The Tyrone man giving a 'window' of hope to Ukrainians

A man with links to Gortin in County Tyrone has been fitting thousands of bespoke windows in war-torn Ukraine.

Harry Blackiston Houston, born in England but his father is from Northern Ireland and his parents now live in Gortin.

He started working with a team of engineers from Cambridge University in September after learning more about about how Ukrainians are living in freezing conditions due to many windows having been shattered by bombs and bullets.

Many survivors have been using carpets, meal bags and road-signs to block out the freezing air.

Mr Blackiston Houston says it takes 20 minutes and $15 to replace a window using polyethylene and PVC piping, it lets light in, it will not shatter if bombed again, and it insulates homes in the -15degree temperatures.

He told UTV that there have been tears of joy when his team have fitted windows in the country that has been under a Russian siege for over a year now.

"We are about the first people who come in and touch those people's lives for the positive in a long, long time, and you leave them in tears.

"Someone has actively come into your house, they have actually made it warmer between the point of them arriving and the point of them leaving."

He says he hopes to roll this out on a bigger scale.

"One of the early focuses of this project was that we wanted something that was scalable, and what we've done in [the city of] Iziam is we provided a template of how this can be scaled up elsewhere," he said.

"So already we're looking at a new project, Nikopol and we now have everything in place to run a project in.

"So what we don't have is, is funding.

"And really what we need for a lot of these places is a sort of commercial level donations whereby a company can be a company that donates not a lot of money, and then they are able to say that we are the people who insulated this town, this village, this city."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.