Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Minister welcomes housing association’s pledge to home 300 Ukrainians

Neil Gray met with Royal Conservative of Scotland students who played the Ukrainian national anthem following the efforts of Wheatley Group to house displaced families (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Neil Gray met with Royal Conservative of Scotland students who played the Ukrainian national anthem following the efforts of Wheatley Group to house displaced families (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A housing association’s pledge to offer 300 homes to Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion will make a “real difference” to those seeking safety in Scotland, a Scottish Government minister has said.

Wheatley Group, a leading housing, case and property management group, will offer local authorities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, West Lothian, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire, the opportunity to house displaced families.

The offer, announced on World Refugee Day, has been introduced to support the Scottish Government’s pledge to accommodate refugees arriving in the UK from Ukraine.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukrainian students (left to right) trombonist Viktor Kovach, violinist Ihor Solodovnik and harpist Yeva Panchenko, will study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from September (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Neil Gray, Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, said the support from Wheatley Group will help families feel welcome in Scotland.

He was joined by Ukrainian music students at Wheatley House in Glasgow as the organisation will also offer six education bursaries worth £3,000 over two years to support Ukrainian students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS).

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukrainian student and harpist Yeva Panchenko, during Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray’s visit to Wheatley House in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The bursaries are awarded through the firm’s charitable foundation which invests £5 million annually to support disadvantaged people.

Yeva Panchenko, a harpist, who played the Ukrainian national anthem alongside her fellow students, was in Torquay, England with her orchestra when she learned Russia had invaded her homeland.

The six musicians have since been offered places at the RCS and are due to start their studies in September.

Ms Panchenko said Scotland has been a “safe place” and “like home” thanks to the efforts to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

The students spoke to their families back in Ukraine. “We just panicked because you don’t know what to do in this situation,” Yeva said.

Mr Gray said: “I’m really pleased to be here today to thank the Wheatley Group for the work that they’re doing in terms of providing long term accommodation for people arriving from Ukraine.

“It makes a real difference in us being able to ensure that we’re providing long-term sustainable accommodation for people who have been displaced by the war.

“We’re also very grateful to the Wheatley Group for the work with the Royal Conservatoire to make sure that very talented musicians are able to continue their performance work.”

Wheatley Group chairwoman Jo Armstrong said: “We want to play our part in supporting Ukrainians who are seeking sanctuary from the war and provide them with a safe place to live during this ongoing crisis.

“We will use our expertise and experience, as well as our scale and capacity, to bolster Scotland’s response to the unfolding horror of the war in Ukraine.”