Diss and District Rotary Club arrange bike for Ukrainian refugee living in Scole
Rotary clubs in Diss are continuing to go above and beyond to improve the lives of Ukrainian refugees in the town after a mother-of-two was given a new bike to help her take her children to school.
Less than two weeks after 31-year-old Anna Tranushchenko arrived in south Norfolk with her nine-year-old son, Artur, and three-year-old daughter, Yeva, Diss and District Rotary Club arranged for the bike, which includes a ‘tag-a-long’ attachment, to be delivered to her current accommodation in Scole.
Having arrived in the UK on May 11, the family are currently staying with Rosedale Funeral Home owners Anne and Simon Beckett-Allen.
Rotary Club member Richard Pither explained how the arrangement had presented itself.
He said: “Anne contacted me to ask if the club could help fund a cycle and tag-a-long for Anna and her youngest as a means of getting her to pre-school.
“It soon transpired that one of our club members, Phil Catchpole, already had just the right equipment available and was very happy to loan them for as long as necessary.
“Anna has been introduced to her new form of independence and cycled off very happily that afternoon.”
Miss Tranushchenko will also use the bike to take to Artur to Scole Primary School, where he is currently studying.
Mr Beckett-Allen added: “Anna drives, but only an automatic, so we thought it would be a good idea to see if she had a bike to help her get around.
“Phil offered us one and said ‘you can have it’ and I think Anna was a bit overwhelmed.
“It’ just incredible how people have been so generous in the area.”
The father-of-three, of Bungay Road, went on to reflect on how the experience of taking in a Ukrainian family had been for him.
“It’s been really great,” said the 48-year-old. “I’m living in a house with a three and an eight year old again, which I thought was behind me.
“You get as much out of it as they do. I’m a keen cook and now I’m learning Ukrainian dishes and Anna is learning English dishes.
“They’re in an area with a lot of other people – on the whole, it’s worked out really well because it’s allowed them to come and be near people they know.
“She’s got the godmother to her child and friend of 24 years just down the road in Oakley, so she can go to the shop and see her friends and it takes the pressure off us.”
It is not the first time that Diss’ Rotary clubs have stepped in to provide essential transport to arrivals from war-torn Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Diss Waveney Rotary Club provided 23-year-old Vasylyna Bihun with a bike, which had been kindly donated by cycle shop Madgetts, in Shelfanger Road.