Housing repair service

We are running a reduced housing repairs service until Wednesday 29 May due to industrial action. We will deal with emergencies as normal but may contact you to reschedule pre-booked appointments.

Welcome advice and information about the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Welcome to the Royal Borough of Greenwich!


To download a printable version of this page please follow this link. 

To help you settle in and make the most of what living here can offer you, please use this online welcome pack to help you access local services and contact the council. It includes information on local facilities, community support available, contacts for main council services, and local travel options in Royal Greenwich.  

You will also find important information about how to access to healthcare, education and welfare services, as well as a short guide to claiming financial support from the government – known in the UK as ‘benefits’. Information about the local Council, services, events and activities in the borough can be found on our website and by signing up to our email newsletter.

The local area

Welcome to the United Kingdom. You are in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, located in the south-east of the city of London.  

Royal Greenwich has three main town centres: 

  • Greenwich 

  • Woolwich 

  • Eltham 

Royal Greenwich is world-famous as the location of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on which all world times are based.  

Royal Greenwich was one of six host boroughs for the 2012 London Olympics and events were held at the Royal Artillery Barracks (shooting), Greenwich Park (equestrianism) and The O2 – the former Millennium Dome (gymnastics and basketball). It is also the home borough of professional football club Charlton Athletic.

  • Royal Greenwich is a Borough of Sanctuary and is proud to welcomes refugees, migrants and asylum seekers from all over the world. We aim to make life safe and provide a community for all our residents. The borough has a rich mix of diversity and multiculturalism, with over 90 different languages spoken by local residents.

    White British nationals make up 52.3% of the Royal Greenwich population. People of various ethnicities, including Nepalese and Black Caribbean, make up the other 47%. Fifty-two percent of the population in the borough are Christian. Muslims constitute 6.8% of the district's population.

  • Royal Greenwich has many different types of public transport. You can use public transport to travel to the centre of London in 25-30 minutes. You can also travel to some of the neighbouring areas of Kent such as Dartford and Gillingham, and even visit the seaside on the Kent and Essex coastlines.

    • DLR (Docklands Light Railway): The DLR is one of the railway services available in the Woolwich Arsenal area. These lines extend to the centre of London, City Airport and Stratford in the east of the city.
    • BUS: There is also a bus transportation network in the area. Buses 380 and 54 goes to the Lewisham Mall. Bus 177 goes to the Peckham area and bus number 53 goes into central London.
    • National Rail: The railway network connects Royal Greenwich to various parts of London and the UK.
    • Underground/Tube: You can access the London Underground via the DLR and railway connections in Woolwich Arsenal, Greenwich, Eltham and from various points in the borough. The London Underground provides a fast way to travel to most areas in London, including central London.
    • The Woolwich Ferry: The Woolwich ferry is a free service, operated by Transport for London, between Woolwich and North Woolwich, linking the north and south circular roads across the River Thames. The two boats used in the service carry pedestrians, cyclists, cars, vans and lorries. Pedestrians can also use the Woolwich foot tunnel to get from one side of the Thames to the other.
    • River Boat Services (Thames Clipper): You can travel to and from Woolwich and Greenwich to Tower Pier, London Bridge, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament within an hour, while taking in London's iconic sights. Oyster card or contactless debit cards are the only accepted method of payment.

    How to pay

    • Oyster Card: To travel on public transport, you will require an Oyster card as money is not accepted. You can purchase an Oyster card from newsagents with the Oyster card symbol shown below. The Oyster card costs £5. You then add money to the card to pay for your travel. After one year the £5 fee will be added to your pay as you go money.
    • Credit/ Debit card /Apple Pay: You can also use these methods as payment for your travel on public transport.

    You can obtain free maps most at Rail/ DLR or Underground stations.

  • There are several departments and services that the local authority provides to residents within Royal Greenwich:

    • Early Years and Childcare
    • Education
    • Housing
    • Social Care for children and adults
    • Mobility services for people with disabilities
    • Environmental health
    • Welfare and Benefits Services
    • Library Services
    • Registrar - Births, Deaths, Marriages

    The main phone number for the local authority is 0208 854 8888 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

    Royal Borough of Greenwich Service Centre
    The Woolwich Centre
    35 Wellington Street
    SE18 6HQT

  • Across the UK, there are five stages of education: early years, primary, secondary, further education (FE) and higher education (HE). Education is compulsory for all children between the ages of five (four in Northern Ireland) and 16.

    • Children aged two are entitled to 15 hours free nursery placement.
    • Children aged three to four are entitled to attend formal education. These educational services are available in nursery centers, schools and other centers for children.
    • Full-time education is compulsory for children aged five to 16. Pupils move to secondary education at the age of eleven. At the age of 16, children are required to take the GCSE examination (Secondary Final Examinations).
    • Students aged over 16 take the AS and A-level examination for university study. They can also join training centers to obtain professional qualifications like plumbing, hairdressing or electrical engineering.

    The Council's School Admissions Service helps parents find places for children in primary and secondary schools within the borough.

    The UK Government's education hub is a site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system.

  • Some children aged two are entitled to 15 hours a week of free early learning in a nursery school or class or with a childminder (during the school term). See if your child is eligible. You can also contact the Families Information Service on 020 8921 6921 or fis@royalgreenwichgov.uk.

    Children aged three to four are entitled to 15 hours a week of free early learning, with some children in households where parents are working entitled to 30 hours a week (during the school term). These educational services are available in nurseries, most schools and with childminders.

    Telephone:020 8921 3877


  • School Admissions Service

    The Council has lots of information available to help you apply for a school place for your child.

    Telephone:020 8921 8043


    Post 16 admissions guidance

    All 16 to 18 year-olds who live or attend school in Royal Greenwich have the right to attend a post6 education centre in the borough provided they:

    •  Meet the entry requirements, which may vary by centre.
    • Enter a learning agreement which is acceptable to the student and their chosen centre.

    Find out more information about post 16 education and training.

    Adult learning courses and opportunities

    There are a wide range of learning courses available for adults of all ages, including courses that are just for fun and courses that lead to a qualification. Find out more

  • The Families Information Service offers help and advice on a range of issues that affect you and your family. The free service is open to anyone in Royal Greenwich with children up to the age of 19 (or up to 25 for families with disabled young people).

    You can get information about:

    • Education and early years
    • School services
    • Children with disabilities
    • Benefits and work

    Support available

    There is also support available to help you to manage your child's behaviour, help if are experiencing domestic abuse, or if you or a family member need support with your health.

    Contact Families Information Service

    Telephone:020 8921 6921


  • If you are living with a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, there are some things you may need to think about. Your sponsors will want to support you as much as possible, but they will also have the need for privacy at times and will have other responsibilities and duties in their lives, such as work and family life.

    Talking things through clearly and honestly, while being open about your boundaries, is really important. Your sponsors may ask about your experiences in Ukraine, and you may not want to talk about this. That is ok. It is important to respect each other's privacy, and not feel the need to talk about things you do not feel comfortable sharing. We all make mistakes sometimes, and if you cross a boundary just apologise and move forward.

    Your sponsor should not be charging you rent under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. But they may ask for a small contribution towards bills. If you have any issues with your sponsor, please contact the Council's Housing Inclusion Team as soon as possible by calling 020 8921 2863.

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses cater for people of all levels, who would like to improve their English speaking, listening, reading and writing, and/or gain qualifications to prove their level of proficiency in the language.

    For information on available courses in Royal Greenwich please contact:

    London South-East Colleges

    Rozalina Semerdjieva, Career Pathway Manager ESOL, Greenwich

    Telephone: 02039544341

    Email: rozalina.semerdjieva@lsec.ac.uk

  • We hope that people accommodated under the Homes for Ukraine scheme are able to settle well and live happily in Royal Greenwich. However, in the event of any difficulties with a sponsorship placement or if you are worried about becoming homeless, please contact the Council's Housing Inclusion Service. If a sponsor placement cannot be sustained, the Council will try and find a new sponsor for guests from Ukraine.

    Either fill out our online form, or call 020 8921 2863 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) for out of office hours, call 020 8854 8888.

  • Adults and older people who live in the Royal Borough of Greenwich can access a range of different services and support from short-term assistance and rehabilitation, to long-term help if they are affected by chronic health conditions. Find out more.

    To request a care assessment, you will need to contact:

    Adult Social Care Telephone: 020 8921 2304

    Email: aops.contact.officers@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • The Council has a key duty to keep children safe and promote children's well-being, along with education, health and other government and voluntary sector agencies.

    If you have serious concerns about the safety or well-being of a child, (age 0 to 18), or require assistance to keep your children safe you are required to contact:

    The Children's Services Referral team: 020 8921 3172

    Emergency Duty Team (out of office hours only): 020 8854 8888

    Email: mash-referrals@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • These services are open to everyone whatever your gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

    The GDVA will do everything it can to help you, if you are suffering from domestic abuse. Find out more.

    Email: info_gdvah4w.co.uk

    Telephone: 0208 317 8273

    Referrals: referrals@h4w.co.uk

  • You may be eligible for one or more of the following assisted travel schemes available for disabled and elderly people:

    There are other travel schemes available for war pensioners, people on jobs-related benefits, people looking for work and disabled people who are in work.

    Support on public transport

    Transport for London offers a free travel mentoring service, which supports disabled people to travel independently on public transport. Find out more information about the mentoring service.

    Proof of disability

    To have rights under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, a disabled person must show that he or she meets the definition of disability. If you need proof of your disability to be exempt from paying VAT when purchasing equipment for health purposes, you can contact the Council's mobility team.

    Contact Mobility team

    Second floor
    The Woolwich Centre
    35 Wellington Street
    SE18 6HQ

    Telephone: 020 8921 2387

    Email: mobility-duty@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • Environmental health is a department in the Council which must monitor housing conditions in the area, including private rented properties. Find out more.

    Contact the team

    Environmental Health
    Fourth floor
    The Woolwich Centre
    Wellington Street
    SE18 6HQ

    Telephone: 020 8921 8157

    Email: private-housing-regulation@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • The Woolwich Centre library has 100 computers for free public use and facilities including self-issue service for books, CDs and DVDs. There are also libraries across the borough.

    The Woolwich Centre Library
    35 Wellington Street
    SE18 6HQ

    Telephone: 020 8921 5750

    Open: 9:00am to 5:30 pm

  • You can use a register office to:

    • register a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership
    • find records of a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership (if it was registered at that register office)
    • order copies of certificates

    Contact Register Office Births, Deaths and Marriages
    Woolwich Town Hall
    Wellington Street
    SE18 6PW

    Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

    Telephone: 020 8921 5015

    Email: registrar@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • Royal Greenwich Welfare Rights Service

    If you have any questions or would like to speak to an adviser, please call the public advice line listed below.

    You can also get advice from an independent debt adviser through the Money Adviser Network.

    • Additional financial support
    • Apply for housing benefits and council tax support
    • Debt advice and counselling
    • Universal credit

    Contact Advice and Benefits Advice and Benefits
    The Woolwich Centre
    35 Wellington Street
    SE18 6HQ

    Telephone: 020 8921 4900

    Email: benefits@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • Having a UK bank account is essential for receiving benefits. A useful guide to opening a bank account for refugees has been put together by Refugee Council. Whilst you will not have refugee status in the UK; the online guidance will still be useful.

    You may need to ask your sponsor for help with the following:

    • Visit branches with your sponsor to find out what documentation you need to open a bank account. Asking about online banking and how this works.
    • Ask about how to pay in the UK. The UK is not cash-based and people mostly use debit cards and phones to make contactless payments. Some places will not accept cash at all. Ask your sponsor about how to spot cash machines and keeping your bank details safe. Never share passwords or pin numbers with anyone else - including your sponsor.

    Some UK banks have put special provisions in place for arrivals from Ukraine - see the list below.

    Banks with schemes for Ukrainians:

    • Lloyds Bank
    • HSBC Basic Bank Account
    • Royal Bank of Scotland
    • Santander

  • The National Health Service (NHS) is the system for providing public health services in the United Kingdom. The NHS provides a range of healthcare services, the vast majority of which are free-of-charge to people in the UK. You have to pay for some prescription drugs, dental and eye care, but these are not expensive and some people are exempt from paying.

    To get healthcare assistance, you need to register with your local the GP (General Practitioner). There are many GP practices in the borough, and you can register yourself and your family for free.

    Hospital care is free for everyone, and you can go to any hospital. Find out more about how the NHS works (guides are available in Ukrainian and Russian).

    The main hospital in the borough is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. It has an Accident and Emergency (A & E) department and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Stadium Road
    SE18 4QH.

    You can call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice and assistance. In an emergency, always call 999.

    Switchboard: 020 8836 6000

    Main Reception: 020 8836 4593 / 020 8836 4688

    Outpatient Appointments: 020 8333 3216

    PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service): 020 8836 4592

    Mental health support

    In the UK, it is quite common for people to seek care for their mental health. Anxiety post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are the most common problems. Your doctor (GP) is trained to give guidance and treatment on emotional and mental health, as well as physical health.

    For further support contact the charity Mind on 0300 123 3393 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

    Email: jo@samaritans.org

    Sexual and reproductive health

    You can access free sexual health services through the NHS. 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 just between you and your GP and will not be shared with anyone else.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau is a free organisation in the UK that gives independent and impartial information and advice to help people with financial and legal problems.


    Old Town Hall
    Polytechnic Street
    SE18 6PN

    Greenwich Advice Line: 080 8278 7965 (lines are open Monday 10am - 1pm, Tuesday 2pm - 4.30pm, Wednesday 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4.30pm, Thursday 2pm - 4.30pm)

  • The LRMN is a drop-in service offering free advice and practical support to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It offers weekly specialised advice on immigration, housing advice, advocacy, accessing employment and healthcare, support for survivors of domestic abuse, food parcels, a shared hot lunch, etc.

    The visitor center in Woolwich is open every Tuesday from 10:30 am to 13:30 pm.

    Woolwich Community Centre
    Leslie Smith Square
    SE18 4W

    Telephone: 020 8694 0323

    Email: info@lrmn.org.uk

  • The centre provides free and independent legal advice to Royal Greenwich residents and specialises in employment law, immigration law and welfare benefits.

    Advice Line: 0208 854 8848

    Email: info@pclc.org.uk

  • GrIP is an independent community organisation in Royal Greenwich which runs projects to tackle racism by promoting fairness, respect, inclusion and change.

    GrIP offers great volunteering and training opportunities for anyone who wants to get involved. For enquiries on voluntary opportunities at GrIP, please visit their website.

  • The HER Centre

    The Her Centre offers survivors of domestic abuse free and confidential support, counselling, weekly drop-in sessions, advice and training in the following areas:

    • Domestic abuse and violence
    • Rape and sexual abuse
    • Young women's relationship abuse
    • Legal issues (signpost)
    • Health and Wellbeing
    • Language skills
    • Immigration (signposting to specialist)
    • Emergency housing (relating to domestic violence)

    Phone number: 0203 260 7715 / 0203 260 7772

    Email: info@hercentre.org

  • Live Well Greenwich is a partnership approach, led by Royal Greenwich Public Health and Wellbeing, to support local residents to live healthier, happier lives for longer.

    It does this through working together with local partners, services and communities themselves, to address a whole range of things that affect our physical and mental health.

    Read more about our partnership programmes, services and public health campaigns.

    Call the Live Well Greenwich Line on 0800 4704831 for signposting and support to get help with:

    • Eating well
    • Moving more
    • Stopping smoking
    • Drinking less
    • Money, debt and benefits advice
    • Employment and training
    • Support with housing needs#
    • Social and community activities
    • NHS Health Checks and support for managing your long-term condition

    The Live Well Greenwich phone line is a FREE helpline staffed by local, trained health and wellbeing advisors.

    Open: Mon-Thurs 8.30am-7.30pm, Fri 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat 9am2 noon (a message can be left outside of these hours)

  • The Big Red Bus Club is a family wellbeing centre in the heart of Charlton Park, which provides a range of family-led projects to support your whole families health and wellbeing.

    One local programme is the Ukrainian Under Fives Playgroup on Fridays, 10am2pm. The playgroup is run by local Ukrainian mums and is a chance to meet other families from the same community. The group also organises funday trips, community activities and regular Ukrainian / English language activities for the whole families.

    The under fives playgroup run an ESOL class called 'speak up', Mondays 10am2pm, and is for parents who would like to practise English with their children or babies. With an ESOL tutor in the group, the class is a great introduction to English before starting more formal ESOL courses in the borough.

    For more information, email Janina and Olga on janinawelburn@thebigredbusclub.org.uk

    Address: Big Red Bus Club, Cemetery Lane entrance of Charlton Park

  • Home-Start Greenwich is a local charity which offers support and help for families with young children in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

    • Get together and support each other
    • Useful advice and information about activities and support available locally
    • Access to free data and IT to be able to connect with families abroad
    • Educational and fun activities for children and parents
    • Provide parents and children with tools and tips to manage their wellbeing
    • Refreshments will be provided

    How we can help!

    Offer a space to come and access support at the Glyndon Community Centre, 75 Raglan Road, Plumstead, SE18 7LB, every Monday From: 9:30am - 11:30am.

    For further information contact Nadine Jalloh, Well-Being Manager, at Nadine.jalloh@homestartgreenwich.org.uk or Tetyana Konte, Data Coordinator, at Tetyana.konte@homestartgreenwich.org.uk

  • Emergency Contact Numbers