Ukrainian musicians will be studying in Glasgow after they found themselves in the UK when Russia invaded their homeland.

Six Ukrainians are being supported by bursaries from Wheatley Group, Glasgow’s biggest social landlord, to help fund their education.

The housing and care group is also providing 300 homes to house refugees from the war.

Yeva Panchenko is a harpist who was on tour with a Ukrainian municipal orchestra when war started.

Glasgow Times:

Along with her fellow musicians, she arrived in the UK on a temporary visa to perform and found themselves unable to return home.

READ MORE: Dozens of refugees have arrived in Glasgow from Ukraine amid concerns over grants

Yeva recalled the moment, early in the morning, when they heard the news of the invasion.

She said: “We were waiting for something to happen. When we heard, we talked with our families then we went outside and we sat down and we cried. We didn’t know what to do in this situation.

“When you live in a peaceful city and peaceful country and when you hear the word war, you think it is for a faraway place.”

Yeva said Glasgow reminds her of her home city of Kharkiv.

She added: “It is like home. It has the beautiful old buildings beside the new modern glass ones.”

READ MORE: Campaign to protect Ukraine refugees in Glasgow from exploitation

“It is a safe place for us. The people have been friendly. I hope one day all wars will stop. Maybe we can do something. It’s important that we give something to our children to give them good ideas.”

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offered to help and organized auditions for the musicians to study for a Bachelor of Music degree.

Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Music crosses barriers. If we can give them an excellent education, which I know we can, with Wheatley Group's support we are keeping them safe and they are enriching us.”

Wheatley Group is providing six bursaries worth £3000 over two years to support the students starting their course in September.

The six is on top of the 50 already offered by the group‘s charity, Wheatley Foundation, to help Wheatley tenants and their children access education part of its fund for vulnerable people worth £5m.

Jo Armstrong, Wheatley Group chair, said: “We want to play our part in supporting Ukrainians who are seeking sanctuary from the war and provide them with a safe place to live during this ongoing crisis.”

She added the scale of Wheatley Group makes it possible to help in this way as part of its responsibility to local authorities to help with homelessness.

The Scottish Government is acting as a ‘super sponsor’ to take refugees under the UK Government’s Ukraine refugees scheme.

Neil Gray, Scottish Government minister with responsibility for refugees from Ukraine, told the students: “You should consider Scotland your home for as long as you need it.”

He added: “People have lives back in Ukraine. Here will be a strong desire to return but they should feel welcome here and they can use Scotland as somewhere to help rebuild their lives.

"We appreciate the Wheatley Group, as Scotland’s biggest social landlord, making homes and support available to displaced people from Ukraine.

Glasgow Times:

"We also welcome Wheatley group’s generous bursaries to help Ukrainian musicians to continue their studies with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.”