UKRAINIAN volunteers are helping ensure that Scotland’s rich maritime past can be seen by all.

A number of New Scots have been volunteering at Irvine's Maritime Museum, and translating exhibition materials.

Ukrainian women Valeriia, 27, Nataliia, 41, and Maryna, 40 have been giving up their time to create audio tapes and translate labels on objects at the Harbour Road attraction.

Valeriia has been enjoying her volunteering role and says it has been a great opportunity to learn more about Scottish history - and she is glad to see others do the same.

“It is also helpful for Ukrainian kids because I know a lot of kids love the museum," she commented.

Nataliia added that spending time at the museum, and volunteering, has been a welcome distraction to the harsh realities in her homeland.

She said: “It helps me forget, for a few hours, about the terrible situation in my country.

“And I really want to help Ukrainian people come to the museum to read and listen about the exhibitions in their own native language.”

While Maryna added that her English has improved by spending time at the tourist attraction because she has been able to study general vocabulary and specific vocabulary about the sea.

Museum curator James McLean is delighted to have the women as part of his volunteering team, and says they are helping to open up the exhibitions to a new audience.

He commented: “It has been a pleasure to have Valeriia, Nataliia and Maryna as volunteers and watch them grow in confidence over the past few months.

“By translating our tapes and materials into Ukrainian, they are helping increase the number of people who will visit the museum and are helping to spread the stories about Scotland’s rich maritime history to a new audience.”

Most recent figures show that 642 displaced people from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine have been resettled and provided with support to enable them to successfully integrate within our communities here in North Ayrshire.

Councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for communities and islands, added: “This partnership with the museum is another shining example of how New Scots living in North Ayrshire are contributing to the community, learning and improving their English along the way. Congratulations to all involved.”