Support for Ukrainians arriving in Wigan Borough

If you are a Ukrainian national arriving in Wigan Borough, we welcome you. These resources will be regularly updated as more become available.

How to confirm your immigration status

The Home Office has now published new immigration information about the next steps Ukrainians need to take after arriving in the UK. This includes information about what Ukrainians need to do to confirm their immigration status, and how to demonstrate their status to access work, and the benefits and services they are entitled to.

Welcome guide for Ukrainians

The following guide has been published by the government to help you settle into life in the UK:

The guide covers:

  • What you need to know in your first few days
  • Getting used to life in the UK
  • How to find a home
  • How to access essential public services such as health care
  • Finding work
  • Sourcing childcare
  • Education services
  • Information for those arriving using the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)

There is also a guide for children under the age of 18 who are not travelling with or joining a parent or legal guardian. The guide is a starting point and includes information about arriving and living in the UK, where Ukrainian children can go for help if they have any problems, and how they will interact with councils.

Welcome to Wigan

Explore Wigan Borough on our handy map and look up local services and amenities.

How to stay safe in the UK

If you’re a Ukrainian arriving in the UK because of the conflict in Ukraine, visit Stay Safe In the UK for practical advice, support and protection:

Free travel for Ukrainians arriving in Greater Manchester

To help Ukrainian nationals arriving in Greater Manchester, Metrolink tram services, rail services and the majority of bus and coach services in the region are being provided free of charge for the first 48 hours after arrival in the UK.

Free English classes and resources

There are a range of English language resources available for Ukrainians arriving in the UK. To find out more visit:

Job opportunities and support organisations

The United for Ukrainians website offers support for Ukrainians living in the north of England. The website provides a searchable list of job vacancies with employers who have committed to providing good job opportunities in a supportive environment - this includes offering real living wage, minimum lengths of employment, and direct contacts for enquiries. They also offer practical support with areas including opening bank accounts, local authority contacts, English language support, and other support services.

For employers, the free-to-use site provides an easy and direct way to communicate job opportunities and access the right support, to employ those coming here who wish to, and are able to, work.

How to access benefits

The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. Your local Job Centre Plus will be able to help you find out which benefits you may be able to access, which may include:

  • Universal Credit - a payment for those of working age, to help with your living costs if you’re on a low income. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work;
  • Pension Credit - extra money to help with your living costs if you are over the age of 66 and on a low income. Applications for Pensions is online or via telephone
  • Disability benefits - extra money to help with additional costs if you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • Carer’s Allowance - extra money if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week.
  • Child Benefit - extra money to help with the cost of raising a child.

Find your local Job Centre Plus (external link)

An online tool on GOV.UK (external link) is available to help people find the benefits and financial support they might be eligible for. You will need to answer up to 10 questions to find out what support is available. The results page will show things they might be eligible for, with links to more information. A wider range of support from across central government, local government and the NHS will be included in the next few months.

DWP guidance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have also put the following guide together for Ukrainians arriving the UK, available in both Ukrainian and English:

Any Ukrainian National who is not claiming benefits and who wishes to work in the UK and requires a National Insurance Number for employment purposes can apply for a National Insurance Number online.

Please note that a National Insurance Number is not required to start work. All individuals seeking employment can start work provided they are able to demonstrate that they have the right to work. The DWP have processes in place to request a National Insurance Number for those who need one to receive a benefit, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

DWP (including Jobcentre Plus) offices and phone lines are closed on 2nd and 3rd June for the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday. To make sure people receive their payments on a day when our offices are open, arrangements have been made to make some payments early.

Opening bank accounts

Following Home Office guidance, all major banks will apply flexibility around proof of address and other supporting documentation requirements in the account opening process. The following banks have set up dedicated pages to support Ukrainian nationals:

Find out more about the types of accounts available on MoneyHelper (external link).

Support organisations

  • Barnardo’s Ukrainian Support Helpline - providing a holistic support service for anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Call the free helpline on 0800 148 8586 to access therapy, advice on a range of issues and practical support.
  • Support for Wigan Arrivals Project (SWAP) (external link) - Providing Ukrainian drop in support sessions. SWAP offer basic English lessons, advice and support, specialist services, a safe place to socialise and help to access other services. Booking is not required. To contact SWAP, call 01942 516572 and 01942 512980
    • When? 10:30am-12pm English with a teacher, 12pm-2pm Conversational group activities with volunteers
    • Where? Penson Street Community Centre, Wigan, WN1 2LP
  • Living life to the full (LLTTF) Greater Manchester (external link) - modules, work sheets and books around improving feels, managing stress and boosting the ability to live well

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