A UKRAINIAN family has fled their war-torn home and crossed the expanse of Europe in a desperate bid to be with relatives in the Wee County.

Elizaveta Shyshorina and her three children Oleksandr, 15, Kyrylo, 13, and Polina, 8, left their hometown of Zaporizhzhia in the days following the Russian invasion.

They are trying to reach family in the area and are currently in Ireland awaiting Home Office approval to do so. It is understood they will be given their visas this week.

Elizaveta's mother-in-law Galyna lives in Clackmannan with her husband Robert Lee, who have been working to get the family to safety.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Robert said: "With the situation out there, my daughter-in-law and her three kids decided to get out while they could.

"Like the other refugees, they grabbed what they could. Her partner had to stay and fight as he was in the age group required to fight."

The family left Zaporizhzhia, where the nuclear plant was recently attacked, and got the train to Lviv.

It would be a journey that would take 24 hours and the train was packed with people, young and old, hoping to get somewhere safe.

Making it to the refugee area in Poland, there were no signs for the UK, only European countries.

Elizaveta was talking to Galyna on the phone as the family crossed the border. It was then that Elizaveta spotted a man holding a Scotland flag and approached him to ask for help.

The man, Trevor Garaghty, a Scot who had travelled to Poland to deliver medical supplies, then spoke with Robert and Galyna over the phone and selflessly agreed to help the Ukrainians get to the UK.

"My wife asked if there was any chance he could help my daughter-in-law and her three children and he said no problem," Robert continued.

Trevor took the group under his wing and they travelled into Poland where he paid for a hotel and food for them.

The next day they travelled to Germany and once again Trevor paid for them to stay in a hotel.

"He could speak a few languages," Robert said. "But Ukrainian wasn't one of them.

"He was phoning us and getting my wife to speak to Elizaveta to reassure her and keep her right."

Unbelievably Trevor also lives in Forth Valley, in the Stronachlachar area of Callander.

"I asked Trevor where he lives and he said Stirling," Robert continued. "I said, 'you're joking', I live in Clackmannan."

What's clear is that Trevor, this complete stranger to the family, has went above and beyond to help this family fleeing the devastation that is currently taking place in the only place they've ever know.

Robert continued: "That's four hotels he's put them up in, paid for fayres, bought them food.

"The guy's out of this world, he's an angel.

"We couldn't ask for any better. For her to bump into somebody and do that for them, amongst all these thousands of people.

"To me, he's amazing. The angels were looking after us that day."

Elizaveta has never been out of Ukraine in her life and has lived in the same house for 37 years.

The group later travelled to Belgium where Trevor met with some friends and they took Elizaveta out shopping and gave her some money and looked after the kids.

After this short stop, the next step of the journey was to travel to Ireland where they met up with Galyna.

They spent the entire day last Tuesday at the visa office but were expecting good news to arrive this week.

Ochil and South Perthshire MP John Nicolson and his office have been working for the past week to get the family to the Wee County.

Mr Nicolson said: "The hospitality shown by the Irish people has been exemplary, but these children and their mother have suffered a traumatic experience.

"They need to be with their family in Clackmannan as soon as possible."

He added: "I will continue to pressure the Home Secretary until the family arrive safely in Clackmannan."