Central and Eastern Europeans - Guidance for organisations

Guidance for organisations working with homeless Central and Eastern Europeans is grouped into themes below.

Good practice

Good Practice Notes to support local authorities and their partners to develop a strategic response and offer for Central and Eastern European rough sleepers were released December 2010.

Ending of the transitional arrangements for A8 Nationals - 1st May 2011

Homeless Link has produced a briefing note to support local authorities and their partners to understand the implications of the ending of the transitional arrangements taking place on 1st May 2011 for A8 nationals who are rough sleeping.

Homeless Link has also produced a briefing note outlining eligibilty for Job Centre Plus Services after 1st May 2011 for A8 Nationals


The health section of the entitlements guide, developed by Homeless link and the AIRE Centre, gives guidance on A2 nationals’ entitlements to NHS services, including access to primary and secondary care, and information about the European Health Insurance card.

The NHS has published Primary Care guidance for people who are new to the UK which includes information on how to register with a GP and access other NHS Services. It clarifies the processes involved and provides information about locating local healthcare services. The guidance is also available in Polish.

NHS Newham has produced an information video for migrants on how to access primary health services in the borough.

General advice and guidance

A new site has been launched by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Housing Associations' Charitable Trust (HACT) aimed at answering questions about the housing rights of new migrants. The site includes sections on the specific housing rights of new migrants who are:

  • Refugees
  • EEA workers and other EEA nationals and family members
  • A8 nationals
  • Bulgarians and Romanians
  • work permit holders
  • people fleeing domestic violence
  • people with social care needs.

Visit the Housing rights website or for further information see the article on the HACT website, or the article on the CIH website.


Homeless Link offers training courses on working with clients from the A8 member states. For more information visit the training pages.

The UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group runs training courses on issues faced by lesbian and gay asylum seekers when claiming asylum in the UK. For more information visit the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) website.


In September 2008 the Terrence Higgins Trust launched a programme of work called 'Scene but unseen: Assisting migrant gay men targeting men who have sex with men who have migrated to England and Wales to help reduce their vulnerability to HIV and poor sexual health'.

Resources include:

  • Pocket-sized concertina leaflets in 6 languages (English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish)
  • Gay Britain website (this is for both migrant men themselves and professionals in the HIV/sexual health and immigration sectors)
  • ‘Scene but unseen: Assisting migrant gay men’ resource pack
  • Sector summary report; and Guidelines and audit tool for migration organisations.

See the programme briefing for more details and for information on ordering resources.


Homeless Link has produced two short guides to help homelessness organisations communicate with their Central and Eastern European clients:

Ectaco free online dictionaries can translate to and from all of the A8 languages. The Polish page also offers a service to translate larger sections of text. Do be aware however that these kinds of sites generally translate quite literally and do not necessarily amend the sentence structure appropriate to the language.

Language Line is a telephone based interpreting service. They offer special rates for voluntary organisations. Please contact them directly for a quote.

Most consulate websites have information on recommended translators and interpreters. See consulate information to get a list of these websites.


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