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Northumberland family to take in desperate Ukrainian refugees fleeing war

By Aaron Morris

A Northumberland woman is one step closer to bringing a Ukrainian family to safety after raising vital funding to bring them to the UK.

Susanne Hume from Hill End, near Morpeth, launched her fundraising initiative just four days ago - but has already surpassed her initial target of £300 which will allow her to transport a mother and daughter who are desperately hoping to flee their war-torn home country.

The family, who wish to remain unnamed, are currently posted up in Uman while awaiting their VISAs - but hope to embark on the 1,853 mile journey as soon as they have the green light.

Read more: Northumberland man ready to home Ukrainian family pays £3,000 for a hotel while they wait weeks for visa

Speaking to ChronicleLive, Susanne said: "We've been talking to a family via a charity called OPORA for the last five weeks. We initially helped them get a passport and understand about what moving to this country would have been like.

"A couple of weeks ago we decided that we would like to offer them a home within our family home, so we've been speaking more and more to this family and we're just in absolute awe with what's going on over there.

The room that Susanne is offering up to the mother and daughter (Susanne Hume)

"They're still in Ukraine and they've got a little girl - it's horrible to hear about all the things they have to do, going to bomb shelters and turn their lights off on an evening and things.

"We applied for VISAs at the weekend, and decided to set up a fundraiser because charities are beginning to run out of money. We would have qualified for free travel and things for them to get here, but we decided to setup a GoFundMe which has already hit its target.

"We'll have enough money to fly them over once they've got their VISAs."

Although Susanne has been communicating with a family of three - a mother, father and daughter - the father fears actions of Martial Law should he leave the country. This is due to conscription within Ukraine itself, which says that all men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited to leave the country - with more and more being called to battle on the frontlines.

Although Susanne has applied for a visa for the father himself - giving him the option to leave should regulations change - as it stands he will stay behind and fight for his country's freedom.

Susanne added: "They're having to leave the father/husband behind although we have applied for a VISA for him. We've got the 90 days which gives us this option that if later down the line he feels he needs to flee - but because of Martial Law, he is of conscription age so he doesn't want to leave.

"So it's a mother and a daughter, who is seven, who are going to come and live with us.

"We're on a farm - we're actually probably one of the most rural families who are hosting, because they don't understand rural life.

"In Ukraine, if you talk about rural life, they think that it's a shack with no heating, no plumbing - but it's been nice actually to share a little bit of our culture with them and get them to understand what rural life is like in the UK compared to the Ukraine.

"We found that a lot of the families that we were initially talking to - they all want to be in London. They think that that's where they'll get the jobs, that's where the schools are. Whereas there's a free bus from our house that takes the little girl to school, and I've got two children so they would all be together.

"It's quite a nice setup for them."

With money within charities running low in terms of Ukrainian humanitarian aid, Susanne also feels as though more people should follow suit, by stepping forward and offering their homes up to refugees seeking safety and asylum.

The 34-year-old added: "It's so important because a lot of these families aren't wanting to come to the UK - they're not exactly looking for refugee status. They are fleeing because they're terrified.

Are you offering space in your home to Ukrainian refugees? Let us know in the comments section.

"It's getting worse out there - there's shelling nearly every day, there's air raids going off. Even the West of the country is getting more and more unsafe. It just seems to be very up and down.

"The more people that can help, the relief that can give for a family just so they know that they have somewhere to come that's safe is a huge thing."

Since speaking to ChronicleLive, one of the refugees that Susanne and her family are assisting has received approval for their VISA.

To read more about Susanne's story, you can visit her official GoFundMe page here.

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Dive Deeper:
Ukrainian family finds sanctuary in South Shields thanks to Hexham mum and local charity
Three generations of the same family and their dog escaped war-torn Ukraine to come to the North East and find…
Girl, 9, so traumatised by war she didn't speak for almost five weeks now living in Greater Manchester
Little Milana stopped talking after Russian invaded Ukraine
Daughter begs Government to save mum from Afghanistan and blasts Tory 'double standards'
Shabnam Nishat's mum has been in hiding in Afghanistan since thousands of troops were dispatched to Kabul to rescue UK…
Ukrainian refugee, 9, so traumatised by war she couldn't speak for five weeks
Milana Pankevych fled Lviv in Western Ukraine via Krakow in Poland and is now living with a host family in…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Ukraine refugee Inna Neklesa grateful for kindness of family, strangers, but wonders what is next
Inna Neklesa is relieved to have arrived in Australia with her children after a long journey from their home in…
Consett fundraisers traveling to Poland refugee camp to help Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion
Seven volunteers who met while collecting donations for Ukraine are getting ready to see how aid is helping displaced families
Get all your news in one place