April 8, 2022 9.00 pm This story is over 25 months old

Ukrainian refugees arrive at Lincolnshire man’s home “emotionally drained”

They are “extremely pleased to be somewhere safe”

A Lincolnshire man has said the Ukrainian refugees he is housing are “extremely pleased to be somewhere safe”, but they are feeling “emotionally drained and physically drained”.

Olya and her 12-year-old son arrived in the UK by ferry last weekend. The refugees are being sponsored by Benjamyn Damazer from Crowland in south Lincolnshire.

After applying for visas through the government’s Home For Ukraine scheme they were reportedly turned away by UK Border Control at Calais. It took weeks struggling with bureaucracy before their visas were issued.

Benjamyn said: “They are extremely pleased to be somewhere safe where they don’t have to worry, but more importantly somewhere where they feel they can settle. At this stage they don’t know for how long that will be.

“They are extraordinarily tired, the energy to keep going is difficult. They are obviously emotionally drained and physically drained.”

A government spokesperson said: “We acknowledge progress approving visas has not been good enough.

“The Home Office has made changes to visa processing – the application form has now been streamlined. Ukrainian passport holders can now apply online and do their biometrics checks once in the UK, and greater resource has gone into the system.”