Main information for Ukrainian refugees in Scotland

Note that this is just a short overview of the most useful information. You can find our full guide here: A Displaced Person's Guide to Scotland

Important information:

  • https://edinburgh.mfa.gov.ua/ - Consulate of Ukraine in Edinburgh, (+44)7909056906, can be contacted for help in general.
  • The official guide for Ukrainians from the British government: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TXLvvZZoKsA4MsV6DsTHl0i9oVFnt9Wt/view?usp=sharing (Ukrainian)
  • The phone number for ambulance, police and firefighters is 999 or 112.
  • Police non-emergency number - 101.
  • NHS (healthcare) telephone for non-emergency care - 111. You do NOT need to be registered with a GP to get help from them. This is also the phone number you should call if you’re in need of emergency dentistry. They have Ukrainian and Russian interpreters if necessary.
  • Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (aka the Ukrainian Club) - 14 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, open Tuesday and every second Thursday from 10am until approximately 1pm. Contact via Facebook and email (edinburgh@augb.co.uk). Also exists in Glasgow (the contact email is glasgow@augb.co.uk). AUGB Edinburgh Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AUGBEdinburgh AUGB Glasgow Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GlasgowUkrainians/ AUGB offers humanitarian aid as well as advice and community links.

Upon arrival in Scotland:

  • Edinburgh Official 24/7 Refugee Support Hotline - +441312002306 (English, sometimes Ukrainian - this depends on the specific worker).
  • The welcome hub in Edinburgh is located at the RBS House Gogarburn (175 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, EH12 1HQ). It’s open 9-17 during weekdays and 9-16 during weekends.
  • Glasgow official refugee support helplines: +44 141 222 7352 (9am to 5pm) or +44 300 343 1505 (out of hours). Both lines are in English.
  • Glasgow welcome hubs - Holiday Inn, Paisley PA3 2TE; Best Western Argyle Hotel, 27 Washington St, Glasgow G3 8AZ. You can use whichever one is closest to you.
  • Aberdeen official refugee support helpline: +44 800 0304 713
  • Aberdeen doesn’t have an official welcome hub, but you will normally be directed to Farburn Terrace, Dyce, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB21 7DW, Scotland.
  • Cairnryan Ferry Port official refugee support helplines: +44 3033 333 001 (during the day) or +44 1387 273 660 (during the evening, night or early morning).
  • The welcome hub associated with Cairnryan is located at the Municipal Chambers, Buccleuch St, Dumfries DG1 2AD

Language support:

  • Some Scottish services do not yet have Ukrainian or Russian translators. You can submit a request to Respond: Crisis in Translation https://respondcrisistranslation.org/uk/need-support (in Ukrainian). Respond offer phone interpretation as well as certified document translation.
  • We recommend an app called SayHi for automated voice translation. You can speak in your own language through it and it will automatically translate your words into English: https://www.sayhi.com/en/translate/
  • You can automatically translate any webpage into Ukrainian or Russian by going to the Google Translate page, pressing the Websites button, choosing the original and the target language, and then pasting the url of the website you need to translate into the field. You will then be able to use the website in your desired language.

What to do upon arrival:

  1. During the first 6 months, apply for the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). See paragraph 1.2 of the official guide.
  2. Create a bank account (Monzo, Revolut, Royal Bank of Scotland)
  3. Get a proof of residence - it can be a bank statement, letter from the sponsor, utility bill, rental agreement, etc.
  4. Register with a doctor (GP = General Phyisician, i.e. family physician).
  5. Apply for benefits. We recommend this step to everyone even if you do not intend to remain on benefits for a long amount of time. It helps the council process you through the system and offer you direct assistance. See details in the main guide.
  6. If you’ve applied for benefits, you will be automatically given a NINO (National Insurance Number) - this is required for work. If you haven’t, you will need to apply for it separately.

Contact with other Ukrainians:

Medical aid:

  • All Ukrainian refugees arriving in Scotland under the visa schemes are entitled to free use of the local health care system (except for some services, such as dental). Prescriptions in Scotland are free, and prescription drugs are also provided free of charge.
  • Before you make an appointment with a doctor, you must register at the local medical practice.

You can find your local GP on this site by entering your postcode: https://www.nhsinform.scot/scotlands-service-directory/gp-practices

Then you need to contact the practice (by phone, mail or in person) and ask where to send the registration form. The form can be found here: https://www.nhsinform.scot/media/4917/gp_registration_gmsgpr001_v19_02_2021-modified-v3.pdf or obtained at the practice itself.

Financial support:

All Ukrainian refugees arriving in Scotland under the visa schemes have the right to immediately apply for financial support if necessary. There are several types of benefits in Scotland, such as:

  • Universal Credit. This is a program of financial support for those whose earnings are not enough to pay everything necessary. You do not need to have a job to apply for Universal Credit. They can also help with job search. While you are looking for a job, you will be given financial support. An application can be submitted here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit (English).
  • Child Benefit. This is a source of financial support for parents and guardians of children under 16 (or children under 20 in certain kinds of education or training) and is not included in Universal Credit. It is given out to everyone who has children answering the criteria, and is not means-tested. You can apply for it here: https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit/how-to-claim
  • ADP - Adult Disability benefit. This is a program to support people with disabilities who cannot work due to their health condition. You can apply here: Adult Disability Payment - mygov.scot (English)

Psychological support:

The impact of the war in Ukraine on you and your family may be psychologically difficult to cope with.

Psychological support from the NHS (healthcare system) is also available in Scotland. You can get it through your GP.

Your rights and safety:

  • Refugees are a vulnerable group. Most Scots who host you wish you well and will help you as much as they can, but there are people who may try to exploit or harm you. You need to know your rights and understand that you can seek help if someone mistreats you.
  • Free legal support for refugees - 0800 995 6045 (you can ask for an interpreter when you call). Tuesday from 14:00 to 17:00 (British time), Thursday from 10:00 to 13:00. Email: ukraine@justrightscotland.org.uk
  • Your sponsors cannot charge you rent for living in their home. They may ask you to pay part of the utility bills, but if you are unable to pay them or see that you are being charged too much, you can contact the city administration (https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/contact, in English). It must provide you with alternative housing if your sponsor violates your rights or exploits you.
  • If you need additional help or information, you can also contact a refugee charity. Scottish Refugee Council Hotline: +44 808 196 7274 (you can ask for an interpreter when you call).
  • Women who come to Scotland alone are at particular risk of exploitation, especially by men. Be careful and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try not to live with single men if this can be avoided (for instance, you can use the Sunflower Sisters group on Facebook to find a woman sponsor). In case of rape or assault, you can contact Rape Crisis Scotland: https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/help-helpline/, they can also be asked for the services of an interpreter. Safety reminders: https://www.facebook.com/groups/455651139638352/permalink/473308744539258/