Landlord offers spare rooms at his Winchester pub to two Ukrainian families

Robert Plunton is offering his spare rooms in his pub in Winchester to two families from Ukraine Credit: ITV Meridian

People from across the region are among the 100,000 people in Britain who have signed up to open their homes and businesses to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Among those offering their spare rooms, is the landlord of a pub in Winchester, Hampshire.

Robert Plunton said his regular customers will help him to create homes for two families in the accommodation above The Rising Sun.

Robert said they are starting to prepare one double room and a single room and intend to build a self-contained kitchenette. He hopes the accommodation will be like a "home from home" for two families.

The work is starting this weekend and Robert hopes it'll be ready within a week for him to welcome the Ukrainian refugees.

The Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme to match potential hosts with refugees opens on Friday.

Robert Plunton said his regular customers will help to create the accommodation above The Rising Sun Credit: ITV Meridian

Robert said: "We've been following the story as everyone has, it's the only thing that's on your mind at the moment is what's happening in Ukraine. We've got three children ourselves, so seeing those families that have been torn from their usual way of life is just absolutely heart-wrenching.

"We initially organised a fundraiser for next month but when we saw that the government were allowing people to have families into their own home, we waited for the website to go live and then as soon as it did, we signed up.

"We've got to convert part of the upstairs of our flat into accommodation but all the locals have been really supportive and there's a lot of tradespeople here, so they're going to help out and do all the renovation work."

  • WATCH: Robert Plunton talks about why he's taking in Ukrainian refugees

Robert is no stranger to taking people in and has, in the past, looked after homeless people in Winchester.

He said the financial cost and time to create the accommodation for the Ukrainian families is worth it, as he said having children himself makes him more aware of their plight.

Robert added: "Since we've had children, you feel helpless watching it happen over in Ukraine. When you feel you can do something yourself here, although they're small actions, it's going to help a family out. These people have come with nothing, so it's the least we can do."

"The government say the Ukrainian refugees will be vetted and we're going to trust them. A lot of these people are normal people who have had their lives turned upside down, so they're going to need somewhere to stay, so we're more than happy to do it."