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Refugee support

Ukrainian refugee support

The City of York stands in solidarity with refugees; we have a long and proud history of supporting refugees in York, and we're ready to do so again.

Support Ukraine and Ukrainians

Find out what you can do support Ukraine and Ukrainians from The Ukrainian Institute London, there's information about donations, demonstrations of support, and a link to UkraineNow for coordinating help related to evacuations, medical supplies, food, and hosting Ukrainians who have left the country.

York City of Sanctuary is looking at putting in place a community support network for Ukrainians. Any Ukrainians living in York, or anyone who has Ukrainian friends or relatives should get in touch with the charity, email:

An information guide for hosts and Ukrainian people is available on the York City of Sanctuary website. The guide has been produced by partners working together to provide advice, guidance and practical support and covers frequently asked questions and includes links to support services.

We know that lots of our residents feel strongly about the situation in Ukraine, and you want to help those affected by the Russian invasion.

See information on ways to support Ukrainian refugees and the support available to refugees themselves:

Organisations and appeals

While we're not collecting donations directly, you can support organisations and appeals, such as:

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Upcoming events and opportunities in York

To list events or opportunities to support Ukrainian people in York on this page, please email:

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Homes for Ukraine

Register with the government's Homes for Ukraine if:

  • you can offer accommodation to a Ukrainian refugee
  • you’re a Ukrainian looking for a sponsor

The scheme requires potential sponsors to undertake a visa application naming a potential Ukrainian guest. York City of Sanctuary in partnership with City of York Council have set up a sponsorship matching register and a support network for refugees coming to York.

Please contact York City of Sanctuary if you are from Ukraine and are living in York or surrounding areas and want to help family and friends join the Homes for Ukraine scheme, email

If you have accommodation and would like to sponsor a refugee from Ukraine, please fill out the form and register your interest in being a host or sponsor with York City of Sanctuary who will aim to link you with a Ukrainian refugee seeking a visa.

The council will be notified by UK government when a visa is granted, and we'll contact the sponsor to make a home visit to inspect your property and to undertake criminal record checks on you and your family.

The council will then support the sponsor and the guest(s) through a worker who will be assigned to you to ensure that guests receive a warm welcome, immediate financial help, all necessary practical support to access school places and other relevant services, and ongoing support as required to integrate successfully into life in York.

For information, advice and support about the Homes for Ukraine scheme in York, contact You can also read some frequently asked questions about the government scheme.

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Ukraine Family Scheme

On Friday 4 March 2022, the UK launched the Ukraine Family Scheme. The Ukraine Family Scheme allows immediate and extended family members of British nationals, people settled in the UK, and certain others resident here, to come to the country.

Those granted under the scheme will be granted a visa that lasts three years, giving them certainty and ensuring their future in the country.

For more information on the scheme visit Ukraine Family Scheme

Ukraine nationals who have come to York on a Ukraine Family Scheme visa do not have access to the specific support provided under the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme; however, you will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

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Support for hosts and Ukrainian families in York

The Government has a welcome guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK.

National benefits are administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and health benefits.

Other benefits are administered by local councils, including Council Tax Support and emergency support.

For more information see

An information guide providing support for hosts and Ukrainian people is available on the York City of Sanctuary website. The guide has been produced by partners working together to provide advice, guidance and practical support and covers frequently asked questions and includes links to support services.

Drop-in sessions for Ukrainian refugees are held at York City Church, The Citadel, Gillygate, YO31 7EA.

The Ukrainian Welcome Café sessions are held every other Thursday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. A meal will be provided.

The drop-in sessions offer:

  • a social space for Ukrainians to connect with each other - to be together in a safe space, to speak their own language, to comfort one another, and grieve together
  • a supportive space for Ukrainians to access advice and services - the drop-in will have advisors to help refugees access health care, English lessons, benefits and other services

See more information on the Ukrainian Welcome Café on the York City of Sanctuary website, or email:

Many of the children and families arriving in the UK who have fled the conflict in Ukraine, have experienced trauma; the Barnado's Ukrainian Support Helpline staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, can offer support - help and advice is available on a range of issues.

To contact Barnardo’s free helpline, telephone: 0800 148 8586, Monday to Friday, from 10.00am to 8.00pm, or Saturday, 10.00am to 3.00pm. Alternatively, email:

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Ukrainian refugees and council tax

The government has introduced regulations to ensure that housing Ukrainian refugees will not affect council tax. The new council tax regulations, Council Tax (Discount Disregards and Exempt Dwellings) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022, came into force on 12 April 2022.

Households hosting Ukrainian refugees under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme or Family Scheme should notify the Council Tax Team of any arrivals and change of circumstances by email to:, providing the following information:

  • names of all refugees aged 18 years or over
  • the address where they are staying
  • the date they moved into property
  • whether they are staying with a host family, or at a second/empty home
  • the host's name(s)
  • the host's home address, if different

The Homes for Ukraine team will also notify the Council Tax Team by email to advise them of every Ukrainian refugee arrival on the Homes for Ukraine scheme, providing this information.

The Council Tax Team will check any council tax discounts or charges in place at the property, such as Single Occupancy Discount, or additional charges for empty properties.

Where a property was previously empty, the Ukrainian refugee(s) will be made the named liable party. They will receive a new bill in their name.

Ukrainian refugees who are made liable for council tax and have received a council tax bill may be able to claim Council Tax Support.

Any other queries regarding council tax for Ukrainian refugees should be made by email to:

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Also see

Refugee Support

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA