Many of our colleagues have welcomed Ukranian families and individuals into their homes over the past months. Tony tells us more about hosting a Ukrainian family in his home.

"On 24th Feb 2022, my family and I watched in horror the unbelievable invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops and we all felt compelled to do something to help.

When the Government announced a scheme for families to host Ukrainians in their time of need, we immediately applied. We wanted t help as many as we could but were constrained with the room that we had available, so agreed to take the first family that we were matched with - which was a mum, and her two children.

We completed all the relevant forms and contacted the family; this was very emotional as they could not believe we wanted to help them. They soon arrived in the UK after a 21-hour journey from Prague, after escaping their hometown in Ukraine.
I really can’t put into words the feelings we experienced when we finally got to meet the family and the look of bewilderment on their faces - it is a look that will live with me. They were exhausted and frightened. We didn't need to say much on our first meeting their gratitude was clear with the mum repeatedly saying with tears in her eyes “thank you thank you.”

Since the family joined us the children have settled into school and they keep in touch with family back home every evening before 7pm when all lights have to go out in their hometown. We know how appreciative the dad in Ukraine is knowing his wife and children are safe. We all had a lump in our throat when we heard the children laugh together for the first time.

It is impossible to really comprehend the situation the family are going through and how would I cope if my wife and daughter had to leave to go and live with a family they did not know, in a country where they did not speak the language.

The generosity of my local community in Market Harborough has been amazing including the local shoe shop giving the mum a pair of shoes. 

Every day if full of mixed emotions, one minute happy and laughing the next minute the realisation of the situation in Ukraine but knowing that I am helping in a small way to keep the family safe is something that is priceless.”