I had a great life, a wonderful life. I ran my own company, selling products for home, cosmetics and vitamins. I had a big team in Ukraine, but now these people, are all around the whole world!

I married ten years ago, last week we celebrated our anniversary, but I’m here and my husband is in Ukraine. We have an 8-year-old son, and last year I started to work in public relations, in our local council.

I have good work, a wonderful life, a big family, I travelled a lot. We lived in Odessa city on the Black Sea.

When war started, at 5 o’clock, our friend called us. To begin with we didn’t leave the country. I lived in Ukraine for the first four months of the war, working in the local council, and we had a lot of work. We got humanitarian help and we needed to help people, the local population. We got aid from Romania, from Germany, from Greece, it was everything – food, bedspreads, soap, shampoo, everything.

At 2am when we were sleeping, one bomb fell not far from our house. It was in May, and at that time I decided I need to leave with my son. His life is more important.

I read in Facebook, one of my Facebook friends left and lived in UK, and this was the first time I heard about it. I found my hosts in 1 or 2 days, they are young couple with a small boy, they are really wonderful people.

When we arrived they helped with everything, universal credit, GP, everything. We have good relations.

It’s difficult to be so far from home, especially for my son. I can control my emotions, not each time, but for my son it’s more difficult. His grandmother, his grandfather, his dog, it’s difficult. I try to have many things to do – I study, I look for work, I organise English lessons for him, I try to be busy, because you don’t think.

Our host organised school for him but everything is in English. He didn’t speak English, so it was difficult. They have long day in school, in Ukraine it’s just until 12 o’clock. In Ukraine he finished only first class, here he goes to fourth class, and so he needs to learn extra lessons. Thankfully in his class there is another Ukrainian boy, so it makes it easier for them. 

My host Alice visited one meeting where there was a member of Refugee Council team, and she came back and said you need to visit them. I met with Cristel from Refugee Council and she really helped me. She gave me a card for telephone, soap, many things.

She's wonderful, we are in contact almost every day, she wrote to the school, she asked me what I need, how she can help me – you feel that you’re not alone.

I have experience in communications, in administration, and local council, so I hope to find some work where I can communicate, help people, to improve my skills and maybe office work or administrator. I really have a lot of experience, I need to understand the system and improve my English level!

My husband is in the army, and my parents and my husband’s parents live in our city, my brother, and my sister, every member of my family is there. Everyone lives in Odessa. I’m worried about my husband more, because he’s in the army. It’s tough. I’m really worried every day.

I want to say thanks! Thanks to UK citizens, ordinary people. They changed their whole life for it, not for one day, for one week, it’s for half year or whole year.

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