A DOLLAR grandmother is leading a nationwide knitting effort with a vision of providing a comforting teddy bear to every Ukrainian child arriving to Scotland.

The idea to help provide a right warm welcome comes from retired primary school teacher and grandmother Eilidh Dow, whose needles have been clacking even before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Indeed, Mrs Dow has spent the winter knitting Trauma Teddies to send to children experiencing distressing events.

When the conflict in Ukraine unfolded, she started knitting the teddies in blue and yellow flag colours with a vision that every child fleeing the war would be given a teddy upon arrival in Scotland.

Teddies for Ukraine was then set up as a group on Facebook with a knitting pattern posted online.

Within a week, the page amassed nearly 650 followers with people across the country beginning to knit.

Mrs Dow said: “These children have had their lives turned inside out; so many traumas rolled into one almighty nightmare.

“We hope this sends a message to Ukraine and its people just how much people in Scotland are thinking about them, how much we care and how much we all want to do what we can to help.

“Scots are famous the world over for our warm welcome and hospitality; we all want to make a difference right now and we are just so moved by the number of people who have got behind the project and now knitting those little bears which are being given to the children when they arrive after a long, exhausting and harrowing journey to our home in Scotland.

“The interest we’ve had has been overwhelming.”

A number of organisations also quickly got behind the initiative, creative holiday specialists Gartmore House being the first.

The knitters staying at the residence got to work as soon as they heard about the project.

Hibernian FC charity Dnipro Kids was also approached by Mrs Dow's daughter and became a single distributor to ensure that as many children arriving in Scotland receive a teddy with a handwritten welcome note.

The first flight bringing Ukrainian children from Poland to Scotland touched down on Wednesday, March 23, and by the Friday, the children received their teddies in their welcome box delivered by the charity.

Mags McPherson, a volunteer with Dnipro Kids, said: “The group arrived safely overnight in Callander last week and Friday saw what was the most humbling and rewarding day of my life when I was privileged to be allowed to travel to Callander with the boxes, each box labelled with the child or adult's name and a welcome message.

“To see the delighted faces when they opened the boxes was truly amazing.

“The Teddies for Ukraine project has really captured the nation’s mood and provided so much love and positivity at the most difficult of times.”