'I'm so excited': LBC caller on way to pick up Ukrainian family shares joy with Nick

12 April 2022, 09:21 | Updated: 12 April 2022, 09:24

Nick spoke to Annie, who was on her way to pick up Alina and her two youngest children (pictured) from the airport
Nick spoke to Annie, who was on her way to pick up Alina and her two youngest children (pictured) from the airport. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Daisy Stephens

An LBC caller, who phoned in previously to discuss the difficulties she was experiencing with the Homes for Ukraine scheme, has spoken to Nick Ferrari on her way to the airport to pick up the family she is taking in.

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Annie in Burgess Hill, Sussex, applied to host a family of three under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

She matched with the family - a mother and her two children, aged seven and 15 - but previously told LBC the process was long and difficult in an emotional call.

"I matched with a family on the 20th of march and we did the visa process that day, it took all day long to do the process, she speaks very little English and I speak no Ukrainian at all so she had a friend there who was helping her translate," Annie told Nick.

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"Some of the questions were ridiculous, like 'are you a war criminal', 'have you been in prison in the UK'.

"This is a mother with two [children], she has a seven year old and a 15-year-old, it's been stressful just worrying about them.

"Today – I don't want to get emotional – but today they have nowhere safe to live, from today."

Happy LBC listener heads to airport to pick up Ukrainian family

But on Tuesday Annie phoned back and said she was on her way to Luton Airport to pick the family up.

"They land at eight o'clock this morning," she told Nick.

"Until yesterday mid-morning we didn't know anything, I contacted [Refugee Minister] Lord Harrington's private secretary, then before she could reply... Alina had called back to say their visas had come through."

Read more: Putin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza 'arrested in Moscow' after slamming 'regime of murderers'

Watch: Ukraine visa scheme isn't a 'shambles' - Priti Patel is on the case, says George Eustice

Annie said she was "so excited" to pick up the family.

"I'm a little bit anxious but I'm so excited," she said.

She said the mother already had an 18-year-old daughter in the UK who was sponsored by another family, so the first thing they were doing was reuniting them with her.

"Her daughter, her older daughter who's 18, is already in the UK," Annie said.

"She was sponsored by a family in London, which is why they wanted to come to the UK.

"And the first thing is she's coming to visit."

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With many of the family's loved ones still in Ukraine - including the children's father - Nick asked whether Annie would have the news on at night.

Annie said: "Oh gosh, no, we're not going to have the news on at all."

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