Barnardo's free helpline to support Ukrainian families

Barnardo’s have a helpline to provide support and care to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

You can call the helpline on 0800 148 8586. English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers are available.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 10am–8pm and Saturday, 10am–3pm.

You can also use the dedicated email address or visit the Barnardo’s website.

Homes for Ukraine

Tower Hamlets has a long history of welcoming and supporting newly arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. More recently we have supported refugees from Syria and Afghanistan resettle in the borough. We are proud to say that we are one of the most diverse areas in the country. We work hard with our partners to build a strong, inclusive and fair borough for all our residents.

The Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme phases

Phase 1 allows individuals to sponsor a named refugee from Ukraine to live in their spare room or empty accommodation.

Phases 2 and 3 will allow individuals and organisations to become sponsors for refugees that they do not have ties to.


Before you apply please check:

The minimum standards the property needs

To support the health and safety of sponsors and refugees the accommodation:

  • should not have health and safety hazards
  • should not have two people in one room unless they are:
    • adult cohabiting partners (e.g husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends)
    • a parent and child
    • two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10
    • two siblings of the same gender if aged over 10
    • people who did not previously know each other should not share the same room
  • be kept clean and in a reasonable state
  • have adequate kitchen and bathroom space
  • have access to drinking water
  • have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building e.g. fire doors or escape routes as appropriate. More infomration on making a home safe from fire
  • have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove, gas)
  • have enough heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature
  • have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have had a Gas Safety check within the last year; Service or certificate
  • have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure
  • be almost entirely free of damp or mould
  • have doors and windows at entry level that lock properly
  • be easy and safe to move around in, without very steep staircases that may cause harm
  • have room sizes that meet the these requirements:
Room size requirements
 Number of occupiers Minimum bedroom size for sleeping - Kitchen facilities in a separate room m2 Minimum bedroom size for sleeping - Kitchen facilities within the room m2
 One  8.5  13
 Two  13  18


If you meet these requirements please register your interest .

Support offered

Under this scheme the council will offer support to:

  • Complete checks to make sure accommodation is suitable
  • Manage interim payments for guests - to cover costs until they are able to access further support
  • Provide education places
  • Refer to specific public health services where necessary
  • Support guests to access local employment opportunities
  • Administer the compensation payment to sponsors of Ukrainian guests.

Currently, we do not offer matching services.

If residents do not know anyone to sponsor, get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations. Charities such as Reset provides a matching service between sponsors and Ukrainian refugees.

Homes for Ukraine Welcome Guide and Factsheet

The government has published a welcome guide for Ukrainians, guidance on what they need to do before they travel to the UK and what to do after they arrive. A factsheet (available in Ukrainian and Russian via GOV. UK) has also been published that explains how Ukrainians can apply to the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.

We also have a Welcome to Tower Hamlets guide for support available in our borough. 

The welcome guide includes information on what Ukrainians need to know in the first few days, getting used to life in the UK, including:

  • how to find a home,
  • access essential public services,
  • healthcare,
  • find work,
  • childcare and
  • education services.

It also includes specific information for those arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Translations of the Welcome Guide will be available soon.

Useful guidance and information

Translated Resources

Local resources and support


For more support please email: