Morpeth couple's thanks after welcoming Ukrainian refugees into their home

The support of the Morpeth community has been praised by a couple who have welcomed a mother and son from Ukraine into their home.

By Andrew Coulson
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 1:59 pm
Carole and Ronnie Lyall with Nataliia and Nikita.
Carole and Ronnie Lyall with Nataliia and Nikita.

Having killed thousands and displaced millions, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has drawn widespread international condemnation.

Carole and Ronnie Lyall applied to the Homes for Ukraine scheme and after initial frustrations with the process, Visas were sorted for Nataliia and her son Nikita, 15, in just six days after the Morpeth couple had communicated with Nataliia and decided that she and Nikita were the right fit for them.

Support has come from members of the public and local businesses. Before they arrived last Thursday, new sockets that also provide USB connection points were fitted free of charge by WINN Electrical Services.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Carole and Ronnie Lyall with Nataliia and Nikita at the coast.

Then, after not charging Nikita for a haircut the day after they arrived, Dave’s the Gentlemans Barbers in the town has given Nikita a Saturday job.

Carole said: “As well as these lovely gestures, although it was a bit awkward asking, we’ve had an amazing response with donations from people we know and some from people we don’t know – including clothes, fitted sheets and even a bike.

“They have settled in well and we enjoyed watching the Eurovision Song Contest together. They appreciated the public support across Europe for the winning Ukraine entry.

“We have also been to the coast and Nikita enjoyed taking a few photos. We’ve got lots more plans for activities and trips we can do together.

“It’s great that so many people across the UK have signed up to Homes for Ukraine. The refugees would obviously rather still be at home, but they are very grateful to be away from the fighting at the moment.”

The couple got support from the Northumberland for Ukraine and Morpeth for Ukraine groups, and the Morpeth group recently held its first coffee morning at St George’s URC.

This was not a fundraiser, but a number of people left donations to help the group with its activities – £113 was raised.

The organisers thanked everyone who contributed to the event and for more information about the group, go to the Morpeth for Ukraine Facebook page or email [email protected]

The next meeting for host families, volunteers and anyone else interested is tomorrow (Wednesday) at St George’s URC from 6.30pm.