Opening up a home to mother and daughter from war-torn Ukraine – a hospital porter’s generous offer – North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
A HOSPITAL porter and his family from Middlesbrough – determined to help those suffering in war-torn Ukraine – have opened up their home to a mother and daughter fleeing their homeland.
Paul Simms, who works for NTH Solutions, the subsidiary company of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, and his wife Gill saw the devastating effect the war in Ukraine was having on innocent people – and knew immediately they wanted to help, so they began looking into options over how they could offer support.
They began by collecting items such as nappies, baby milk, and sanitary products and sent a large shipment of donations to the Ukraine. Next they registered their interest in the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ government scheme and things moved pretty quickly from there when they were put in contact with a mother and daughter seeking refuge.
Paul, who has worked at the Trust for 10 years, and Gill organised and paid for the transport to the UK themselves, and once arrived welcomed Olga 46 and her daughter Anastasia 19 into their home.
Paul, who is also a registered dog trainer and behaviourist and has competed in Crufts, the annual dog show, said: “It’s been a great few weeks getting to know Olga and Anastasia, we have been using a translation app to aid communication and have been learning about their lives and interests.
“Olga speaks four languages and is a keen church goer, one of the first things we did was take to her our local church, which she now attends daily, and she has spent lots of time with the priest who also speaks fluent Russian.
“Anastacia is a very talented young woman, she is a wonderful singer and she plays the piano, saxophone and guitar. We arranged for her to meet with a local music teacher who said her talent is outstanding.
“When people ask why we made this decision the answer is a simple one, to help those in need. We aren’t doing this for the financial element provided by the government, in fact we have set up a bank account for Olga and Anastacia which we pay the monthly payments into so that if they were to move on or find their own home they have some funds to help them get started.
“Gill and I are so glad we made this decision, knowing you have positively impacted people’s lives is wonderful, I would encourage anyone else considering joining the scheme to do so if you are able.”
The Trust and NTH Solutions have already collectively raised a range of medical supplies for people in the Ukraine as well as more than £11,000 to be used to invest in more equipment.
Managing Director of NTH Solutions Mike Worden added: “As an organisation we have been doing what we can to support the people of Ukraine, we have sent numerous shipments of medical equipment, supplies and PPE, liaising with a driver who took the donations to Ukraine in an unused patient transport vehicle donated by North East Ambulance Service.
“I am so proud of Paul, the kindness and generosity of our colleagues never ceases to amaze me, I feel humbled to work amongst such wonderful people.”