A Lincolnshire couple rented out an entire 180-bed hotel in Poland to house people escaping the war in Ukraine, creating what they describe as a ‘refugee hub’.
Jakub and Gosia Golata immigrated to the UK in 2004 and have lived in Barrow-upon-Humber in North Lincolnshire for much of the last two decades.
Jakub works on the HS2 rail project as a logistics manager based in Lincolnshire, who has been driving families from the border to the hotel. His wife Gosia is a serving officer at Lincolnshire Police who is currently on a sabbatical due to caring for her mother in Poland.
The couple have hired out the Park Hotel Tryszczyn Bydgoszcz. They are collecting for donations to help house families at the hotel until they can return to Ukraine to rebuild their country.
Jakub rented the hotel, which was closed due to the COVID pandemic, with his own money, according to BBC. He has also linked up with the Polish arm of Sue Ryder to help with fundraising. He hopes the hub will be taken over by government, and the model replicated in towns all over Poland.
Jakub told BBC Look North: “I’ve never been involved in a humanitarian aid and charity, but I’ve been involved in setting up a complex project in a short space of time. The whole aim of the project was to mobilise immediately and provide immediate support to the vulnerable mothers and kids.”
Meanwhile, Benjamyn Damazer in Crowland has offered to house two women and a child from Ukraine in his home. They applied for their visas through the government’s Homes For Ukraine scheme, but were reportedly turned away by UK Border Control at Calais.
He told BBC Look North: “We know what has to be done. Britain has a long and proud tradition of helping those in distress and in recent years we’ve been involved with refugees, whether it’s from Syria, or Libya, or Afghanistan, or lots of other countries. My request to the Home Office is, put bluntly, please get a move on.”
A government spokesperson told BBC Look North said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and the changes we’ve made to the visa process are making it quicker and simpler for Ukrainians to come here, as well as ensuring those already here can stay.”