Briton flying to Poland to offer his home directly to a Ukrainian refugee

Max Fox said he and his husband are open to adopting a Ukrainian orphan if they are legally allowed.

13 March 2022

A British man will fly to Poland on Monday to aid humanitarian efforts and potentially offer his home directly to a Ukrainian fleeing the Russian invasion.

Max Fox is offering a room in his two-bed flat in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, with his husband Arturo Echeverria and will fly from Manchester to Krakow on Monday afternoon before heading to the Ukrainian border.

Staying out there for several days, the 32-year-old will offer any help he can to aid workers while also speaking to refugees to whom he could offer his home.

It comes after the Government announced the upcoming rollout of the Homes for Ukraine programme, which will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to bring people escaping the war to safety.

“As much as it’s fantastic for the Government to be putting a package like this together, it does concern me a little bit that you don’t actually know the person that you’re bringing into your home,” Mr Fox told the PA news agency.

“I think you’ve got to gel … I want to bring somebody into my home that I will have a good relationship with.

“So, I think the best thing to do is just to fly out there and get to know people, and see who actually wants to come out here and who wants to come over to the UK.”

Mr Fox said he wants to gel with anyone before offering his home (Max Fox/PA)

Mr Fox and his husband are open to anyone looking for a home, but would also be open to adopting an orphan if they are legally allowed to do so.

“Me and my husband started the adoption programme for a child … I’ve been looking at the news (from Ukraine) and there are so many orphanages and children just stuck in squalor,” Mr Fox said.

“If the Government has a process in place we could potentially adopt or provide guardianship for an orphan … but it doesn’t matter who, it could be a mother and daughter or it could be a single person.”

Mr Fox said he is “apprehensive” about travelling to Poland but had been getting “increasingly stressed” by news reports on the war in Ukraine.

“I’m just increasingly getting stressed being at home, not able to do anything … you see all this stuff on the media and you can’t just sit down and just watch it happen,” he said.

“I’m slightly apprehensive, I’ve just read an article that there’s been a missile by the Polish border … but if I can bring somebody back, if I can help save somebody, then yeah – easy – I’m there.

“I’d hope that if I lost my home, somebody else would give up theirs … so I’m just echoing how I’d like to be treated.”

As artistic director of a group of hotels in Blackpool, Mr Fox is also offering a job to those he brings to the UK working as bar or waiting staff.

Mr Fox (Max Fox)

Mr Fox said the government has been slow in bringing forward its plan for Ukrainian refugees and there is still a lack of information still for those looking to house people.

“We don’t even know what the scheme is … at least just give us a brief or some key points,” he said.

“We don’t know a date when actually people will be able to come over here, so I could go over there and find somebody but then they’re still stuck in Poland for another week or two weeks.

“If you don’t have a passport, can you get a refugee travel documents that bring people over? Are you allowed to bring over an orphan to look after them?

“We’re going through the process but there has to be safeguarding … you can’t just take a child it would be unethical.”

Britons offering accommodation to Ukrainian refugees through the new Government scheme will receive a “thank you” payment of £350 per month, which Mr Fox said will help with payments such as food and heating.

“It will help us for sure, because we don’t earn millions of pounds … so it’s definitely a good thing to support the cause,”

“A lot more people will be able to do this with that help and that support from the government.”

Mr Fox is also producing a show – Cirque, a circus-themed musical show – at Blackpool Winter Gardens on April 21, to raise money for the Red Cross Ukraine crisis appeal.

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