Northumberland town welcomes its first refugees from Ukraine

The first Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Rothbury.

Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 2:08 pm

The first two families, pictured with their sponsor families, had been held up at Krakow Airport in Poland for three days due to visa issues.

A welcome evening will be held in the town in the next few weeks after more families arrive.

Cllr Steven Bridgett, Rothbury ward member on Northumberland County Council, has thanked the council for its ‘excellent’ response.

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The first two Ukrainian refugee families, pictured with their sponsor families, have arrived in Rothbury.

He said: “Phil Soderquest's team including Diane Munro in the Refugee Service, have excelled.

"Paul Hedley's team in the Fire Service have been carrying out home checks well in advance of when they should to ensure there is no hold up at the council's end and Audrey Kingham and her team have just been exceptional as always.

"And I am delighted that she has been able to offer one of the refugees (Natalia Nahirniak), who is a trained English teacher, a job with the council.

"Natalia's translation skills will prove invaluable to the authority in terms of helping the Ukrainian children coming to Northumberland that are in need of education and helping other families who speak limited English, access services and support.”

He also thanked Tom Forrester, chief of staff of Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, for his assistance in overcoming the visa issues.