A woman who has been trying to bring a boy with severe autism from Ukraine to the UK for months has said finally securing his visa was “a great relief”.
Julie Elliot applied to help 16-year-old Timothy through the government’s Homes for Ukraine (HfU) scheme in March, but his age made him ineligible. She was so determined to help him that she and her husband adopted him to try and cut through red tape. She said she was thrilled he would now be joining her family in Lancashire.
The HfU scheme, which was set up shortly after the conflict broke out in Ukraine, requires strict sponsor checks before unaccompanied children can travel to the UK.
The 62-year-old, who is from the Ribble Valley and has four biological and 10 adopted children, was first put in touch with the teenager’s mother Anna in Kyiv by the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity.
She said Timothy, who is non-verbal, had become distressed at his home in Kyiv when it was bombed as he “couldn’t process what was going on”. He was later evacuated to Poland.
Mrs Elliot said she and Timothy’s birth mother Anna were “absolutely thrilled to bits” about his visa and it was “a great relief” to both women. Timothy will now travel to the UK in the coming days.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-62435409