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Goalkeeper swaps saving shots for saving lives

A DUMFRIES born goalkeeper has swapped saving shots to help save lives in Ukraine with demining charity The HALO Trust.

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By Zac Hannay
Dumfries and West
Goalkeeper swaps saving shots for saving lives

KIERAN McCulloch missed the end of last season with Castle Douglas side Threave Rovers because his day job as a logistics and procurement officer for HALO took him to war-torn Ukraine.

He said: “As a goalkeeper, your job is to get in the way of shots, but when I’m out working with HALO in places like Ukraine, it’s the total opposite.

“All of our training is about how to avoid being in the line of fire. I’ve worked in Somalia, Armenia and the West Bank but this is the first time I’ve been to a live war zone.

“My job with HALO can be stressful and Ukraine has been full-on, but it’s rewarding because you are helping make peoples’ lives safer.”

Kieran admits his work has been tough for his loved ones in Scotland, saying: “My girlfriend and parents obviously have that worry about me being in Ukraine because they see the worst of everything in the news, but we are nowhere near the worst of the fighting in the east.

“People around Kyiv are just trying to go about their day-to-day lives as best they can. HALO is using the £2million UK Government funding to clear anti-tank mines and all sorts of unexploded ordnance to help the Ukrainians get back to some normality.”

The HALO Trust is ridding areas around Kyiv of deadly explosive devices with support of £2million funding from the UK Government.

Kieran has been supporting HALO’s team of 400 Ukrainian deminers by overseeing the supply of vital equipment including metal detectors, bullet-proof vests, and armoured vehicles.

UK Minister for Europe Graham Stuart said: “Kieran has swapped saving shots to play a crucial role saving lives in Ukraine and the UK Government is proud to be supporting The HALO Trust’s world-leading demining work.

“The UK stands in solidarity with Ukraine against Putin’s illegal and inhumane war by pooling expertise from across Britain to make a real difference through our £220million humanitarian aid response.

“People from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland stand behind international support for Ukraine in its fight against Putin’s illegal and inhumane war.”

Now safely back in Scotland, Kieran hopes to win back his place with Threave Rovers.


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