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HELP HUB: Aid centre set up at Luton Airport for Ukrainian refugees

 Published on: 30th March 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A humanitarian hub has been put up at London Luton Airport to provide help and support for refugees arriving from the Ukraine following the country’s invasion.

Volunteers from the British Red Cross, Airport Chaplaincy and the Bedfordshire and Luton Emergency Volunteers Executive Committee have set up the point, where evacuees are given food, drink and advice for further travel within the UK.

Also there are paramedics from the Hearts First Ambulance Service, who are giving out advice on both physical and mental health issues.

Earlier this month, a Ukrainian woman, Tatiana, and her British husband, Alan, arrived at the airport, flying in from Romanian capital Bucharest.

They had left Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv at the beginning of March, staying at a friend’s apartment in a town close to the Romanian border.

59-year-old Alan said: “It is terrible in Kyiv now. We left before it got too bad. They had just started bombing. We could hear if from our apartment.

“It took us three attempts to get on a train. It was absolute chaos. There were people pushing and shoving. The police were shooting in the air to try and control everybody, because there was just panic.

“On the train people had dogs, cats, birds. They were throwing luggage out of the train because there was not enough room for everybody. There was piles of luggage at the train station.

“We stayed there [Romania] for a little while before going across the border about a week ago. The volunteers there were outstanding. The people were so friendly. “There is food and water and people to take care of you. They put you on transport. At the train stations they are giving out tickets and food.

“The support is incredible. Local businesses have signs up saying if you are Ukrainian they will give you discounts on food.“

Speaking about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Alan describes it “murder. It is genocide, but the Ukrainians are standing up. They are tough resilient people. They have been persecuted a lot over the years.”

46-year old Tatiana has two brothers still in Kyiv, whilst her mother resides in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

She said of the situation: “I have friends and relatives in Russia and they are being given all this propaganda about special operations. They are so brainwashed.”

Alberto Martin, CEO at London Luton Airport said: “As an international airport we help to connect cultures, places and people, so it has been heart breaking to witness events unfold in Ukraine. We are proud of the support we provide to our communities and are glad we can play a small part in ensuring a warm welcome to Ukrainian families as they arrive in the UK”.

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