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First Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion set to arrive in the Aviemore as Council Convener vows 'we will make sure that they receive the necessary care and support while they are with us'


By Scott Maclennan

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Highland Council Convenor Bill Lobban shows his support for the people of Ukraine.
Highland Council Convenor Bill Lobban shows his support for the people of Ukraine.

A number of people from Ukraine are due to arrive in the Highlands today under the Hotel Accommodation Scheme for Ukrainian Displaced Persons, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

In the short-term the group will be staying temporarily at the Strathspey Hotel in Aviemore while the Scottish Government and COSLA progress their applications to transfer to longer-term accommodation.

The Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of their country will be supported by staff from NHS Highland and Highland Council with the latter’s resettlement team on hand at the hotel on a daily basis to advise on essential services.

The temporary stay will allow individuals and families to recover from their journey while giving local authorities time to complete the necessary checks so host families can welcome their guests to their longer-term accommodation.

Support will also include practical advice and information on the surrounding area, access to interpretation services, linking with health colleagues regarding services and providing families with details of the area and accommodation they have been matched with and assisting with ongoing transfer arrangements.

The council was clear that the support provided will not impact on existing essential council housing and welfare services.

The guests will be staying on a full board basis and the cost of the accommodation is being directly funded by the Scottish Government.

The Convener of Highland Council and local member Bill Lobban, a vocal critic of the Vladimir Putin and the invasion, said that even though the Ukrainians would stay only a short time they would be well cared for.

“I would like to thank our staff for their hard work in preparing to welcome individuals and families from the Ukraine," he said.

“I am sure they will find their role both challenging and rewarding. The guests will only be staying in Aviemore for a short time, but we will make sure that they receive the necessary care and support while they are with us.”

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