How to help people in Ukraine

Support for people of Ukraine

The Scottish Government has set up a website about how to give your support. 

Register as a host

Accessible through the UK Government’s online portal, a distinct route to accommodation, support and care in Scotland - the Warm Scots Welcome - is now available to people displaced by the invasion of Ukraine.

Acting as a ‘super sponsor’, the Scottish Government’s route removes the need for applicants to be matched to a named individual before they are cleared to travel to the UK through the visa system.

A welcome guide for Ukrainians

The UK Government has published a welcome guide for people arriving from Ukraine with information on what to expect in the first few days and how to settle in with your sponsor family. The UK Government has also published guidance on how people coming from Ukraine can update their immigration status after their arrival.

How hosts can support their Ukrainian guest/s

The Gov.UK website has FAQs and advice for hosts. The Scottish Government has also published guidance for hosts under the Super Sponsor Scheme.

Local help and support for Ukrainians and hosts

Host checks

Hosts will be contacted directly by the council either before or as soon as possible after your Ukrainian family or individual arrives. If you have applied to be a host and have questions about the process please read the information below and,  if needed, contact us at:

Ukraine arrivals emergency payment

For information on how to claim the £200 per person emergency payment please email:

Payments to hosts

The council will set up arrangements directly with hosts.

Getting medical help in Midlothian

To set up a bank account

The Royal Bank of Scotland has online help for Ukrainians wishing to open an account.

Staff in local branches of any banks or building societies will help Ukrainian customers set up accounts.

Claiming benefits

People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim benefits immediately.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has information about how Ukrainians in the UK can get financial help.

Your local Jobcentre Plus staff can help make sure Ukrainians claim Universal Credits and other benefits. 

Dalkeith JobCentre Plus
7 Buccleuch St, 
Dalkeith 
EH22 1HB
Call 0800 169 0190

Our Midlothian Council Welfare Rights Team can help with benefit advice for social work clients, people over pension age, people with cancer or their carers, and people who need help appealing a DWP decision.

  • 0131 270 8922

The Ukraine Hub - a wellbeing hub for children and families

In line with current guidance, a Wellbeing Hub is open in Danderhall Primary School.  The Wellbeing Hub is open from 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday. Summer holiday arrangements are to be confirmed but our FAQs page has more details. 

Ukrainian families will be encouraged to attend the hub, where staff and volunteers from a range of services including education, health and social care and the third sector will assess and plan the educational and wellbeing needs of individual children.

Current statutory duties around placing requests will also be taken into account. 

Parents/families will also be given wellbeing support and help to access other activities and groups across Midlothian. 

A member of our Communities and Lifelong Learning team will be at the Ukraine Hub on Tuesdays between 11.30am and 12.45pm. They will offer help and advice on learning, training and employability including access to classes and activities such as youth clubs.  

To register for a place:

School transport

School transport will be discussed with each family.  

School meals and clothing grants

All Ukrainian children attending school in our education centre will get a free school meal. Clothing grants will be offered to individual families. 

Leisure centres

Ukrainian families can use Midlothian Council’s leisure facilities/ swimming pools at a reduced cost. Contact Ukrainesupport@midlothian.gov.uk to request a “concession card” which you can use at the leisure facilities,

Bus passes

Ukrainians could be eligible for free or discounted travel to get around Scotland if they are:

  • aged 5 to 21 years
  • over 60
  • or have a disability.

Find out more and apply

Help with communicating

The council's website can be translated into written or spoken Ukrainian by using the headphones icon on the bottom left hand side of every page.

Google Translate can help with translating basic conversation into written or spoken Ukrainian.

Further council help and support

If you still need help:

If you are worried about a child or an adult

  • Children & Families on 0131 271 3413 (Emergency Out of Hours: 0800 731 6969) 
  • Adult Social Care on 0131 271 3900 (Emergency Out of Hours: 0800 731 6969)

Other local supports

Our Support for All page has contact details for local organisations who can help with issues such as mental health and food and fuel poverty.

Housing in Midlothian

Midlothian will rehome a comparatively small number of refugees. We use a points system to work out how urgent anyone's housing need is so that we can prioritise how council-owned homes are allocated.

People with more urgent needs rise to the top of the list more quickly. People who are more flexible about where they live may get a tenancy more quickly if they accept a property that others have refused.

Help from other agencies

Scottish Refugee Council

The Scottish Refugee Council is running a Ukrainian Family Scheme. It is holding regular online information sessions for people affected by the Ukraine conflict who have recently arrived in Scotland and for relatives who have welcomed or are about to welcome their family arriving from Ukraine.

Ukrainian Institute

The Ukrainian Institue has information for refugees in the UK.

Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) 

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) provides impartial, factual, accurate information and analysis to members in support of Scottish Parliament parliamentary business.

SPICe has published a briefing about supporting Ukrainians to come to the UK.

Gov.UK

The Westminster Government has pages on its website with more information on what we can all do to help the people of Ukraine.

Metropolitan Police

Barnardo’s UK-wide helpline

The charity, Barnardo’s, following discussion with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, has set up the Ukrainian Support Helpline to provide an holistic support service. The helpline is available to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. 

To donate

You can help by donating money as this is a safe, quick and direct way to support people in Ukraine, according to national and international agencies.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)

The DEC brings together 15 leading aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas.

The British Red Cross

The British Red Cross has launched the Ukraine Crisis Appeal.  You can find FAQs and donate on its website. 

UNHCR – United Nations Refugee Agency

The  UNHCR supports people fleeing conflict and persecution to seek protection and rebuild their lives. To donate visit its website.

UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Agency

UNICEF protects children. To support their Ukrainian appeal visit the website to donate.

Oxfam

The charity Oxfam, which works to help beat world-wide poverty, has launched an appeal to support people in Ukraine. Visit the website to donate.