Charity boss tells Home Office: 'Cut red tape so I can rescue refugee children'

WATCH: ITV News Meridian's John Ryall spoke to Sally about her work to get refugees to the UK

A woman from Brighton says she is stranded in Poland with 164 Ukrainian refugees because the Home Office has not approved their journey to the UK.

Sally Becker, who was known as the Angel of Mostar for her courage in rescuing hundreds of children from war torn Bosnia, is staying in a hotel with the refugees, who include more than 80 orphans rescued from war zones.

She had hoped to fly to them the UK on Friday but their flight was cancelled as the children could not get visas.

Sally told ITV News Meridian: ''We have to leave on Wednesday, I don't know where we'll go.

"I don't know quite what to to do next because the government are being intransigent.

Sally (centre) with some of the refugees Credit: Save A Child

"They've given me hoops to jump through. They wouldn't believe that we have permission from the Ukrainian government to move the children, so the deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine wrote directly to Lord Harrington, the Minister for Refugees in Britain, to explain that they'd been working with me on this mission, that it was fully supported by them, and asking the British government to help."

Sally says the charity she founded, Save a Child, has joined forces with another to secure six months hotel accommodation in England for the children and guardians.

"So there's no reason for this to be happening, no reason for them not to have expedited special visas through their Humanitarian Taskforce for Ukraine, which they've recently set up, and who I'm supposed to be dealing with."

Her situation follows five weeks of efforts, including the rescue of the orphans from Ukranian towns under fire and a 30-hour train and bus ride to the Polish border, narrowly surviving a missile attack.

The children spent hours on trains getting to Poland Credit: Save A Child

The Home Office delays are adding to the ordeals of the children in her care, she says, and putting lives at risk by keeping her from further rescue missions.

"I've got children who need to be picked up from the front lines. Children who are sick, children who are injured and need help. I've already got the list.

"Boris Johnson published a letter this morning to the children of Ukraine ending: 'We won't forget you'.

"Well, could you please remember that there are 164 women and children right here, right now, waiting for your help."

In a statement, the Home Office says it is talking to Sally and the Ukrainian authorities to find a solution.

Children gathered at the railway station on their way to the Polish border Credit: Save A Child

Sally, founder of Save A Child, hit the headlines in 1990 for her courageous work in Bosnia, where she led a convoy from Sussex to deliver aid and help wounded children.

She dodged snipers, shell fire and saved hundreds of lives. She was later imprisoned and shot during humanitarian efforts in Kosovo and became known as the Angel Of Mostar after saving many lives.

In March this year, she brought 52 children to sanctuary in the UK after their orphanage, which was situated in the Ukrainian town of Denepro, came under heavy bombing.