- Members of Hayling Island SC have helped 10 Ukrainian refugee families come to the UK.
Club member Steve McLean first travelled to Poland after Ukraine was invaded to deliver donations gathered by club members for refugees.
While delivering the supplies, he met a number of Ukrainian families in need of UK hosts and began offering a matching service.
Mr McLean liaised with members back in Hayling Island to finds homes for 10 families through the sailing club community.
Having found homes for ten families, Mr McLean is keen to continue helping, but says the visa process is taking “far too long”.
In March he put in an application to sponsor a traumatised family who escaped from Bucha.
“It just went into a black hole for months,” he said. “We thought the application covered the whole family, and then we received correspondence from the Home Office to say the children weren’t covered, and had to make their own application.”
After the BBC contacted the Home Office about the case, the children were granted a rare visa waiver allowing them to travel to the UK with their mother, who had already been approved for a visa.
A government spokesperson said: “Every life lost in this conflict is a tragedy and our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has been affected by Putin’s barbaric war.”