will need to apply for a National Insurance number to be able to continue to work or receive benefits in the UK. We recommend that you apply for a National Insurance number as soon as possible. You can look for and start work without a National Insurance number, if you can prove your right to work in the UK.

You can prove your right to work to an employer by showing them your Biometric Residence Permit or by showing them your visa in your passport. If your employer has any questions about this, please contact Access Trafford.

Back to top


Skills training

You are eligible to join one of the many training courses available in Trafford. Help and guidance are available from us for those looking to get into new work for the first time, back into employment, change direction or gain extra qualifications.

The Trafford Directory has information on over 200 free courses, training and apprenticeships available to you.

There is a dedicated Skills Information Officer, who is available to advise and inform Trafford residents. They can signpost people to courses and training and refer people into employment support.

English language training

We provide an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Advice Service. You can register to join an English course and find more information about local support services.

For more information you can contact

Back to top

If the relationship with your sponsor breaks down

If for any reason you need to end the sponsorship arrangement early, you should inform us as soon as possible.

Back to top

Further information

If you require any further information about your hosting arrangement, please contact Access Trafford, which is open between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Tel: 0161 912 2000 or