Amble welcomes Ukrainian family

Posted on 20th March 2023 | in Community

When Rev. Lynda Coulthard left Amble, the Methodist Church decided to replace her with a part time minister Rev. Christopher Wood Archer, last September. It then became obvious that the church would have a vacant detached four bedroom manse to sell, just as the demand for Ukrainian refugee accommodation was peaking. The local church agreed unanimously in June last year to offer the manse to refugees, but permission was required from the national Methodist Council in London, who finally agreed to allow rent free accommodation for up to 12 months.

A photo of George, Dina, Krystyna and 4 year old Sviatoslav from Ukraine in their new home in Amble

l-r: George, Dina, Krystyna and 4 year old Sviatoslav

The church applied to host a family and was eventually paired with the Malay family who had fled from Odessa to temporary accommodation in Italy.

Meanwhile with the help of local churches and the Warkworth/Amble support groups, the manse had to be furnished. Both local and church people were incredibly generous and when the family arrived on 9 December, not only was the manse fully furnished and equipped, but £1,500 had been donated towards their utility bills, all in the midst of a cost of living crisis – incredible generosity that the church and the Malay family deeply appreciate.

The family comprises Krystyna and her four year old son Sviatoslav, her brother George, her parents Vyacheslav and Dina and their Jack Russell dog Gretta. Sviatoslav’s father stayed behind in Odessa to help the war effort. Krystyna is improving her English and hopes to find work, possibly using her degree in Pharmacy and Medical Aesthetics. Sviatoslav has settled well into Amble First School while George (who read a lesson at the Hauxley Carol Service) and Vyachoslav, who both speak reasonable English, are seeking work locally.

The manse garage has meanwhile taken on a new role as a collection centre for van loads of clothing, bedding etc. going to Ukraine – the family have helped loading at least two vans already!

With their own car, they have also been able to help ferrying other Ukrainian guests to English lessons – please think of them whenever you see a Ukrainian car numberplate.

Tom Lloyd

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