We are working with a variety of organisations to give advice and support to Ukrainians and their sponsors arriving in Reading. You will find information that will help you and your family to settle into life in the UK.
We recommend you complete the following actions when you arrive in Reading. They will ensure you have all the services you need. The Reading Ukrainian Advice Centre will be able to offer support in carrying them out. Please see Voluntary & Charity services section for more information on the centre.
The UK government of the UK pay Universal Credit to people of working age who have a low income or no income. This covers benefits whilst you are seeking work. We recommend that you apply for this immediately if you do not currently have a job in the UK.
It will take about 5 weeks before you get the first payment. You can ask your work coach to arrange for an advance. The advance is a loan which you will need to pay back.
If you are on a low income, you may be eligible to claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
You may be entitled to other social security benefits if:
You should check the Entitledto website to see if you could claim any other benefits.
This group consists of volunteer legal professionals with immigration/asylum expertise. They provide free UK advice on immigration and asylum to people fleeing Ukraine.
Help to claim gives free and confidential support to help you make a Universal Credit claim. People using the service get advice on anything to do with applying for the benefit.
The online chat is available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
Telephone: 0800 144 8444 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
You can call or chat to an advisor online if you’re having issues with money or debt. The online chat is available 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 0800 240 4420 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
Firstly, you should register with a doctor’s surgery. Information on this is given in the Top 5 things to do arrival section. You can also find information on getting a COVID vaccination there.
The NHS will provide necessary treatment to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and free of pain.
Berkshire healthcare provide information and support for school-age children. They make sure the children get appropriate health support, including immunisation and vaccination.
Public Health Nursing (health visiting, school nursing, immunisation) services
School-aged immunisation team
Healthwatch Reading can help you get the health and social care services you need. You can search the Healthwatch Reading website for information on a variety of health care services.
The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) can help young people suffering from a variety of problems. They can support those who self-harm or have eating disorders. They can also help those who are feeling very low, hearing voices or even considering killing themselves.
If you or your child are having a tough time, it’s important that you seek help.
Contact Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) to get a referral
If you have urgent concerns about your child’s mental health contact CAMHS CPE.
Telephone: 0300 365 1234 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday or 0800 129 9999 outside these hours.
The out of hours number is Berkshire Adults Mental Health Crisis Team. This team can take calls from young people and parents/carers.
Advice Ukraine are volunteer legal professionals with immigration and asylum expertise. They give free legal advice on UK immigration, visas and asylum from qualified and regulated lawyers.
The Romanian and Eastern European Hub offers support to people from these communities in the UK. Their staff and volunteers offer free support to those needing help due to language, digital, and cultural barriers.
UK government guidance on visa support for Ukrainian nationals.
Jobcentre Plus is a government-funded employment agency and social security office. They aim to help people of working age find employment.
Telephone: 0845 604 3719
Address: Adelphi House, Friar Street, Reading RG1 1HD
Reading Voluntary Action work to:
Telephone: 0118 937 2273
Address: 3rd floor, Central Library, Reading RG1 3BQ
Reading has schools for children all around the borough. If you’d like to enrol a child in a school, please contact: email@example.com or phone 0118 937 3777 (option 1).
Find more information about school admissions and term times
Family Information Service/Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provides information on funded childcare options. It also offers support for children and young adults with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Telephone: 0118 937 3777 (option 2)
Brighter Futures for Children is an independent, not-for-profit-company. It aims to deliver the best possible opportunities for the children of Reading. They deliver children’s social care, early help & prevention, and educational services.
Telephone: 0118 950 2480
CommuniCare is a local charity that offers information, advice and support. They can help Ukrainian families with:
Telephone: 0118 926 3941
Citizens Advice give support and advice on:
Telephone: 0808 278 7819 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
First Days can help with a wide range of products and essential items from beds, cots, buggies, nappies, clothes, school uniform and toys etc.
Reading Refugee Support Group (RRSG) helps refugees and asylum seekers to rebuild their lives.
They provide a safe space, support and social activities. They run English classes and assist with accessing education, volunteering and employment.
Telephone: 0118 950 5356
The Reading Ukraine Advice Centre helps with aspects of living in the UK. This includes using the NHS, housing, employment, education, benefits, consumer rights and, immigration. It also gives advice to family members and local sponsors of Ukrainian nationals. Advice is available in English, Ukrainian and Russian.
The centre is open 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Access to the service is by appointment. You can book in person or by phoning.
Telephone: 0118 952 3028
Address: 3rd Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ
The Reading Ukrainian Community Centre (RUCC) is a volunteer run organisation. It is run under the auspices of The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.
They have a coffee morning on Wednesdays for new arrivals to meet and get to know each other.
They organise regular social and cultural events for the Ukrainian community in the greater Reading area. They welcome all Ukrainians and also host families
They do not give advice, but will signpost to other organisations.
The Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) website lists many charitable organisations and services. It may be useful to help you find relevant services.
Sanctuary Hosting matches volunteer hosts with refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable migrants. They provide temporary housing for those at risk of homelessness.
Telephone: 07926 930848
The Cowshed can provide:
Referrals can be made by support services such as GPs, health visitors, churches, charities and social service agencies
Guests on the Ukraine Family or Sponsorship visa schemes can be referred by their host using the online referral form
The Mustard Tree supports and empowers the marginalised or overlooked. They create and support projects which address unmet needs.
British Red Cross Society offers information and support to people from Ukraine who are in the UK. This includes family migration visa and the Ukrainian family scheme.
Telephone: 0808 196 3651 (10am to 6pm daily)
If you need an interpreter say “can I speak to an interpreter?”
You can get housing advice from our housing web pages and housing department.
Telephone: 0118 937 2165 (please leave a message and they will call you back)
We have advice about helping with the cost of food.
Dee Caf offers a community fridge and cooked meals. Their normal service is Wednesdays, 3.00 to 3.30pm.
Telephone: 0118 9960478
Address: Unit 1, Montague House, 12 Spey Road, Tilehurst RG30 4DG
CIRDIC offers cooked meals, food, clothes and showers. Their normal service is Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am to 1.30pm and Sunday sit-down meal 9 to 10am.
Telephone: 0118 950 2536
Address: St Saviours Church Hall, Berkeley Avenue, Reading RG1 6JT
New Beginnings offer food, meals, toiletries and clothes. Cooked meals are offered on Tuesdays, 6 to 7pm. Warm drinks, fresh produce and other food is available on Wednesdays, 12 to 1pm, Thursdays and Fridays, 6 to 7pm. The Way Ministry offers cooked meals on Sundays, 3 to 4pm.
Telephone: 07421 998208
Address: Queens Arms, Great Knollys Street, Reading RG1 7HL
Sadaka offer cooked meals with a vegetarian option available. They also offer food bags and toiletries on Saturdays, 11.30am to 1pm.
Telephone: 0118 324 6565
Address: Fairview Centre, Great Knollys Street, Reading RG1 7HL
Weller Centre offer fresh food and long shelf-life food on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9.30am.
Telephone: 0118 947 5828
Address: 110 Amersham Road, Reading RG4 5NA
Whitley Community Development Association offer a community cafe, fresh and long life food on weekdays, 9am to 1pm.
Telephone: 0118 374 0052
Address: 252-260 Northumberland Avenue, Reading RG2 7QA
Green Space allows residents to grow fresh food.
Telephone: 0118 950 7656
ReadiFood give out food to people who have been referred to them. You can get a referral from a professional body or agency if you are in need.
Telephone: 0118 987 2672
Address: 79 Silver Street, Reading RG1 2SU
The Blue Badge scheme allows people to park closer to their destination. They are issued to people, not vehicles. This means a Blue Badge holder can use it in any vehicle they travel in.
Reading Buses are offering free travel to Ukrainian refugees for 48 hours from arrival in the UK. The offer is valid on all Reading Buses, Newbury & District and Thames Valley Buses. This includes Green Line 702 and 703 services from London and Heathrow.
Ukrainians will just need to show the driver their passport and a boarding pass which shows they arrived in the UK in the last 48 hours. They will then be able to travel for free to their destination.
Library cards are free. You can use the library for many things:
We have a variety of leisure centres in Reading. They offer services like sports, swimming and gyms.