Settling in Edinburgh
Last updated 23 June 2023
Council services and support
You do not need any appointment. Our team of specialists, with an interpreter, can
- give advice and help with applying for benefits and grants
- direct you to other services such as schools and English classes
- give you the rest of your £200 resettlement grant if you are living in Edinburgh on the Homes for Ukraine and Super Sponsor scheme.
On a Tuesday and Thursday, you can also speak to specialists from our Advice Shop and the Department of Work and Pensions.
We are based in our Customer Hub at 249 High Street, EH1 1YJ. We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm. You do not need an appointment to come to our Customer hub.
Please be aware
- We can only give resettlement grants to people living in the Edinburgh area - if you are living in another council area, you must contact the council in that area.
- In Scotland, people over 60 years and young people under 22 years can apply for a free bus pass. You can apply for this when you have a home address.
Please email us for advice about housing options. If possible we will reply to your email with the information. We may invite you to meet with someone from the team in the Customer Hub at 249 High Street. We have people in our team who will translate if you need this.
Applying for places in schools and nurseries
Children from Ukraine have the same right to schooling as all other children in the UK (until the age of 18). We will offer a place in one of our schools or nurseries (for children over three) for your child or children at no cost.
Information on how to apply, free bus travel and school grants is on our schools and nurseries page for families.
Council tax support
Council Tax is an annual fee the council charges people who live in the council area. It goes towards services like rubbish collection and libraries. The rules have been changed for people from Ukraine who are seeking refuge in Edinburgh. If you lived in the Ukraine on 31 December 2021 and left after 24 February 2022, you will not have to pay council tax if you live with a host or in temporary accommodation such as a hotel.
If you have moved into - or will be moving into rented accommodation - you will need to pay council tax from 1 April 2023. You may be eligible for council tax reduction (CTR) if you are on a low income or are claiming benefits. Find out how to apply (the information is in English).
Council's Advice Shop
Our team can give advice on benefits, welfare rights, debt, tax credits and grants. Telephone
0131 200 2360
Social Care Direct - adults and children
If you need support telephone
0131 200 2324
Other organisations in Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Guarantee
If you need advice or support to find work, The Edinburgh Guarantee service can help you. You can drop into one of their three advice hubs. Find out where and when the take place.
English for speakers of other languages
Edinburgh has a developed network of providers offering English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) courses. These courses can help people with limited or no English language to improve their skills and those keen to gain academic qualifications. People coming to Edinburgh from Ukraine, hosts and other people looking after these visitors may find the Connect Here guide helpful.
We have an overview of the classes that are most relevant to people from Ukraine who are living in Edinburgh. Find out about these classes.
Business English language sessions
If you are looking for a job or are already working in a business or corproate organisation, these sessions will help you improve your business English. Our partner Volunteer Edinburgh is offer sessions for business English working with State Street Global Services. These sessions will help people to improve their oral fluency and confidence in speaking English in a profressional setting. They will run from Wednesday 23 November to Wednesday 14 December 2022. Register on Volunteer Edinburgh's website.
As part of your welcome to the city, Edinburgh Leisure would like to offer you free access to physical activity for six months through our Relocated People Programme.
The relocated people access card provides free access to Edinburgh Leisure gyms for over 16s, individual and family swimming sessions and badminton court hire.
You can also apply for a Junior RPA card for any young people aged under 16 in your care. It provides free access to swim sessions, NRG Zone gym sessions and badminton, table tennis and tennis court hire. To apply please complete this online form and we will get your card out to you in the post within 14 days. Relocated People Card Online Form.
Looking for volunteers from Ukraine
If you are from Ukraine and you would be able to volunteer your time to help other people, Volunteer Edinburgh is running drop in information session. Find out more about becoming a volunteer, what support you can get and what you may get involved in. The sessions take place every Wednesday from 2pm to 3 pm at 222 Leith Walk EH6 5EQ (a ten minute walk from the Ukrainian Social Club). Volunteer Edinburgh is a charitable organisation.