Support and welcome for arrivals from Ukraine

Looking after you


We are here for you, and is firmly standing in support of Ukraine. We warmly welcome you to our new city and hope you find the place and the people friendly and helpful. We have produced this information to help you start to settle in here. Please do reach out and contact some of these organisations if they can help with anything at all. They, and we as a council, are here for you.


The Storehouse (Coleman Street, central Southend) has a food bank available. Please do come and see us if you need food, toiletries etc.

Finances and benefits

Universal Credit

You can access Universal Credit as soon as you arrive in the UK. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs.

For details, visit:

If you have questions about how Universal Credit works, you can call:

  • 0800 328 5644 to speak to Universal Credit Full Service
  • 0800 144 8 444 to speak to Citizens Advice Help to Claim

Other benefits

You are also eligible for:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Living Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance

Those who meet the criteria are eligible for the contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance.

Visit GOV.UK to find out more and apply.

Setting up a bank account

To receive Universal Credit and other benefits, you will need to open a bank account. You can open a bank account by visiting any bank. You will need to have documents that show your identity, immigration status and address.

Health services

Registering with a GP

Ukrainian nationals can receive emergency treatment from a GP surgery for 14 days.

After that, you will need to register with a GP on The NHS website

Getting a prescription

You will need to visit your new GP to get a prescription. You should then take your prescription to a pharmacy or chemist to receive the medication. You may need to pay for prescription medicines.

Pharmacists can give free advice on treating minor health problems, such as colds and coughs.

Find a local pharmacy on the NHS website

Health advice from 111

Get free health advice from the NHS by phoning 111 or visiting 111 online. There is an interpreter service available.

Dentistry services

You can register with a dentist. Find a dentist at

If you are receiving Universal Credit, you should let the practice know and register as an NHS patient. Check-ups and necessary treatments will be free.

Maternity care and midwifery services

A GP can arrange appointments with maternity and midwifery services.

Covid-19 vaccine

You can get the Covid-19 vaccine and boosters free through the NHS. You will need to be registered with a GP.

Find out how to get the Covid-19 vaccine on the NHS website

Where to get the vaccine in Southend on the Essex Covid Vaccine website

Health information in other languages

Please visit the NHS website for health information in other languages, including in Ukrainian.

Doctors of the World has health information in Ukrainian, including a guide on how the NHS works.

Psychology Tools has provided free resources about trauma and stress in Ukrainian, Polish and Russian. They may help people who have experienced the war in Ukraine.

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