Village gets together to repair empty home for Ukrainian refugees

(L-R) Rosy Rose, Mark Porter, Ian Kennedy, Tina Davey, Suzanne Webb and Karen Day

(L-R) Rosy Rose, Mark Porter, Ian Kennedy, Tina Davey, Suzanne Webb and Karen Day are helping do up a rundown house to home Ukranian refugees. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

A group of volunteers have teamed up to help ensure that eight Ukrainian refugees receive a warm welcome in a Norfolk Broads village.

Residents from Reedham have joined forces to renovate a detached house, as they look to make it fit for a family from the war-torn country so they can live in it for up to three years.

(L-R) Ian Kennedy, David Hale and Grant Nurden are helping to retouch a house

(L-R) Ian Kennedy, David Hale and Grant Nurden are helping to retouch a house which is going to home Ukranian refugees - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Scores of volunteers have been working at the home in the heart of the village after Broadland District Council gave it the go-ahead.

With cracked walls and some ceilings in the rooms of Nursery House needing repairs, the community effort is being led by Dr Tina Davey after she contacted the home's owner Erika Lyons, from Herefordshire, and whose uncle and aunt had used to live there.

Dr Davey, 54 - a doctor in law - said: "When everything happened in Ukraine I thought I would like to offer a room to a Ukrainian refugee, but our house is quite small and we would not have been able to manage it.

Suzanne Webb is busy working on the home which is being done up to house refugees

Suzanne Webb is busy working on the home which is being done up to house refugees - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

"And suddenly it popped into my head Nursery House is sitting there empty and I contacted its owner to see if they would be happy to do anything.

"She was very keen to do it and that's where it has really gone from."

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With some initial work having already been carried out at the house, paint and decorate sessions took place over the weekend ahead of a big clean next weekend and then a final weekend of volunteer efforts to make it ready to live in.

Dr Davey said: "We had an electrician who has generously donated his time for free and has dealt with all the electrics, but we still need the boiler sorted.

Gerald Hampson laying a new floor in the bathroom

Gerald Hampson laying a new floor in the bathroom in a home which is being redone to house Ukranian refugees - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

"We had a retired surveyor come in and say it was alright apart from what we are doing this weekend - filling cracks and painting as there are lots of cracks.

"I have got about 28 volunteers that have said they want to get involved in the weekends as they all want to do something to help.

"We are hoping to find one extended family", Dr Davey added.

"Erika is in contact with a Ukrainian charity that helps to house large families.

"The thing we are really struggling with is finding beds and mattresses, duvets that kind of stuff."

The project is being supported by Mark Porter, a renovation specialist who runs Artius Interiors and has donated items and work time.

Anyone who wants to help can email Dr Davey at t.davey@aol.co.uk or find out more on the Facebook page Reedham Village Ukraine Support Group.