More than two months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and with the ensuring aggression still very much in the news, families from the war-torn area are beginning to arrive in the Uk. One such family is Alina Koreniuk and her daughters Kristrina and Olha who are now living with hosts Cathering Wilson and Simon Hollingsworth in Southwell.
Seeing the atrocities unfold, Catherine felt they needed to do something to help. Simon is a Russian translator by profession which helped them navigate the complex application/matching process.
Alina’s home town is Popasna in the East of Ukraine where military action has been ongoing since 2014.
On 24th February, the Russians launched a new assault on Popasna. Alina’s family realised they had no option but to leave and move east to a safer town, Kryvyi Rih. Alina’s mother and grandmother initially remained in Popasna but have now also been evacuated to Poltava in central Ukraine.
The town is now empty, with all houses either badly damaged or completely destroyed.
Once Simon had ensured that the necessary Home Office paperwork was ready, Alina and her daughters were driven by husband Yuri to the Polish border then travelled alone to Warsaw, taking a flight to the UK.
Alina says that she is very happy to be safe in Southwell, but her heart remains in Ukraine with those who are still there. She is sharing her experiences of life in the UK on her Instagram page (Alinka0005Alinka) to help other families coming here have an understanding of what to expect from everyday life.
The family have been busy exploring the area, socialising with the other Ukrainian and host families and Kristina and Ohla have started at The Minster and Lowe’s Wong Schools.
Alina, who previously worked for the Ukrainian Police, is now volunteering at the Cathedral Shop and is hugely grateful for this opportunity.
“I would like to give particular thanks to the schools for their swift admissions process and also to Cllr Penny Rainbow whose quick and helpful advice and information helped guide us through the process at Newark and Sherwood District Council” commented Catherine.
Simon continued: “After negotiating the complicated Homes for Ukraine scheme, I would like to offer assistance to any other local families who are considering, or are in the process of, offering a home to a Ukrainian family. We have been inundated with kind offers of help from the local community, including the Methodist Church, the local Lions and Southwell Town Council. Further assistance would be most welcome with English lessons, help paying for flights for future arrivals, assistance navigating applications for Universal Credit, or perhaps offering advice on future employment and housing prospects.” Simon can be contacted at email@example.com.
Donations for those still in Ukraine are also urgently needed, see page 32 of The Bramley Newspaper for details.
Slava Ukraini – Glory to Ukraine!
Published May 2022