Imagine your home... what feelings immediately come to mind? Safety, comfort, love, happiness, and peace... the complete antithesis of Ukraine during this time of war.  

The war in Ukraine is devastating. Many innocent lives have been lost and continue to be taken, families are ripped apart and desperately strive for safety- having to flee the place they once called ‘home’ and seek refuge elsewhere.  

After speaking to a Ukrainian refugee (who prefers to remain anonymous) living in the local area, and hearing their individual story, the struggles and trauma they have experienced from this war is far greater than anyone could ever imagine. However, despite this upset and anguish, their extreme sense of gratitude and positive outlook brings great hope for the future; exclaiming just how proud they are to be Ukrainian and build a new life in England.  

The anonymous survivor states that “the last week of February was a week [they] will never forget” ... the unthinkable happened... their worst fear: the war had begun, changing their lives forever. After an exhausting two-day journey to Western Ukraine, they endured three long weeks of hiding. Soon, it became clear this could no longer continue as the danger was too immense, and they had no other option than to leave the country all together. 

Eventually, they took the heart-breaking decision to leave Ukraine and travel to Romania in the hope of reaching the UK, and eventual safety. On arrival in the UK, they were reunited with distant relatives who currently live here. Despite leaving everything they knew behind in the ruins of war; they have started a new chapter in England. However, not a single day passes without remembering the memories, relatives and friends who are, unfortunately, still in Ukraine. 

Since the war began (on Thursday 24th February 2022) almost 5.5 million people have fled Ukraine, with around 7 million being internally displaced! This unimaginable figure is still growing as the war continues. We all need to help, and work together to support those experiencing the most extreme atrocities of war and aid them in finding the refuge, happiness, and safety they deserve.