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War Refugees

Information for all refugees, people affected by the conflict in Ukraine and for people who want to do something to help.

If you are a refugee

If you are looking for help, there are many services to assist refugees from us and our partners, no matter where the conflict is.

The help you can get may depend on how you have arrived and where you are from because there are schemes for people affected by specific conflicts, and schemes for people who have family support or no family support.

New schemes have recently been put in place specifically to help people affected by the war in Ukraine and these will be listed below.

Help in other languages

Most services can provide an interpreter and we will simply need to know the language you need help in. Please say in English the name of the language you need help in.

Where to start

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council

You can access many services through this website, including housing and advice.

At our head office in King’s Lynn, we can help you with access to housing, money, childcare and schools, working, health services, documents and much more.

If you would like talk to us in person our available times are on Mondays (9:00am - 12:00pm) and Thursdays (9:00am - 12:00pm)

Book a slot by calling us on 01553 616200.

Access and Hanseatic Union

These are local charities who support migrants and refugees to access services and settle into new communities:

Drop in sessions are available on Mondays (3:00pm - 6:00pm) and Tuesdays (10:00am - 1:00pm)


Some services can be accessed through certain local libraries, including internet access and activities for children and families. Special sessions for people affected by the conflict in Ukraine are running in the King’s Lynn library on Mondays (10:00am - 3:00pm) and Thursdays (2.30pm - 6:00pm).

Finding family members

If you have lost contact with family members, you can email, giving your full name and telephone number for help in finding them.

Please keep trying to contact them in the meantime as the loss of contact is often temporary. This service is for finding people, it is not for help with transporting people out of conflict areas.

Help for people affected by war in Ukraine

There are different types of help available, depending on what support you have in the UK:

Ukraine Family Scheme

The government’s Ukraine Family Scheme has been set up to help people come to the UK if they are family members of British nationals or family members of people settled in the UK.

You can apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa on the GOV.UK website.

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

To apply to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme an individual must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, who:

  • has been residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine)
  • is currently outside the UK
  • has a UK-based sponsor who is eligible for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme

You can apply for a Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme visa on the GOV.UK website.

Support for Ukrainians without sponsorship or family in the UK

If you arrive without sponsorship and you do not have family in the UK, you should start with the council, charities or library.

You can find out more about this option by reading the 'Where to start' section above.

Travel within the UK for Ukrainian nationals

The Rail Delivery Group has announced that they are offering free travel to Ukrainian nationals travelling to the UK on National Rail services, to help them get to a safe place.  To make use of this scheme, Ukrainians will need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing their arrival into the UK. The offer is valid across all train operators in England, Scotland and Wales, and they will have 48 hours from arrival in the UK to complete their journey.

Barnardo’s Ukrainian Support Helpline

Barnardo’s has set up the Ukrainian Support Helpline to provide a support service to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. The free helpline 0800 148 8586 is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, to offer support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine.

It is open Monday – Friday (10:00am – 8:00pm) and Saturday (10:00am – 3:00pm). Callers will be able to get help and advice on a range of issues. A dedicated email address has also been set up.

The government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website has lots more information about the Ukraine conflict.

If you want to help

Financial and goods donations

If you wish to make a financial donation, we recommend giving through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). This is because it’s a national organisation working on behalf of 15 large charities to co-ordinate donations.

There are many smaller appeals. If you do decide to donate to a smaller charity, protect your donation by checking the charity first at Charity Checker.

If you would like to donate goods, please check local media and social media because the collections change all the time – this is because different charities will organise their own collections, which may include different lists of goods that they’re looking for.

A good place to start is the charity Access. They work with migrants in this area and the Access Facebook page will tell you when and where they are collecting, and what items they are looking for.

You can also make other offers of help – housing, jobs, settling in or specialist services – through the GOV.UK help refugees page. You need to choose East of England, then Norfolk.

If you specifically want to help people affected by the war in Ukraine

The Government launched its Home for Ukraine Scheme on 14 March 2022. If you feel able to help, you should read the information and associated FAQs on the Government website before registering.

Ukrainian humanitarian aid website

The Ukrainian Government has set up a dedicated humanitarian aid website for those that would like to help during the crisis.

Emergency support scheme

If you are a Ukrainian refugee, or acting on their behalf, please complete the referral form below for support with essentials such as food, clothing and fuel costs. The Lily team will be in touch to discuss your needs and what can be offered to help.

Ukrainian crisis support referral form