Support for scores of Ukrainian refugees coming to Harborough district is being stepped up by the local council.
At least 129 Ukrainian people fleeing the Russian invasion have now got the go-ahead to stay with local families backing the Government’s Homes for Ukraine initiative.
Cllr Phil King, the leader of Harborough District Council, and Cllr Simon Whelband have been helping to signpost support available locally for Ukrainian men, women and children heading to the UK as well as their hosts.
The two councillors are pictured here at Market Harborough railway station with a special new poster.
The Welcome to Harborough poster – also spelled out in Ukrainian – sets out how people seeking safe haven here can secure help from local councils, the police, NHS and East Midlands Airport.
You can find out much more by checking out Harborough council’s Ukraine support webpage here: https://www.harborough.gov.uk/support-ukraine
Harborough district is leading the way in welcoming Ukrainian refugees across the county - with more households taking in individuals or families than in any other part of Leicestershire.
More than 400 visas have been handed to Ukraine nationals coming to Leicestershire, 252 to North Northamptonshire and 376 to West Northamptonshire.
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian man living in Market Harborough is now working around the clock to raise £1,800 to carry out yet another vital mercy mission to support his compatriots in Ukraine.
Oleksii Pilevych, 41, has already carried out three 2,600-mile round trips to the Polish-Ukrainian border ferrying critical supplies to his countrymen and women after the Russian invasion.
Writing on his new website Help Ukraine MH, Oleksii says: “In order to make possible another trip to bring much-needed aid to the border of Ukraine, we need to raise £1,800 (cost of van hire, ferry, fuel, food for driver 4 days) - at this moment we have collected £300 in donations.
“We are a self-organising group of people to help people in Ukraine who are affected by the war Russia started in Ukraine.
“Everyone involved are volunteers who have given up their time to help.
“We are collecting donations and aid to take to the Ukrainian border,” says the public spirited dad-of-three.
“And other volunteers in our team are collecting the aid directly from us and taking back to the people in Ukraine without any bureaucracy or goods being stuck in warehouses for weeks.
“Our aid gets to the people directly within days.
“If you would like to help Ukrainians please donate to:
Bank name: Nationwide
Account name: Oleksii Pilevych
Account number: 30915647
Sort code: 070806
Account name: Oleksii Pilevych
IBAN: GB82 NAIA 0708 0630 9156 47
Oleksii, who still has a daughter, a sister and two brothers as well as other loved ones in war-torn Ukraine, told the Harborough Mail last month: “It is absolutely vital that we all continue to do all we can to get behind the poor people of Ukraine.
“Millions of men, women and children, everybody from new-born babies to elderly grandparents, are starving.
“None of them have asked to be murdered or raped, to be starved, to have their homes blown up and to be forced to flee their own homeland,” said the lorry driver.
“So we must work as hard as we can to help ease their suffering and misery while this horrific war goes on day in day out.”
You can check out Oleksii’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/954137718584746