Ukrainian refugee family stranded as they await for UK visas to be approved

A man from Poulton Le Fylde in Lancashire says he is ''totally frustrated'' over delays in the visa system for Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Barry Cole and his wife are giving half their house to Anna Mishchenko and her two daughters who have escaped from Kyiv.

But for the past five weeks, the family have been stuck in France as they wait for visas.

Barry said: "I'm totally frustrated. it makes me look at our country in a different light. This system they've adpoted, I just can't believe it.

"I understand the people have got to be checked. But five weeks is absolutely ridiculous.

"I've had emails from Anna where she's been in tears and crying. I've said, just hang on. We'll get you across the line."

Anna and her children are currently staying in temporary accommodation in Paris provided by Barry. Credit: Granada Reports

Anna Mishchenko has driven from Kyiv to Belgium with Leena and Victoria, aged 9 and 7.

They are staying in temporary accommodation provided by Barry, however, they only have a limited amount of time and money.

Anna said: "We still have no news. We feel frustrated. The kids need to go to school and we need to move on.

"We are so thankful to Barry and we want to meet him but we need visas. Some people with kids are even ready to go back to Ukraine because they don't have the decision."

Barry has prepared bedrooms for the two children. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

A life in the UK is ready for Anna and the kids. Barry has prepared bedrooms and has even secured school places for the children.

He said: "It's the not knowing, I think that's the key. When you've got two children, it's very worrying. The last thing I want is that we're ready to continue.

A Home Office spokesperson said changes made "to streamline the visa system, including simplifying the forms and boosting staff numbers, are working.

They added "We are now processing visas as quickly as they come in."

As it stands, that is not quick enough for Barry and a family in need.