Welcome to Basingstoke and Deane guide for our Ukrainian guests

Щоб переглянути цю сторінку українською мовою, будь ласка, натисніть кнопку 'Translate' у верхній частині цієї сторінки.

On behalf of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, we would like to welcome you to our borough.

We have put together this guide which includes local information which we hope will be helpful during your stay in Basingstoke and Deane, as well as information from the government and other local partners.

Hampshire County Council has set up a dedicated webpage for guests arriving from Ukraine.

The Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board has also produced a poster with information on what you can do if you do not feel safe.

For more information about the support available locally, please visit our Supporting families leaving Ukraine page.

Further information from the government, including frequently asked questions, can also be found on the GOV.UK website.

DWP support for Ukrainians arriving in the UK

Financial support

When you first arrive in the UK you will be given a payment card with a £200 balance if you have arrived under the Ukraine sponsorship scheme which can be spent in a variety of shops and will help you financially when you arrive. This will be provided by Hampshire County Council.

For ongoing financial assistance, called benefits, please read below for more information on how to apply for support to help with monthly costs such as travel and food.

Access to benefits

The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs.

The Basingstoke JobCentre Plus will be able to provide further information on which benefits families may be able to access. This 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.
  • 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.

Basingstoke JobCentre Plus can be found at Crown Buildings, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8ES and is open between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday except Wednesday when it is open between 10am and 5pm. To find out more about finding a job visit the GOV.UK website and search Basingstoke or call 0800 168 0190.

You can also find out more about the financial support available on the government’s website.

Working in the borough

We know many families arriving in the borough will want to find a job while staying here.

To work in the UK, residents must have a valid national insurance number (NINO) to start work. Most people in the UK pay national insurance. This money is paid to the government and contributes to healthcare, benefits and pensions.

If you are employed, your employer will deduct the national insurance directly from your pay. If you are self-employed it is up to you to pay the national insurance directly to the government.

You can apply for an NINO by telephoning the NINO Allocation Service 0345 600 0643, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. For more information on national insurance, visit the GOV.UK website.

Basingstoke JobCentre Plus provides further support to help you apply for a job, prepare for an interview or start your own business. Basingstoke JobCentre Plus can be found at Crown Buildings, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8ES and is open between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday except Wednesday when it is open between 10am and 5pm. To find out more about finding a job, visit the GOV.UK website and search Basingstoke or call 0800 168 0190.

Information about Basingstoke

Basingstoke and Deane is a borough in north Hampshire. It is 45 minutes from London, 20 minutes from Winchester and Reading and 30 minutes from Southampton via train.

The centre of Basingstoke is home to a large town centre which offers a wide range of shops selling food, clothing, toys and other items, takeaway food shops, restaurants and cafes. Other facilities include a post office, facilities to get cash from your bank account and a library. There are also a number of large green spaces and play areas.

There will also be facilities such as smaller shops, play areas and green spaces in the area that you are staying. To find the nearest play area to you, please visit our Equipped play areas page.

Healthcare services

Public healthcare is provided in the UK by the National Health Service (NHS).

For advice on how to access the right NHS service for your condition, call 111. This is a free to call number for both landline and mobile phones and gives people better access to all non-emergency NHS services, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

The call handlers will assess you and then tell you where the nearest appropriate service is for you, or in emergencies send an ambulance to you. The service is supported by an interpreter.

Further information about healthcare services can be found below or by visiting the NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group website.

Get help with NHS prescriptions and health costs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Finding a doctor or dentist

In the UK you and all members of your family living here should register with a local doctor called a General Practitioner (GP) at a nearby medical office called a surgery. Your GP practice will also have other people who are fully trained in healthcare. This includes nurses and healthcare assistants.

You must be registered before you can see a doctor. You can find your nearest surgery numbers and addresses by visiting the NHS website or contact the NHS by calling 111.

To contact your local GP practice, you need to follow this short guide. The best way to contact your GP practice is by telephoning the number for your local surgery.

On the phone, the receptionist will ask you for the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Whether you are calling on behalf of someone else, such as your child
  • The address for where you are staying
  • Your mobile telephone number
  • Information on the health problem you have and how long it has been going on for

The receptionist will write down all of these details and share with a GP and will end the telephone call. The GP will then decide on what is best to do next. The GP practice will get back in touch with you to let you know what you need to do. The GP might advise you to:

  • Discuss your condition in more detail on the telephone. Language translation will be made available.
  • Telephone 111 for advice. For example, this will be the best way to get advice on dental issues.
  • Telephone 999 for an ambulance to take you to hospital
  • Ask you to visit the GP surgery in person.
  • Attend a routine appointment at a later date.

Registration with a surgery and NHS treatment is free of charge but you may have to pay for medical prescriptions. You will need evidence of your address to be able to register.

If you have a life threatening or urgent need for healthcare, call 999 or you can go to the local hospital’s Accident and Emergency department.

The nearest Accident and Emergency is Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, RG24 9NA. You can contact them by calling 01256 473 202 or visit the NHS Hampshire Hospitals website.

To find a dentist, please visit the NHS website.

Pharmacies

Pharmacists can offer advice and certain medications for a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy issues and aches and pains. If your symptoms suggest something more serious, the pharmacist will recommend you get the right help such as visiting a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.

Many pharmacies are open late and at weekends and you do not need an appointment. To find a pharmacy near you, please visit the NHS website.

If you have a life threatening or urgent need for healthcare, call 999 or you can go to the local hospital’s Accident and Emergency department.

The nearest Accident and Emergency is Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, RG24 9NA. You can contact them by calling 01256 473 202 or visit the NHS Hampshire Hospitals website.

Mental health support

It is very important to look after your mental health. Staying on top of our mental wellbeing helps us deal with difficult times in the future and it can also reduce our risk of physical health problems.

Andover Mind provides a service to residents aged 18 and over in Basingstoke and Deane who are experiencing a mental health crisis. For more information about Andover Mind service, visit the Andover Mind website.

Midwives, health visitors and school nurses

If you are pregnant you will need to visit your GP to inform them, and they will then pass your care to a specialist in pregnancy and birth. This is likely to be a midwife, but in some cases you may also need to see a consultant.

If you are due to have a baby soon, and once your baby arrives all families will have appointments with the health visitor. The health visitor is a specialist in care for children under five years old and their families. They will be able to answer some of your health and wellbeing questions and signpost you to other services for support. They also hold regular child health clinics. For more information on your health visiting service, visit the Health for Under 5s website.

If you have a child over five years old, the school nurse is available to offer support and guidance to either yourself or your child on many issues relating to health and wellbeing.

Education

Schools

Children aged between five and 16 years must attend school in the UK. Children must be in some form of education until they are 18. This includes apprenticeships and schemes where they work some of the week in a paid job and also attend college part-time.

Children arriving from Ukraine will be able to attend school and college while they are in staying in Basingstoke and Deane. This will be discussed during the home visit carried out by Hampshire County Council.

If you are currently hosting, or are expecting to host, children or young people, please visit Hampshire County Council's website for further information about the process.

To find out which are your nearest schools, pre-schools (e.g. nurseries, pre-schools, childminders) or adult and family learning courses contact Hampshire Children’s Services on 0300 555 1384 or visit Hampshire County Council's website for information about schools in Basingstoke.

Schools can access support from the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) for families who do not speak English as a first language. EMTAS staff work in schools to provide training, support for parents and in-class bilingual support for children and young people as they settle into their new UK school.

For details about early years admissions and attendance, preparing your child for school and key things to know about schools in the UK, as well as details about free Early Years education please visit Hampshire County Council's website.

EMTAS has useful advice on the parents section of the website including bringing up your child bilingually see Hampshire County Council's supporting languages and cultures page and English as an additional language see Hampshire County Council's parents/carers who speak English as an additional language page.

For more information on EMTAS please visit Hampshire County Council's website or call 0370 7794 222 between 8.30am and 4.30pm.

EMTAS also offers phone lines in various languages during school term time only, to provide information about educational issues. For more information visit Hampshire County Council's EMTAS phone lines page.

Higher education

Colleges and post 16 training providers are independent of Hampshire County Council and are not covered by the schools’ admissions code. For young people aged between 16 and 18 looking to participate in education and training at a local college or training provider, sponsors and families should contact the college or training provider directly to discuss making an application. Hampshire County Council can provide support in this process, if required, and this can be accessed by emailing skills.participation@hants.gov.uk.

For a list of colleges and training providers in Hampshire, please visit the Skills & Participation website.

Adults aged 19 and over are able to access funded English language and adult learning courses offered by local colleges and Hampshire County Council. Details of courses are available by visiting the National Careers Service website.

Travelling in Basingstoke

Buses and coaches

Stagecoach operates bus routes throughout the borough and the main bus station is located at Festival Place, Basingstoke.

Buses operate as part of a service that drops off and picks up at various and frequent intervals. The times of buses on your nearest route are show at the bus stop, or you can look online by visiting the Stagecoach website.

  • When you see the bus, remember to clearly signal to the driver that you wish to board
  • Get your ticket, bus pass, or payment method ready – most bus services will accept contactless payment on board
  • Wait for the bus to come to a stop and for the doors to open before trying to board
  • Be respectful of other passengers and allow them to get off first
  • Ask the bus driver for a single or return ticket to your destination
  • If paying with cash place the money in the tray, or if paying contactless, place on the machine then take your ticket
  • It is customary if the bus is full to offer your seat to the elderly, disabled and pregnant women
  • The screen at the front of the bus will advise which stop is coming up next
  • When you want to get off, ring the bell and stay seated until the bus has fully stopped

Coaches make infrequent stops and drive long-distances, such as between towns, cities, or even countries.

Travelling by coach in the UK, is another way to travel long-distance throughout the country. While they generally take longer than trains, due to traffic congestion and speed limits, they will get you to the centre of most towns.

There are two main services for coaches:

  • National Express – serving all major destinations with frequency.
  • Megabus – covers a limited number of destinations at a discounted price, popular with students.
Trains

Basingstoke has its own railway station which offers a fast train service to London Waterloo, Reading, Winchester and Southampton as well as connections to many other destinations within the borough including Overton, Whitchurch and Bramley.

Use the National Rail website to find train times.

This site will also redirect you to the correct website to purchase your chosen ticket.

Consider the time of day or day of the week when planning your trip:

  • Peak travel periods of the day can be more expensive and busier. Peak travel times can vary between train operators but are generally Monday to Friday before 10:30 am and between 3:00 pm-7:00 pm.
  • Anytime Fares: Anytime tickets are valid on any train on your selected route, these are the most expensive.
  • Off-Peak Fares: Off-peak tickets are generally valid for any train outside the peak morning and evening rush hour periods.
  • Advance Fares: Advanced fares are the cheapest option, but they offer no flexibility — these are only valid for the time specified on the ticket. In general, the earlier you book advanced fares the cheaper they are. In addition, less desirable tickets (i.e. mid-week and mid-day) tend to be the cheapest. You can also buy a ticket at the station counter or by a ticket machine on the platform

Plan ahead and allocate plenty of time to get to and from the train station to catch the train or for ongoing travel after arriving at your destination station.

Remember at the station you will have to find your way to the correct platform and if necessary, where to stand to wait for the train (specifically if a seat reservation has been made).

Most train tickets are digital so there is no need to print your tickets (just make sure to save your tickets to your phone/laptop or have a reliable internet connection) — the conductor will simply scan the ticket’s barcode. All non-electronic train tickets can be picked up at the train station’s automated ticket machine — simply type in the 8-digit ticket reference number that is emailed to you after booking.

When you arrive at the platform you will need to put your ticket through the turnstile, it will open the gate, but don’t forget to take your ticket with you.

Check which platform your train is leaving from on the notice board, this will also be announced over the tannoy.

Stand well back from the edge of the platform, behind the yellow lines. The train will be announced as it arrives, allow the people leaving the train to descend first. You can sit anywhere in the train, but only in First Class if you have purchased a first-class ticket. During your journey the ticket collector will come round and ask to see your ticket. They will mark it as seen.

In each carriage you will see a digital display that shows all the stations the train will stop at. The driver will also announce each station as it gets near. Once the train has stopped, press the door open button when it turns green to exit the train. Have your ticket ready as you may need to hand it to the station master or put it into a turnstile to exit the station.

Road

The borough has convenient connections to main road networks, including the M3 and M4 motorways and the A33, A303 and A34 trunk roads. All are easily accessed from Basingstoke town centre, which has excellent parking.

For further information about parking please visit our parking pages.

Taxis and private hire vehicles

Basingstoke has licensed taxis and private hire vehicles. All licensed taxis in Basingstoke are purpose-built and wheelchair/pushchair accessible. Taxis can be obtained from special taxi areas or pre-booked.

Taxi ranks are located at the railway and bus station, Church Street, Castons Yard and Joices Yard in Basingstoke town centre. Private hire vehicles must be booked in advance through licensed private hire operators either by telephone, email or walk-in bookings. There are several licensed operators located in and around the town centre.

Taxi services are generally expensive and more often are used for short distances, carrying luggage, or late nights when rail and bus services are less frequent.

When using taxi services, you should check that the driver is displaying their taxi license number and the meters are using the correct rate.

Airports and ports

London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports and Southampton and Portsmouth seaports are all within a one-hour drive from Basingstoke.

Community services

Basingstoke Discovery Centre

From 20 May 2022, the Basingstoke Discovery Centre will be hosting a weekly Ukraine Connections Group from 10am to 12noon. It provides an opportunity for Ukrainians and their friends/hosts to meet up with refreshments and share the services on offer at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre.

Basingstoke Voluntary Action

Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) is an independent charity that works with individuals, community and voluntary groups across Basingstoke and Deane to shape a vibrant and sustainable community sector which champions the borough’s communities.

For more information about community activities and how BVA is supporting Ukrainian families coming to the borough such as language support and donations, visit the Basingstoke Voluntary Action website, call 01256 423816 or email contact@bvaction.org.uk.

Community facilities and support groups

There are a number of community facilities located across the borough which provide services such as exercise classes, mum and baby groups, arts and craft activities, support groups and much more.

In addition, there are a number of local churches across the borough. One Church Basingstoke is a group that encourages unity between Christian churches, facilitates prayer and fellowship and supports Christian ministries in Basingstoke.

It provides a hub for information about individual churches, plus details of major events that are being held in the town. It is led by a team of Christians from different denominations who are committed to working together in Basingstoke. For more information about One Church and other churches in the town, and Christian ministries in the town, please visit the One Church Basingstoke website.

There are also a number of ethnic minority and faith groups that provide support and host activities in the borough. For more information on ethnic minority communities in Basingstoke and Deane, visit our Ethnic Minorities page.

Charity RCS is offering a free English course to support Ukrainian individuals whose first language is not English.

The course will teach basic English skills including phonics, reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The first session is taking place between 10am and 1pm on Friday 24 June 2022 at Basingstoke Job Centre, RG21 8ES. To sign up for this course, email RCS or call 01264 359223.

Leisure activities

There are a number of ways that you can keep active. There are a number of parks and green open spaces across the borough. To find your nearest park or open space, visit our local parks and open spaces page.

In addition, there is also a wide choice of indoor and outdoor sports facilities in the borough including swimming pools, gyms, an ice rink and a golf driving range. For more information on sports facilities, visit our Basingstoke sports facilities page.

Across the borough, a range of groups and organisations hosts free or low cost activities for people of all ages to enjoy. More information on local events can be found on the Love Basingstoke website.

There are a number of libraries located across the borough including Basingstoke Discovery Centre, Chineham Shopping Centre, Tadley, Overton and Whitchurch. At these libraries you will be able to:

  • Get free access to WiFi and computers
  • Get free access to books, eBooks and eMagazines for adults and children
  • Take part in activities for children and families

To access the Hampshire County Council’s library services visit www.hants.gov.uk/library website or visit your local library for more information.

Contact details


Ukraine enquiries

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    Basingstoke
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Friday
    8.30am to 4.30pm
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