A popular children’s TV character is to introduce his new Ukrainian friends to viewers in a bid to make Ukrainian arrivals to the UK feel welcome and highlight the “value of friendship across language barriers”.
In an “extra special” episode of the BBC children’s series Hey Duggee called The Welcome Badge, the titular character will be joined by Ukrainian friends Mavka and Swampy the Kittyfrog, who are part of Animagrad’s animated feature film, Mavka. The Forest Song.
Due to the language barrier, the animated dog, The Squirrels and Hummingbirds sing The Welcome Song to help the newbies feel at home, which includes translations of Ukrainian phrases, with the episode also aiming to make real-life arrivals feel equally welcome.
A mix of children living in the UK and recent arrivals from Ukraine, who have sung the song in their native languages, have joined the show’s narrator – Alexander Armstrong for the episode.
Harriet Newby-Hill, the vice president of marketing at the BBC said that she felt “very proud” that the show is “playing its part to help children coming to the UK from Ukraine feel welcome in such a charming and educational way”.
Felix Richter, a partner at Mother London, a creative company which introduced Mavka and Hey Duggee, added: “Collaborating together on this project to help thousands of children see the value of friendship, across language barriers, has been an absolute privilege.”
The episode can be viewed across all of Hey Duggee’s social media channels, as well as on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer.