FROM Gloucestershire to Lincolnshire and beyond Ambient Support staff across the country have stepped up to support the people of Ukraine in their hour of need.
In the village of Morton, Lincs staff at Springfields and Brambles supported living services, have not only been helping by organising collections but two team members have gone a step further by opening up their homes to welcome Ukrainian families via the Government’s sponsorship scheme.
The two services, which are next door to each provide care and support for up to 12 people with a learning disability and have a combined 18 employees. Team Leader at the services, Andrea Woodcock, has been organising collections with all 18 employees getting on board to donate what they can and asking friends and families to get help too.
Donations are sent to Ambient Support’s regional head office in Grantham, where it is then distributed to recognised charities. Items include toiletries, sanitary aid, nappies, pet food, tinned food, clothes, and paracetamol.
Andrea Woodcock, Team Leader at Ambient Support, said:
“Our staff teams at Springfields and Brambles work very closely together, and we have a lot of support for each other. We don’t see our work as a job, it’s a vocation and we are incredibly passionate about what we do and the people we support. We’re in care roles because we want to help and support people who can’t do it for themselves, so our instinct is to want to help others and the people in Ukraine need our help and as much support as they can get, and we can give. Seeing the devasting effects of the War has been heart-breaking and we have all wanted to do something to help.”
The two support workers at Springfields, Julie Houldershaw and Sandra Tilley are going a step further by welcoming refugees into their homes.
Julie and her husband, Gary, are sponsoring a Ukrainian mother and her 7-year-old-boy. Once the visa application is passed, the Ukrainian mother and son will leave their current place in Poland and fly to the UK to live with Julie and Gary for 6 months.
Sandra is hoping to keep the family close by sponsoring the boy’s Aunt and is waiting to hear news about her application.
Julie, who hopes to collect the family from Stansted airport imminently said:
“Watching the horrors of the War unfold has been extremely distressing. We have three grown-up daughters who have flown the nest and a four-bedroom house, so we have plenty of space to be able to help.
“We have spoken to the family via Zoom and it’s very emotional. What they are doing is courageous, leaving loved ones behind, coming to a new country and not being able to speak the language.
“We want to give them a safe roof over their heads, food and security and emotional support. The mother doesn’t speak English, so we are trying to find local lessons for her. We hope to give them a chance of a new life.
“Everyone at Ambient Support has really come together to support and help each other and we’re collectively doing what we can.
“Sandra speaks Russian and has been integral in helping us communicate with the family and will be coming with me to collect the mother and son from the airport next week.
“It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before going to sleep and I would like to think that someone would help me and my family if I were in the same situation.”
Chief Executive of Ambient Support, Mark Milton said:
“It is incredibly humbling to see how our support workers go above and beyond to help those who have been forced to flee their homeland and leave loved ones behind. I am extremely proud that our staff are helping communities beyond their own and am inspired by their generosity.”