Lochaber expat Charlotte aids Ukrainian family fleeing to Spain

Charlotte MacDonald with some of the Ukrainian refugees she has helped house in Spain. NO F19 LSRS Ukraine aid 02
Charlotte MacDonald Artero - centre wearing facemask - with some of the Ukrainian refugees she has helped house in Spain. NO F19 LSRS Ukraine aid 02

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News reaches the Lochaber Times yet again of the generosity of local people when it comes to helping refugees, this time via the Lochaber Strathspey and Reel Society.

Our sister publication, Lochaber Life magazine, recently received a letter detailing how the society held a meeting at which it was agreed money raised should go direct to help Ukranian refugees rather than being donated to a larger charity.

Members of Lochaber Strathspey and Reel Society held a Fiddlers Concert in Caol Community Centre on Saturday evening to raise funds for Ukranian refugees. Fear an Tigh was Allan Henderson, with the orchestra being led by Sheana Fraser in a busy hall. The event raised a total of £473 through ticket sales and a raffle which will be forwarded to those in need. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

In the week prior to the concert, Charlotte MacDonald Artero, who is the daughter of society treasurer/accordionist and retired GP, Liz MacDonald, and who lives in Barcelona, took in a family of four Ukranians who had fled Kharkiv to Poland.

It came about through Charlotte’s husband, Edu Artero, who had a contact through business in the United States. This contact is a Ukranian dog groomer and they had requested Edu’s help to rescue her brother and family from Poland.

As a result, three generation of Ukranian refugees then made their way to Barcelona – a 65-year-old man and his wife, their daughter and eight-year-old grand-daughter.

The family lived initially with Charlotte and Edu, but have now moved into a three-bedroom apartment on which Charlotte and Edu are paying the rental, along with providing cash to cover the cost of shopping, while friends have generously donated clothes for the family.

Liz writes: ‘The refugees are Russian-speaking and have now increased in number to six – again through business contacts. My son-in-law is in the family business of wholesale supplier of dog-grooming and hairdressing products.

‘So it was agreed by the society that the sum of £500 would be forwarded to Charlotte, which has been done, and has been very gratefully received.

‘It has been a whirlwind few weeks for us all, and I am delighted that a local Lochaber lass has been able to offer hospitality and help to people, devastated by the effects of the
Russian invasion on their lives.’