New life start for Ukrainian family sponsored by hosts in Perthshire

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An Aberfeldy couple are eager to meet the Ukrainian family they have sponsored to come and live with them.

Mo and Jamie Cairncross are both in their fifties and, with their children grown up and flown the nest, they were keen to let a family of three come and live in their Perthshire home.

Mo – the town registrar – and her husband Jamie have been ‘matched’ with Tetiana, Andrii and tiny baby Mark through a new organization operating in Aberfeldy called Highland Perthshire Welcomes Ukraine.

The Schiehallion Hotel’s owner Gavin Price and manager Julie Dunbar began this database of willing local hosts and have recruited a team to help organize potential sponsorship families, Ukrainians wanting to come to live in Scotland and all the paperwork and arrangements.

Aberfeldy is quickly becoming a Scotland-wide leader in directly helping fleeing Ukrainians. The Cairncross/Tetiana match is the first to have had the application process completed and now they have to remain in Poland with their six-week old baby and await agreement from the UK government to travel to Scotland.

Gavin told the PA of three other matches currently being worked on.

Laurie and Ann Dempster are hoping to home Ukrainian family Moshin, Olga and their three-year-old Maria.

Chris and Ellen Birt have been matched with Marianna and children David (17) and George (12).

Alison Stewart and Norman McCandlish are hoping to be taking in Natasha and her five-year old girl Ashanti.

When the PA spoke to the Cairncross couple about having a baby in the house, Mo said: “We are lucky we have the space inside and out.

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Mo and Jamie Cairncross in Aberfeldy are excited to open their home in Aberfeldy and be sponsors of the Ukrainian family
Mo and Jamie Cairncross in Aberfeldy are excited to open their home in Aberfeldy and be sponsors of the Ukrainian family

“We have three grandchildren and a fourth on the way so we are quite well set up for a baby.

“We have spare room because our family are grown up and moved out, so we realized we were at the perfect point in our lives to help. We decided to sponsor a family on basic humanitarian grounds.

“We hope Tetiana and Andrii can make the flight to Scotland soon. We are delighted to have them coming to live with us.

“I hope we can be a home from home to them and that they will be able to settle in quickly.”

Last week Tetiana wrote to tell Gavin about herself. She wrote: “Due to the latest events happening in our country, we were forced to flee Ukraine.

“As we had to flee very quickly, unfortunately, we weren’t able to take a lot of things with us, and I don’t have my passport with me, only a Ukrainian ID, which I am not sure will be enough to Enter Scotland.

“We are currently in Poland staying with friends. We have a little son Mark, he is only six weeks old.

“My husband, Andrii, is a constructor, he can do a wide range of works, from electricity and fixing water pipes to building houses and decorating rooms.

“I have a Master’s degree in IT technologies, I am very good at organizing things.

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“I’ve been working as an English teacher for the last four years and I also have experience in marketing.

“We Ukrainians are hardworking people, motivated, stress-proof, loyal and easy-going. We always do our best no matter what we do.”

Tetiana’s agreed to help with other Ukrainian visa applications for the Aberfeldy effort as she is an excellent English speaker.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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