Our response to the conflict in Ukraine

How we are responding to the refugee crisis in Ukraine.

1 How we are providing support

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is supporting eligible families, couples and individuals leaving Ukraine in response to the current situation in the country.

We are working with local and national government, charities and volunteer groups to provide appropriate support in line with Government policy for resettling refugees.

2 Homes for Ukraine Scheme guidance for hosts

WSCC is working alongside the Government and our local partners in the delivery of the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme and the Ukraine Extension Scheme. The two different schemes are in place to support those Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family who wish to either come to or remain in the UK in accordance with their visa type and provides access to healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition.

If you would like to offer a home to Ukrainian families on the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Visa, and you are a British or Irish citizen, or you’re settled in the UK (known as having indefinite leave to remain) you can become a host as part of the scheme. 
You will need to be able to offer a spare room or home for at least six months. If you know who you want to sponsor you can help them apply for a visa.

In advance of the arrival of your guests, West Sussex County Council are required to undertake the following checks:

Complete a DBS check

If you are hosting adult guests only (over the age of 18) then a basic DBS check is required for every member of your household over the age of 16. We will send you an email with instructions to complete this and we pay for this on your behalf.

If you are hosting children or vulnerable adults, then an enhanced DBS check is required for every member of your household over the age of 16. The Community Hub will arrange an online document check using Microsoft Teams.

You will need to present three valid and original types of identification, for example, driving licence, passport and utility bill. Further details are available on GOV.UK.

In addition, we are required to verify these documents in person. We can do this during a home visit, or you can present your document at selected libraries for verification. For further information please email communities@westsussex.gov.uk.

We are unable to progress any DBS checks or property visits until we have received the visa approval from central government and will contact you as soon as possible after we receive this.

Complete a property visit

We are required to visit the accommodation set aside for your guests. This is to ensure that the property is fit for purpose and has working smoke and (where applicable) carbon monoxide alarms. This will enable the matching process to be completed, including vetting and security checks, to help as many people as possible find somewhere safe to live.

See our frequently asked questions (FAQs) for sponsors and their Ukrainian guests.

You can also find information about the Homes for Ukraine scheme on GOV.UK.

When you have hosted for six months

If you can continue hosting for longer than six months - we greatly appreciate it. However, we understand that this may not always be possible. We encourage you to talk to your guest(s) four months after their arrival in the UK, about the options for their next steps, including continuing to host, finding your guest(s) a new host (re-matching), renting private accommodation or contacting us for an alternative provision.

When your guests leave or are temporarily absent

You are responsible for letting us know when your guests leave or when they are temporarily absent for more than 28 days.
When your guests leave permanently, please email communities@westsussex.gov.uk and provide a date of departure. Failure to do this may result in an overpayment and us requesting that funds are recovered.
If your guests are absent from your property for more than 28 days, you will also need to let us know. The thank-you payments will be paused until your guests return. It is your responsibility to let us know when your guests depart and when they return. Please do this by emailing communities@westsussex.gov.uk.

3 Homes for Ukraine Scheme guidance for guests

When your visa has been issued, we will send you an email detailing the support available to you and your family. Your host will also receive a copy of this email. Government Guidance for guests is a useful page to review in advance of your arrival.
If you need any further assistance, please email communities@westsussex.gov.uk.
We are open Monday to Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm except for Bank Holidays when our hours are 10:00am – 2:00pm.

4 Accommodation Pathway Scheme

West Sussex County Council have initiated a scheme to assist Homes for Ukraine guests on a sponsorship visa with a route to independence. Access to this scheme is based on financial eligibility. For further information please email ukraineprs@westsussex.gov.uk.

We are also keen to speak to any landlords who may wish to know more about this scheme and how it may be beneficial to them. Please contact us on the above email address.

5 Ukraine Family Visa Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme closed at 3.00pm on 19 February 2024. Those who were granted permission under the Ukraine Family Scheme can live, work and study in the UK and access public funds for up to 3 years. If you wish to join a settled family member in the UK who can accommodate you for six months or more, you may be eligible to apply under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

6 Donating to the Ukraine crisis


The Government has produced information on how people can support those who have been forced to flee their homes because of the conflict in Ukraine.

Ukraine: what you can do to help (GOV.UK) (external link)

If you wish to donate money, there are a number of charities providing humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Many organisations across the UK and internationally have launched appeals that you may wish to donate through.

All donations are welcome and should be directed to recognised and registered volunteer organisations, for example:

7 Ukraine Support contact details

Ukraine Support are open Monday-Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm. We can be contacted via email at: ukrainesupport@westsussex.gov.uk.

For assistance over the weekend or bank holidays, please contact the Community Hub at communities@westsussex.gov.uk.

Alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form.

Homes for Ukraine enquiry form (external link)

8 Privacy notice

See how we deal with our customers' data through our Privacy Policy and notices.

Last updated:
11 March 2024
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.