If you are new to the country or if you have moved here from elsewhere in the UK, it can be somewhat overwhelming.
For those coming from overseas, it can be particularly daunting. Research has shown that the UK ranks very low compared to many other countries with regards to relocation. Even if English is your native language, Britain may still feel like quite a foreign place.
Employers confirm that the number one reason for employees not accepting an international assignment in the 1st place is the potential disruption to the career of their relocating partner. Today’s mobile employees are no longer interested exclusively in the financial aspect of their international assignment package – they are extremely concerned about the fate of their partners while abroad, and the most common reason for a failed expat assignment (71% of corporations) is an unhappy and unintegrated partner in the host location.
Supporting the expat partner brings significant benefits for the company, including assignment acceptance & job performance. Language & intercultural training are the 2 top benefits that are offered by companies as part of the package for expat partners. **
** Information & Data Sources: 2018 Internations Expat Insider Survey, 2018 EY & NetExpat Relocating Partner Survey
Once couples have settled somewhat, research shows that is often when the person who has tagged along (and most often that is the wife), is struggling with finding something meaningful to do having often left behind a career back home.
Perfect Cuppa English, RunnethLondon, Cigal Kaplan Interiors & Magus Education have joined forces in helping expats with their relocation needs from creating a home, career coaching, help with language and cultural aspects, and schools.
Together, we have created a Facebook group to help those new to here. It is called New to London.
The below questions and worries I get from many parents and in particular from those who are brand new to the UK.
Some of these questions also relate to those who are already settled and find themselves going through a difficult life situation (like divorce or separation):
- Do I need to register with a GP?
- How does the healthcare system work?
- What are the emergency numbers?
- How does the educational system work?
- How can I understand British culture better?
- My partner is physically hurting me, but I am scared that our children will be taken away if I report it.
- How does it work if I find myself wanting/needing to separate or divorce from my partner?
- I am having issues with my landlord and am not sure where to turn to.
- Now that we have children, we need to organise a will, but we are from different countries so we are not sure what to do or how to do it.
- I would like to set up my own business, but am unsure as to where to start.
- I am pregnant and have no idea how the antenatal services work here.
There are of course many more questions, but those are some that I come across fairly often.
I can help advise you by putting you in touch with experts that are known to me personally, so please don’t hesitate to be in touch on NW8mums@gmail.com and I will do my best to help you.
Healthcare & Emergency Numbers
Emergency numbers: 112, 999
Non-Emergency numbers: 101, 111, 0300 123 1212
Yes, you do need to register with a GP even if you have private health insurance. Please click HERE to take you to the page with links to GP surgeries and other local hospitals, dentists and much more.
If you are pregnant and would like to understand what the first steps are, please click HERE to take you to the page on pregnancy and ante-natal services.
One of my mums organises talks on how the British healthcare system works. If you would like to know more, please email me on NW8mums@gmail.com and I will provide more details.
Legal & Accounting
Sharon Sloam works at Shoosmiths and can help with issues relating to family law.
Magnus Mill who is a partner at Alexiou Fisher Philipps in nearby Marylebone can help with issues relating to family law.
I run a support group for those NW8-mums who are undergoing separation or divorce. Magnus does talks for us a few times a year where he goes through the process and answers individual questions. Should you need and like to join the support group, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything that is disclosed in the support group and during talks is confidential.
Your local council can help with a number of things as can the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Attwells Solicitors on St John’s Wood High Street can also help with a number of legal aspects as well as witness documents.
Organising a will, setting up life insurance and various other things, can be quite daunting and it is easy to put it off simply because you have no idea of where to start.
Derek Shiels is not just an NW8-dad, but he is also an independent financial advisor who has helped not just me with some things, but also several other NW8-families. To see what he can help with, please click HERE.
There are many Americans in the area and for those who need a specialist in UK/US matters, Lawrence (Larry) Gilberti, a partner at Reed Smith, regularly comes over to London to meet his UK based clients helping them with wills.
Kevin Rex of Summit Financial helps US citizens with life insurance, estate and financial planning.
There is a local notary who is authorised to do notary work for American citizens. Please email me for his details on NW8mums@gmail.com.
Setting Up a Business
For the latest information, it is best to go straight to HMRC where you can read all about it as well as get going.
My accountant, Gregg Pilcher, was instrumental in helping me not just with accounting as self-employed, but also when I set up my educational consultancy as a limited company. He helped set it all up with HMRC and he also does the accounting for Magus Education.
Kath Sloggett is a local mother and career coach. Her company Runneth can help with anything business related from starting a business to changing careers. She and her team help men and women at all different parts of their working life from working with grad students to those nearing retirement. She has helped many NW8-mums and dads.
British Culture & British English
Who doesn’t want to understand the British better? As a student, it took me a while to realise that ‘See you later!’ was not an invitation to see me later, but is an expression.
Victoria Rennoldson of Perfect Cuppa English can help you with all things British and I wish I had known her when I first arrived in the UK in September 1997. She organises many things from talks, workshops, walks, individual sessions on different topics, communication sessions and much more.
Education is one of the most commonly talked about topics. To learn more about the educational system here in the UK, please click HERE to go to the page on schools and nurseries.
Setting Up a Home
Should you need help setting up a home, or need help with anything related to interiors, Cigal Kaplan is the person to go to.