Settling in the UK

Information for all arrivals

Here are a few practical tips to help you settle into East Sussex. Your host may be able to help you with these:  

  • Your host needs to register your arrival with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) on this form Homes for Ukraine – East Sussex County Council, this will trigger the £200 welcome paymentyou are going to receive to help you settle in the area. You will receive a text with a QR code which must be taken to a post office along with your ID in order to collect the cash. Alternatively you can email with your name, host name, address, arrival date and UK mobile number and request the £200 welcome payment. 
  • You can request a Vodafone SIM card from us at 3VA ( having a UK number is essential for setting up bank accounts, GPs, Universal Credit application etc. You host can request this SIM card prior to your arrival. 
  • Make a Universal Credit (UC) benefits application Universal Credit online on day 1 or 2 of your arrival as there is a 5 week wait before receiving your payment. UC don’t back date, so you will only receive money from the day you first register.  

To submit the claim, bank account details must be added, if you don’t have a UK bank account yet you can use your host’s or a friend’s, then when you have your own bank account you log into UC account and update the bank details. UC will never make a payment without confirming bank details are correct; this is done by the claimant taking proof of bank account to the Contact Jobcentre Plus.  

  1. Once the application is completed, you should receive a call or a message on your UC account inviting you for a meeting at the nearby Job centre. You must bring ID, visa letter and any other documents requested to the meeting.  
  2. Once your ID has been verified and your claim approved, you will be able to request an advance payment to help you financially during the 5-week wait for your first UC payment. This advance would then need to be paid back over a 12–24-month period.  
  3. As a UC claimant, you can ask if you are eligible for a 50% travel discount pass from your job coach. This will provide you with discounted rail and bus travel. 
  • Make a Child Benefit claim if you have children under 16 years or any children under 19 years and in full education. Do not send original documents as requested on the form. Ask the Job Centre to make certified photocopies and send the copies with the child benefit application form.  Child Benefit claim form
  • Citizens Advice Search for your local Citizens Advice  can also help with benefit advice and making claims. They have Ukrainian and Russian telephone interpreters available. Appointments can be booked via their website or by calling up.   
  • The fastest bank to open is with Monzo. You must have a UK phone number and download the app on your phone. The application is quick and straightforward, you should receive a bank card within 7 days. 
  • Apply for a national insurance number Apply for a National Insurance number
  • Book your biometric appointment which provides you with a resident permit and extends the visa to the 3 years stay in the UK you are entitled to. Ukraine Scheme BRP)
  •  If you have a new Ukrainian passport you might have provided your biometrics already. In your visa confirmation email, it will advise you to collect your biometric resident permit from the post office you selected in your visa application.  
  • A free 1-month Brighton and Hove bus pass can be obtained from their travel shop in Brighton, 1 StopTravel, 26 NorthStreet, Brighton, BN1 1EB, you must go there with your ID.  
  • Compass bus passes can be requested from us at          
  • Bus and train travel expenses to attend NHS hospital referral appointments can be claimed back for most people on Universal Credit and Pension Credit. See full details attached and claim form Layout 1 (   
  • Support with employment is available from East Sussex, Support Into Work Service, to find out more visit this website Refugees 
  • Visit your local GP practice and ask to register with them. You host might be able to help you complete the forms Find a GP

Find Ukrainian Groups, Meetings and Activities in your locality with our Map

  1. Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain – Mariia Savvinova, 07521419195,

Art therapy for adults and children; Yoga; Cultural & donation events; Celebrations; Trips; community building

  1. Community Chef – Robin Van Creveld, 07766 526217,

Cookery workshops for children and adults in Lewes Wealden and Eastbourne; Cookery and baking courses; Training how to start in the food industry; Art for Wellbeing courses; Holiday cookery activities for children

  1. Crowborough Meeting Hub – All Saints Church, TN61EF, Parisa, 01892 652081,

Social meeting and café; Free cakes and refreshments; Free items; Food pantry; Host and Ukrainian guest support  from support agencies; English classes Weds 11-13pm, Tuesdays 10-12am (contact Cathy- 01892 652081 extension 1004, email:

  1. Diversity Resource International – Patrick Nyikavaranda, 07586 340592,

Level 3 Community Interpreting courses for Ukrainians of all East Sussex – for information on how to apply for the course email: or call 01273 473986

  1. Eastbourne Ukraine meeting Hub – St Johns Church, BN20 7ND. Tuesdays 4pm-6pm. Maggie Gibson, 07912 180149,

Family activities; English Class group; Children’s games indoors and outdoors; Woolcraft and patchwork; Pilates; Cookery demonstrations; Events and celebrations; Signposting; Advisers on site from 3VA and ESCC; Warm meal; Refreshments

  1. Egg LearnEnglish courses – Wealden, Lewes & Eastbourne districts. Sam Reid, Courses for Cambridge English Language Qualifications A2 – C1
  2. East Sussex Junior Badminton Academy – Martin Bilton, 0779 699 3769, Junior badminton classes in East Sussex on weekends October to May
  3. East Sussex Ukraine Support – Alison Matwijiszyn and Shiennah Moncharro, 07776130970,

Support for Ukrainians in all East Sussex/Brighton; Events; Social meetings; Trips; Support with housing; Transport; Administrative issues support; Donations.

  1. Lewes for Ukraineorganisation– Helen Chiasson,

Ukraine social meeting hub Wednesdays 10-12am at Christ Church, Prince Edward’s road Lewes BN71BL; Advice and Support with practical issues; Referral to agencies; Hardship grants; Free items; Donations; Fundraising events; Refreshments & snacks

  1. LOSRAS – Gill Tipping and Alison Bell,

Signposting; Referrals and partnership with voluntary and statutory agencies; Support to hosts and guests; ESOL; Promotion of local events

  1. Mayfacs – Freya Huxtable, 01435 873888,

Meetings; Crafts; Family and Children activities; Creative writing; Poetry; Films; Games; Repair café; Trips and visits; English lessons; Paperwork support; Bus passes; Support with housing; Furniture; Employment in local area; Food bank referrals

  1. Moving Sounds– Keith Ellis, 07813027345,

Music therapeutic group workshops and sessions in Wealden and Eastbourne; Youth workshops; Host and guest support

  1. Networxs – Anna Reid,

Support for families; Resettlement needs; School uniform; Transport costs when moving home; Referrals to support agencies and English courses

  1. Newick Ukraine meeting Hub – Newick Community Centre, BN8 4LR. Fridays 10-12. Patsy, 01825 722590

Social meeting hub; Family activities; Networking; Signposting; Coffee and Cake

  1. Our Neighbourhood – Leaf Hall, Seaside, 51, Eastbourne, BN22 7NB. Ekaterina Parfenova,

One to one practical support and advice with interpreter, Monday 4.30-6.30pm term-time only; Workshops; Events; Local information.

  1. Proud to be Ukrainian Group – Daryna Bohdan, +380661338838 (WhatsApp),,

Based in Uckfield, but present in all East Sussex; Ukrainian Culture events; ART classes; Singing; Pysanka painting; Ukrainian craft making workshops

  1. Sanctuary organisation – All souls Church hall, BN21 3TH. Gill Caroe,

Friday drop-in advice meeting and activities 10-12; English conversation classes; Art/Sporting/Social activities; Trips

  1. Sunflower Project – James Lyle ,07840268596,

Art classes; Pilates; Dance, Singing classes; Choir; Wellbeing activities; Creative writing; Events and celebrations

  1. Unity Centre; Massages for Ukrainians and hosts; contacts and info to be confirmed
  2. Union Church – Station Rd, Heathfield TN21 8LB. Vicky Martin, 01435 867195,

Food pantry; Parent and toddler group; Signposting to support agencies and local support.



Eastbourne Arrivals Information

Welcome to Eastbourne

English classes at East Sussex College, Eastbourne campus: express interest via this link for next term ESOL COURSE

Twin Employment and Training offer regular English Language classes, please email to ask for more information. 

You are welcome to attend the Ukraine meetings for Eastbourne where you will meet other Ukrainians, find out useful information and access to services, as well as members of charities who will be able to help you:

  • Eastbourne hub for Ukraine – Social meeting, cake and refreshments, hot meal, free items, activities for adults and children, host and Ukrainian guest support and advice from coming in agencies. Tuesdays 4-6pm @ St John the Evangelist Church, St Johns Road, Eastbourne, BN20 7ND. For more info contact
  • Our Neighbourhood Ukrainian Support – One to one support sessions with Ukrainian speakers and the 3VA team.  Please prebook a timeslot in advance. Meetings can be organised online via Zoom or offline at the Leaf Hall Monday 4.30-6.30pm @ Leaf Hall, Seaside, 51, Eastbourne BN22 7NB. Not working on Bank Holidays. For more info & session prebooking, please, contact

Please contact us at 3VA for any more information or support on 

Lewes Arrivals Information

Welcome to Lewes

English classes at East Sussex College, Lewes campus: express interest via this link for next term ESOL COURSE

There are Ukraine meeting groups in Lewes. These meetings are free, friendly and informative, representative of voluntary organisations visit the meetings to help with settling in the UK:   

  • Café Ukraine – Social meeting, refreshments, free items, English language classes, host and Ukrainian guest support and advice from coming in agencies. Wednesdays 10-12 am @ Christ Church Lewes BN7 1BL. For more info contact
  • Newick hub – Social meeting, refreshments, free items, compass bus passes, host and Ukrainian guest support and advice from coming in agencies. Fridays 10-12am @ Newick Community Centre BN8 4LR. For more info contact

Please contact us at 3VA for any more information and support on  


Wealden Arrivals Information

Welcome to Wealden

English classes at East Sussex College, Eastbourne campus: express interest via this link for next term ESOL COURSE

Here is a list of Ukraine meetings you are welcome to attend to socialise, find out useful information and get help, advice and more:  

Crowborough  hub – Social meeting, refreshments, free items, free food provision from the Crowborough pantry, host and Ukrainian guest support and advice from coming in agencies, English language support. Tuesdays 10-12am @ All saints church, Crowborough TN61EF

East Sussex Ukraine Support – Social meetings and events, host and Ukrainian guest support, housing support, donations, free groceries and toiletries. For more info contact

Global Café, Hailsham – Social meeting, cake and refreshments, pool tables and ping-pong, English classes. Thursday during term time 10:30-12pm  @ Christ Church, Hailsham, BN273GY . For more info and reservations for the English classes contact Sarah Simmons on 07715488238.

Mayfield & Five Ashes (and the surrounding areas) – Ukraine Support & Signposting. Providing everyday support with isolation and connecting, housing, work, items needed, English classes, accessing wider support and advice, community integration, transport support. Please contact via, 01435 873888 or by popping in the MAYFACS office London House, High Street, Mayfield, East Sussex, TN20 6AQ

Rotherfield  hub – Social meeting, refreshments, host and Ukrainian guest support and advice from coming in agencies. Thursdays 2-4pm    @ Rotherfield St Martin, The Memorial Institute Building, Rotherfield,TN6 3LX. For more info contact

Please contact us at 3VA for any more information and support on