Orphans evacuated from Ukraine by charity able to enter Scotland

Steven Carr, who set up the Dnipro Kids charity along with fellow Hibs fans, said it was 'fantastic news'.

Orphans evacuated from Ukraine by Dnipro Kids charity will be able to enter the UK, confirms Home Office Dnipro Kids
The Home Office confirmed that the children will be able to enter the country.

A group of 48 orphans will be allowed to enter Scotland having been evacuated from Ukraine by a charity.

Dnipro Kids, set up in Medyka on the Poland/Ukraine border following the Russian invasion, had called for clarity from the UK Government that the children would be allowed to enter the country.

The Home Office has now confirmed that they will be able to come to the UK, following discussions with the Ukrainian Government.

Steven Carr, who set up the charity along with fellow Hibs fans, said it was “fantastic news”.

Home secretary Priti Patel on Thursday said that the UK is working with Poland to ensure their “swift arrival” to the UK.

“It is deeply troubling that children from the charity Dnipro Kids have been caught up in Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine,” said Patel.

“I have been working directly with the Ukrainian government and asked for their permission to bring these children to the UK.

“I am extremely grateful to the authorities in Ukraine, who have now confirmed to me that the children can come here.

“We are working urgently with Poland to ensure the children’s swift arrival to the UK.”

Mr Carr said that the charity is “over the moon” that the group will be able to enter the country.

“It’s fantastic news, it’s been a bit of a drawn-out affair and at times it’s been frustrating, but I’m just so glad it’s now over the line,” he said.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how we got there – we got there – and we’re all over the moon that the children will now be able to come to Scotland.”

The inspiration for Dnipro Kids was a collection for local children before Hibs’ UEFA Cup match against Dnipro in 2005, which snowballed into an official charity.

The city of Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth-largest, has been hit by intense Russian shelling since the invasion began on February 24.

Scottish secretary Alister Jack said that Scotland has a “proud history” of supporting refugees, as he expressed his gratitude to the Dnipro Kids charity.

“It is great news that the Dnipro Kids will soon be on their way to Scotland,” said Jack.

“We have all been moved by their story and I’m very glad the UK Government was able to move so quickly to smooth their passage here.

“I’m very grateful to the Hibs fans’ Dnipro Kids charity and all others involved in getting the children out of Ukraine safely.

“Scotland has a proud history of supporting refugees, and I’m sure these young people will be made incredibly welcome when they get here.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that the process had been “more difficult than it needed to be”.

But, the MP expressed his happiness that the children will be able to travel to the country.

“I’m absolutely delighted we’ve managed to achieve this breakthrough and that, all things being well, Scotland will welcome 48 Ukrainian children and their guardians to safety on Monday,” he said.

“While this process has been more difficult than it needed to be, all that matters now is that these children will be in a place of safety and I am pleased beyond words.

“I want to pay tribute to everyone who has worked hard to make this happen including the Scottish charity Dnipro kids, the Ukrainian and Polish authorities, the Scottish Government, Edinburgh City Council, and all those who have helped resolve issues at the Home Office.”

He continued: “It’s essential that the UK Government learns lessons and removes unnecessary barriers and delays to supporting displaced children and families.

“Not all children will be in the position of having guardians and adults to support them, and the Home Office must ensure there are safe, smooth and quick ways for them to access visas and reach safety.

“It’s far from clear to me how that can happen under the present system.”

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