Our Guests from Ukraine

L to R – Vira, Seva, Yuliia, Joan, Barrie

Seva, Yuliia and Vira arrive in York

As soon as the war broke out in Ukraine we offered to be hosts for refugees fleeing the conflict. At first it seemed our hospitality wasn’t required but in June we were asked if we could take a family who were part of a larger group of people from a church in Dnipro – a number of whom were already in York. We agreed and the family started the long process of obtaining visas. 

Seva, Yuliia and Vira finally arrived in York by train at 1.30am on August 23rd. After a night’s sleep we joined a rally organised by our MP, Rachael Maskell, outside the Minster. Before the rally had finished we were treated to a patriotic Ukrainian song as Yuliia led the gathered crowd in full voice. Yuliia loves singing.

A few weeks later their 4 year old daughter, Vira, started school on the first day of the September term. Mum and Dad started English lessons to improve the limited vocabulary they brought with them to this country. Vira, not surprisingly, started to pick up the language at school.

There are many stories to tell, but enough to say here that hosting them is largely good (the kitchen is a little crowded at times) and they are starting to think about finding a place of their own in York. The situation back home means they are unlikely to be returning anytime soon.

Next page Unmasking the year