Sir Rod Stewarthas funded a Ukrainian refugee family’s new life in England – finding them a house and paying all their bills.
The 77 year old legendary singer rented the three-storey townhouse in Berkshire for husband and wife Rostyslav and Olena and their five children, aged between two and 17, after becoming dismayed with the plight of people in the war-torn country.
Rostyslav and Olena fled their home inUkrainewith their kids after the Russian invasion – embarking on a dangerous journey over the border and across Europe before finally arriving in the UK. With no money and no grasp of the English language, they faced an uncertain and scary future.
But when Sir Rod was made aware of the family’s situation, he found them a house, furnished it and vowed to pay their rent and bills for at least a year.
The star told The Mirror of the family’s reaction when they met him following his extraordinary gesture.
He said: “I walked through the door and they all came running down the stairs, all beautifully dressed in Ukrainian national costume.
“It was so lovely that they all made that effort. They made me a cup of tea and we had loads of biscuits and chocolates, although the baby kept nicking all of mine. It really was wonderful."
He added: "They are such a lovely little family and so polite too. None of them speak English but they have such wonderful manners, especially the teenagers."
Then he laughed and said: "I don’t know what they are like when I'm not here though."
The incredible story began when Sir Rod and wifePennywatched the unfolding horror in Ukraine play out on the news.
Sir Rod and his nephew Warren decided to take action as they got three trucks and arranged for a team to drive up to the Ukraine with supplies. The team, which included Warren, but not Sir Rod, who was advised against going, reached the border and ended up bringing 16 refugees safely back to Berlin.
Determined to do more to help, Sir Rod was put in contact with Rostyslav and his family – who were not part of the original 16 refugees, but had made it to the UK.
As well as getting the family a house, he has provided jobs for two other refugees on his Essex estate, including one as a gardener.
Sir Rod explained how he usually tries to keep his charitable efforts "nice and quiet" but thought by others seeings his gesture, they might "pick up some slack too".
Olena and Rostyslav spoke of their gratitude in a statement to The Mirror.
They said: "Many thanks to Sir Rod Stewart, Warren Cady, his parents and their family for their openness and genuine and big hearts.”
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