A Winchester activity camp has offered free places to Ukrainian refugees to help welcome them to the city.

Barracudas Activity Day Camps has said it is "thrilled" to be working with charity Mail Force to offer the fully funded places at its camps this summer.

The company already has 41 Ukrainian children booked on in Winchester, with 650 places in total throughout its 45 locations. Each child is able to join for two full weeks in the holidays.

Two thirds of Ukrainian children have been forced to flee their country, with 70,000 of those building a new life in the UK due to the ongoing conflict.

Barracudas has said free places at its activity day camp will help them to make new friends, build confidence and practice a new language in the summer holidays.

Karen Baynes, director of Barracudas, said: "Mail Force has made fantastic efforts to raise funds to support Ukrainian families and we’re delighted to offer places at our summer camps. It’s important the children feel settled as quickly as possible, and playing and having fun is one of the best ways. We’re used to children from other countries, so we’ll be able to make them feel welcome."

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The initiative has been funded by Mail Force, a charity set up to offer support for Ukrainian children who have arrived in the UK.

Having raised £11m from the public, many children will be helped to settle into a new country and have some much needed relief from the horrors they’ve experienced.

Barracudas said it was was quick to embrace this scheme and do what it could to help.

The business has employed two Ukrainian speaking members of staff in its head office in order to better communicate with Ukrainian children and parents.

Key documents have also been translated to to help parents through their booking and to understand more about the camps. Staff have also created some key translation guides to help children while they're at the camp.

"Our Ukrainian team will be a key support for children and parents whilst they’re with us in the school holidays," Ms Baynes added.

"We’re looking forward to giving a warm welcome to all the Ukrainian children at our camps this summer."


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