Two young sisters who spent lockdown in a tiny flat screamed with joy at being surprised with a new family home just days before Christmas.
The heartwarming moment Ailie and Tori Gray were told the news was captured on camera, with the family moving into the three-bedroom house in Kirkliston home near Edinburgh on December 22.
The girls, aged 14 and 11, previously shared a room at the family’s old two-bed flat which became exceptionally cramped after schools were closed due to the lockdown.
Parents Moriag and Andi told the siblings that they were building a wall in their room and sent them off to stay elsewhere for the weekend.
But when they returned, they were asked to go collect a parcel from a nearby house which they soon discovered was their new home.
The video shows dad Andi opening the front door and shouting: “Hi! Merry Christmas.”
The quick-thinking girls immediately realised that their parents had pranked them while screaming: “This is our house.”
They race upstairs in a bid to see their new bedrooms before one of the girl’s says she is ‘shaking’ with happiness.
The memorable Christmas present was made possible thanks to the Home Group Scotland who worked tirelessly to find the Gray family a bigger place to live.
Housing manager Magdalena Pawlik worked tirelessly to find a better property and was able to find a new home on the exact same housing estate.
She handed the keys over to mum Moriag on December 18 before the family were able to move in just days later.
The mum-of-two said: “We were absolutely thrilled with the house and surprised our girls, Ailie and Tori.
“We told them that we were building a wall to divide their bedroom and sent them away for the weekend.
“We then moved everything into the new house and when they got home, sent them to the house to collect a package. Andi filmed their reactions; they were over the moon.”
On top of the house moves in 2020, Moriag had another big event to organise – her wedding.
“I proposed to my fiancé, Andi, on 29 February 2020 and we got married on Hogmanay. It wasn’t the wedding we planned but it was intimate and lovely, and we all had a great day.”
As Moriag and Andi both work in the food industry, they have remained working throughout the pandemic and the new home means that the girls now have their own space.
Moriag added: “I can’t thank Home Group enough. We would never have been able to get a home this size without their help.
“Because the team were so efficient, it meant I had more time to work, home-school and plan my wedding. They really made a big difference.”