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Information for Ukrainian nationals arriving in Gateshead

From all of us at the council, we'd like to say a warm welcome to Gateshead - we are happy to have you join our community.

Whether you've united with family already living in Gateshead or are staying with a host via the Homes for Ukraine (opens new window) scheme, there's some essential information you'll need to know and keep available to help you feel at home. 

This includes connecting with other Ukrainian nationals in the area. You can join this  Ukrainian Facebook group (opens new window) for more information on living in the region and get connected.

Opening a bank account

There will be many benefits to having your own UK bank account as an Ukrainian national, including having the necessary details to apply for Universal Credit and other financial benefits you are entitled to.

To open a bank account as an Ukrainian national, you must be over the age of 18, a temporary UK resident and hold either a valid Ukrainian passport or Ukrainian national ID card. You must also have a valid visa or similar.

Whilst applications can be submitted online, you may find it useful to apply for a bank account with a bank that has a local branch in Gateshead - such as NatWest. Find out more and apply for the Natwest Ukraine national account scheme.

Financial help and benefits 

The government will provide you with basic welfare benefit payments for people who are unable to work, who are looking for work but have not yet found a job, or who are on a low income - this is called Universal Credit.

Universal Credit can be used to pay for your living expenses such as food, clothing, transport, household bills and anything you want to buy. Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance. Any extra amounts that apply to you, for example, if you have children; a disability; a health condition which prevents you from working; or need help paying your rent, will be added in addition.

Universal Credit is paid monthly and can be applied for on the website (opens new window).

For more information on the types of financial help and benefits available, visit our benefits and Council Tax pages.

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

  • Universal Credit Full Service on 0800 328 5644
  • Citizens Advice (Help to Claim) on 0800 144 8444

Homelessness support

If you have arrived in Gateshead from Ukraine but have found out on arrival that your living situation will not work out as planned, we are here to support you.

Whether you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless, we can give you free advice.

Visit our homelessness support page for more information on next steps.

You can also call the 24-hour freephone number 0800 953 7112 or 0191 433 3174, Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 8.45am to 4.30pm.

An emergency phone service number 0191 477 0844 is also available out of office hours, 6pm to 8am weekdays and 24 hours on weekends.

To get in touch with our team in writing, please email

Reporting safeguarding concerns in Gateshead

If you have a concern about the safety of an adult or a child then you should talk to someone immediately.

Visit Gateshead Safeguarding for more information on how to report your concerns online.

You can also raise a safeguarding concern at any time of day, any day of the week by phone.

Phone Gateshead Council's Children's Services (in confidence) on:

  • 0191 433 2653 (office hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30am to 5pm) or:
  • 0191 477 0844 (out of hours, at night, at weekends and bank holidays)

You can also raise a safeguarding concern through Adult Social Care Direct on 0191 433 7033, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In an emergency always call 999.

Getting a school place for your child

Statutory school age in England begins at the start of term following your child's 5th birthday and ends on the last Friday in June in the school (academic) year in which your child turns 16 years of age.

Children of statutory school age need to attend a school or educational setting on a full-time basis; this is for 190 days each school (academic) year. Every school (academic) year is divided into three terms:

  • Autumn term from September to December
  • Spring term from January to April
  • Summer term from April until July

If you have a child or children of statutory school age please email or contact us by telephone on 0191 433 8589.

If you have a general education enquiry please email

We will help you with making an application for a school place for your child or children. For further information on school admissions please see GOV.UK (opens new window).

You can find out about schools in Gateshead in our school directory.

You can find out about school meals and school transport in Gateshead from our schools pages.

Our in-year transfers page has further information and an application form for those who move into Gateshead and need a school place.

Free early education and childcare for three and four year olds

Children aged three and four are entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week for 38 weeks per year. Children become eligible at the start of the term following their third birthday.

Children bornFree place can start
1 April to 31 August1 September (following child's third birthday)
1 September to 31 December1 January (following child's third birthday)
1 January to 31 March 1 April (following child's third birthday)
  • You must use the hours over at least two days per week.
  • Sessions must last for at least two hours and 30 minutes and for no more than ten hours.
  • Sessions cannot start before 7am or finish after 7pm.

A child can attend any school, nursery or other educational setting regardless of where they live. It does not have to be within Gateshead.

If you need any further help please contact

Your health and wellbeing

The National Health Service (NHS) provides health services to people living in the UK. Most of these services are free.

How do I register with a doctor?

In the UK, family doctors are called General Practitioners "GPs". A GP is the first doctor you will see when accessing healthcare. To receive medical treatment, you and your children must register with a GP as soon as possible, even if you are not ill.

You need to find GPs that are near where you are living and can use the NHS website to find one:

Find a GP near where you live

You will be asked to fill out a registration form and bring identification and proof of your address if you can. Please note ID (Identity Document) and proof of address is not necessary for registering with a GP. You should not be asked about your immigration status.

How do I register with a dentist?

Some dentists offer NHS treatment and private treatment. You should register with a dentist as an NHS patient and let them know if you are receiving benefits, in which case your check-ups and necessary treatment will be free. Note that getting dental treatment before receiving Universal Credit can result in charges.

Is there support for my mental health?

Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are the most common problems.

In the UK it is quite common for people to seek advice about concerns with mental health. Your doctor (GP) is trained to give guidance and treatment on emotional and mental health as well as physical health.

For further support, you can contact a mental health organisation. These include:

Mind (opens new window) by phone 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

Barnardo's (opens new window) by phone 0800 148 8586

Is there support for my sexual health?

You have the right to access free services that help you get information and help about your sexual health. If you would like information about sexual health, speak to your GP. Contraception can help you avoid unwanted pregnancies. In the UK, you can ask your doctor for a contraceptive method that suits you. This is between you and the doctor, no one else needs to know that you are accessing these services.


Here in the UK, cases of COVID-19 are still circulating. The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. For more information on getting vaccinated and to book a vaccination appointment, visit the NHS website. (opens new window)

Please note that you must be registered with a GP to book an appointment online. Local vaccine clinics may also be available, including walk-in (no appointments needed) clinics.

Bringing Your Pet to the UK

If you are bringing your pet to the UK it has now been made easier by the Government. The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick license approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays. Please follow this link to find out further details:

If you know of a pet that has arrived in the UK and hasn't quarantined, please contact Trading Standards on 0191 433 3000.  



Visit our resources for sponsors and Ukrainian nationals page for additional information and downloadable documents.