Ukrainian families offered free travel passes in Yarmouth

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Ukrainian families in Great Yarmouth are being offered free bus passes to travel in and around the borough - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Ukrainian refugees are being offered free travel passes in Great Yarmouth.

The borough council has partnered up with First Bus to offer them to those being hosted by families.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Carl Smith heard from families staying in the town how difficulties with transport were making it difficult for them to settle in.

Now, Ukrainian guests will be able to apply for a free one month pass for travel in the borough and as far out as Norwich and Lowestoft.

One of the first families to benefit from the passes will be Mariana Peda and her two children Anastasiia and Vitalii.

They are currently staying with hosts Sheila Daniels and Brian Huggins in Bradwell, having arrived from Sokal in west Ukraine around a month ago.

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Chris Speed and Cllr Carl Smith with Mariana Peda and her two children Anastasiia and Vitalii and their hosts Sheila Daniels and Brian Huggins - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Ms Peda said: "We live with a very nice family who have been so helpful with getting the children ready for school, helping with documents, and getting us around. I'm very grateful for their help, but I do feel uncomfortable sometimes because we take up a lot of their time.

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"They have been great in getting Vitalii to football practice and Anastasiia to dance classes at the Hippodrome, but with the bus pass we can be more independent. We can go to school, to classes, to work, or to the shops without having to take up their time."

Head of operations and engineering Chris Speed said: said: "It is important to us to support our local communities and help out where we can. Being able to get around is vital to being independent, and when you're new to somewhere it makes even more of a difference.

"The situation in Ukraine is terrible, and I'm pleased that we can help make our guests' lives a bit better."

To apply for a pass, families living in the Great Yarmouth area should contact the Council's community marshals as part of the Ukraine drop-in support sessions being held at Great Yarmouth Library on Mondays 10am to 12pm and Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm.