Ukrainian couple welcomed with open arms by Crosshill community

A UKRAINIAN couple are ‘safe for the first time in a long time’ after being welcomed with open arms by the Crosshill community.

Paul and Hanna Zakhariuta fled the ongoing war and are now settled with jobs and an apartment thanks to a local employer and the generosity of those who call the area home.

Husband and wife now work together at Re-Employ and have been overwhelmed by the welcome they have received from locals.

Speaking to The Times this week, Social Enterprise’s Irene Donaldson said the couple arrived with only one suitcase and the clothes they were wearing, but now have jobs, secure accommodation and neighbors who they can call friends.

She said: “Their apartment back home in Ukraine was razed.

“They couldn’t even walk in the nearby woods because of unexploded bombs and tripwires in the area.

“So you can imagine their reaction when they saw Lochore Meadows. They thought it was great. I think they walk there every day now.

“They are safe now for the first time in a long time. Paul’s mum was sobbing on the phone with him recently as she was so happy and overjoyed that they had met us all and settled here.

“You can only hope that if the Scots were ever to find themselves in the same situation as the Ukrainians for whatever reason, that other nations would also show the same passion and consideration as Scotland.

“The community of Crosshill and surrounding areas like Glencraig have totally embraced Paul and Hanna and we are so happy they are here.”

Paul, 30, arrived with his wife and immediately began looking for work, and applied for a vacancy at Re-Employ – a position that had been advertised for over a month with no candidates coming forward. deemed appropriate.

“Paul came in for an interview and we immediately knew he was perfect for the job,” Irene said. “However, we had to start finding accommodation for them. I can only say it was a concerted effort; the area really came together.

“We found an apartment for them and they immediately took it.”

Upon learning of Paul and Hanna’s arrival, local residents began to provide the goods and necessities they would need.

“In no time they had a fully furnished one bedroom apartment,” Irene continued.

“The community has been absolutely fabulous, and so has Fife Council. “David (Farrell) and John (Gilfillan) have given the couple a new bed and TV, and so many others have given them donations.

“Everyone helped.”

Paul and Hanna, 26, were so touched by the kindness extended to them that they wanted an open house to be held so they could personally thank those who contributed.

“They really wanted to talk to people and say thank you,” Irene said.

“Word spread that there was a new young couple here and before you knew it there were offers of help coming from all over.

“Paul and Hanna have never experienced a community like this before.

“Everything is new to them, but everyone has been there for them.”

Although it was Paul who applied for the position at Re-Employ, Hanna also found herself employed after a conversation that led to a chance discovery.

“Hanna is actually a media expert, who is building a new website for us right now.

“We ended up employing both of them. They had the right attitude and they were perfect for the positions we had available.

“It’s a series of events that led to this, and they’re such a brilliant addition.

“Although it was Re-Employ who gave them jobs, it was the people of Crosshill and beyond who embraced them.”

Major contributors were: John Gilfillan (Funeral Directors), David Farrell, Collin Brown, Stuart Don (Fife Council), Benarty Community Shop and BRAG staff.

Martin E. Berry