BORDERS hotels are doing their bit to help refugees escaping war-torn Ukraine.

The 99-room Cardrona Hotel, beside the A72, welcomed its first group about a fortnight ago.

There are more than 50 refugees at the site, according to Stuart Easingwood, director of social work and practice at Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

And around 20 Ukrainians are being homed at Peebles Hydro, on Innerleithen Road.

The refugees have been placed at the hotels on a temporary basis by the Scottish Government until they are matched to a host family or moved onto other accommodation.

Mr Easingwood said: “The Scottish Government is accommodating displaced Ukrainians at a number of hotels in the Borders while they await either being matched to a host family or receive another offer of accommodation, which may or may not be in the Borders.

“The numbers fluctuate but at last count there were over 50 individuals at the Cardrona Hotel and more than 20 at the Peebles Hydro, with others already having moved on to alternative destinations.

“In addition, over 90 Ukrainians have arrived in the Borders through either of the UK and Scottish Government schemes, although a number of these have since moved on to other locations. There are potentially a further 30 who have arrived under the family visa scheme; this number may be higher as we do not receive formal notification of numbers.”

He added: “We are also continuing to undertake the necessary property and enhanced disclosure checks for host families and providing this information to the Scottish Government to both support the matching process and maximise options for those who feel they may wish to settle in the Borders.”

A member of staff at the Cardrona Hotel, who preferred not to be named, said the establishment has at least 30 Ukrainian families. They said: “They are given three square meals a day.”

It was not possible to speak to any of the refugees.

While the Peeblesshire News was at the hotel, Sam Goodwin, the boss of Peebles food supplement company Lean Greens, was interviewing a potential Ukrainian worker.

Back in March the former SBC leader Mark Rowley said: “I very much hope that the Borders, as it did with Syrian refugees, will provide a welcoming home to Ukrainians who are fleeing, whether that is temporarily or on a permanent basis. I couldn’t make it more clear that whatever government policies or interventions may be, I hope the Borders will offer a welcoming place.”

The news comes just days after the BBC and other media outlets were given access to a cruise ship, the MS Victoria, which has 739 rooms and will initially house between 1,600 and 1,700 refugees.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The safety and welfare of displaced people from Ukraine, who are primarily women and children, who may have experienced much stress and trauma, is of paramount importance. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to comment on individual locations that may or may not be used for temporary accommodation.

"The Scottish Government is taking significant action to boost the matching system to maximise the number of displaced people placed with volunteer hosts who have completed the necessary checks, and we are working with all 32 local authorities to respond to this crisis.”