A new support hub to provide valuable support and advice to Ukrainian nationals who have relocated to Reading has opened at Reading Central Library.
The Reading Ukraine Advice Centre will help with aspects of living in the UK such as using the NHS, housing, employment, education, benefits, consumer rights, immigration, and lots more. It will also provide advice to family members and local sponsors of Ukrainian nationals.
Located on the third floor at Reading Central Library, the centre will be open 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Access to the service is by appointment which can be booked in person or by phoning 0118 952 3028.
Reading has welcomed more than 90 Ukrainian guests since the Russian invasion in February, and many more due to arrive over the next few weeks and months.
Mick Pollek of Reading Ukrainian Community Centre said. “Whilst Reading has had more than 90 arrivals; as the regional Ukrainian Community Centre we have also welcomed guests from other Local Authority areas. We endeavour to help all as best we can.”
“From the day after the invasion Reading Mayor Cllr Rachel Eden and Cllr Jason Brock have moved heaven and earth to help us. They made it possible, in conjunction with Citizens Advice Reading, to set up this very important wraparound help and advice centre. In our view it’s a gold standard provision that should be repeated in other Local Authorities. It’s a hand in glove service with our centre in Sidmouth Street.”
Fraser Gleave, Citizens Advice Reading, Advice Services Manager said. “We're really excited to be able to tailor our service to people coming to Reading from Ukraine and to have space that is entirely for them in Reading Central Library.”
“The council's support in providing this service is a brilliant step for the town as it not only shows their commitment to helping this group of people, but also enables us to do it without compromising our existing service to the community.”
“With close support from Reading Ukrainian Community Centre (RUCC) and by involving recent arrivals from Ukraine in the service, we're confident that the strengths of the Citizens Advice service and expertise of RUCC will mean that our two local charities offer an unmatched level of support to people fleeing the war.”
The Reading Ukraine Advice Centre is run by Citizens Advice Reading with support from Reading Ukrainian Community Centre and funded by Reading Borough Council.
In March Reading Mayor Councillor Rachel Eden launched an appeal for financial donations to the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre. Make a donation.