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Perth man who rescued orphans from Ukraine to receive Pride of Scotland award

A Perth man who led a mission to rescue children at risk from the conflict in Ukraine has been picked to receive a Special Recognition award at a celebrity-packed bash in the capital tonight.

Fifty-six-year-old Steve Carr founded charity Dnipro Kids to help Ukrainian children after travelling Hibernian fans first forged links with a local orphanage when the Scottish side played Dnipro in the UEFA Cup in 2005.

The Hibees held a collection for the orphanage and stayed in touch after returning to Scotland, setting up the charity and arranging a sponsorship scheme for orphans.

When the city came under attack from Russian forces Steve formed a plan to rescue a group of 50 children from five orphanages. After flying to neighbouring Poland, Steve went to the border to assess the situation.

He then organised a bus from Poland to Lviv to transport the children and their carers to safety in two separate voyages. After an agonising two-week wait for visas, and a specially arranged flight from Warsaw, the children arrived in Callander in March, whilst preparations were made for a longer-term stay in Edinburgh.

His efforts have been now been lauded as part of our sister paper the Daily Record’s Pride of Scotland Awards.

Speaking of the rescue effort, Steve said: “[Everyone at the orphanage] consider themselves one big family group, so we had to find somewhere to accommodate 50 children and adults together.

“Luckily we did thanks to the help of so many people, too many to mention. We are so grateful.”

Deputy first minister John Swinney said of Steve’s efforts and his Special Recognition award: “I am sure Scotland will open our hearts to these children and treat them with warmth, dignity and compassion.

“A huge thank you to Steven Carr and all those involved with Dnipro Kids for their tireless work on behalf of these children.”

The Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards will take place at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh tonight and be screened on STV sometime in July. Other winners being celebrated tonight include the founder of counselling charity Crisis, a lone female police officer who bravely tackled a knife-wielding attacker and the youngest Scot suffering from motor neurone disease.

Among the famous faces honouring this year’s winners will be HRH Duchess of Cambridge, Lulu, actors Eddie Redmayne and John Hannah, television personalities Gordon Ramsey, Lorraine Kelly, Stephen Mulhern and Carol Vorderman and musicians Mark Owen, Nathan Evans and Nina Nesbitt.

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