Perthshire united in support for Ukraine

Perthshire people have given on an unprecedented level to refugee camps coping with people escaping from Ukraine.

There is no figure on what has been given in Perthshire for Ukrainian refugees, but one organizer described “a full-size HGV and a big van” filled and gone, plus enough for another lorry to go in coming days.

Meanwhile in Aberfeldy a pub boss has offered to sponsor two Ukrainian nationals, offering jobs, flights, accommodation and paperwork help to get them out to Highland Perthshire.

Gavin Price, owner of the Schiehallion Hotel and the Fountain Bar and Restaurant, said he needs staff in Aberfeldy for the season and he will do his best to offer a safe home and jobs to two people escaping the fighting.

He tweeted the sponsorship offer: “We can provide accommodation, will pay flights, work visas. Just let us know what hoops we need to jump through @pritipatel @BorisJohnson.”

Gavin said it was “not wholly selfless” as he desperately needed staff to work as the season began soon and Brexit had “all but destroyed the hospitality industry”.

He had potential applicants message almost instantly and he told the PA he did not know how he would choose, needing people as he does for bar, kitchen, waiting – but he was looking for “a good fit.”

The Schiehallion Bar, a pub and hotel in Aberfeldy owned by Gavin Price and a possible place for a Ukrainian national to find work and digs

Since this offer was made, half a dozen other Aberfeldy and Highland Perthshire employers said they would take Ukrainian nationals as a priority if red tape allowed.

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The Polish population in Perthshire have been collecting, moving, sorting and packing millions of items, the majority of which are already traveling into Eastern Europe.

The Polish Scouts got to work in a warehouse in Perth’s Jeanfield Road, North Muirton, putting hours into sorting the items handed in.

Wioletta Hass-Lipinska, head teacher at the Polish School in Perth, said as of Thursday she’d heard that 600,000 refugees had so far arrived in Poland.

The community of Polish people living in Perth had started an appeal on Saturday and within three days, had to ask people to stop bringing donations as there was more than they could process.

On Tuesday night a human chain gang of young people -ZHP, the Polish Scout Group – passed blankets, sleeping bags, nappies, prams and car seats from one to another and into the storehouse. Then in Errol, ‘hundreds’ of people in a Morris Leslie warehouse sorted the most essential items into sections to go to Poland.

Polish Scouts pass bags and boxes from hand to had at Jeanfield Road, Perth on Tuesday night
Polish Scouts pass bags and boxes from hand to had at Jeanfield Road, Perth on Tuesday night

The collection center in Errol for Ukraine donations
The collection center in Errol for Ukraine donations on Wednesday

Wioletta said “a massive thank you” to everyone involved.

She said if anyone had items for mums and children – formula milk, wipes, nappies – they would only accept these now at Jeanfield Road.

She gave her number to call to arrange drop off – 07783140888. No more clothes were wanted. Meanwhile all other drop-off locations in Perthshire were pausing collection for now.

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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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