A woman who has just snapped up a new home is throwing the doors open to a Ukrainian mum and her son and is bidding to find her a job. Beth Robinson, 24, who works with the Swansea Football Club Foundation, was due to be living in her Ogmore Vale home in Bridgend with just her dog and decided as she had the space, she would support those fleeing the conflict.
Beth had been working with Voice of Ukraine through her role and decided to make a difference to hairdresser Kateryna, 42, and 14-year-old son Maksym. It will take them 18 hours to get to Calais and close to four and a half hours to get to Wales from Dover. Beth said she was determined to do something to help.
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“I have only just moved into my new house with 18 months of renovations,” she said. “I decided to have two new family members to join me.
“With two rooms spare it felt selfish with the images coming out of Ukraine. I had been fundraising with the work I do with Swansea Football Club Foundation and I did a fundraiser for the Voice of Ukraine.
“I spent time with a woman and her child who had managed to flee – it was from that I was waiting for the Government to come out with something. It was a case of matching with someone I felt comfortable with as I am a lone female.” Beth said she believed they would move in with her in April.
“Kateryna, 42, and her son Maksym, 14, will be making their own way here,” she added. “It will take 18 hours from Calais and four and a half hours from Dover – they are waiting for everything to go through before making that commitment, which is fair enough. It could be 14 days before they arrive – it will be some point in April. She will have the same rights as anyone here to find a job.”
Beth put out an appeal to find work for Kateryna as she is a qualified stylist and colourist and owns her own salon in Kyiv. She will also be taking English lessons at night, and is looking for as many hours as possible to cover costs for her son.
People across Wales have been supporting those fleeing Ukraine in a variety of ways and even First Minister Mark Drakeford has opened up his home. Get stories like that here with our Wales Matters newsletter.
When Beth shared the post seeking work for Kateryna she thought only 50 people would share it as opposed to 11,000. She said: “Originally, I had Wales jobs on there but as I worked in Swansea I thought if there was anything in west Wales, I was hoping to drive her.
“I was getting offers from everywhere. I just hope she picks up English quickly as her English is poor at the moment.” She added: “The situation in Ukraine is horrific really but I am in a position that I can help. I felt it was a duty to do. If I am able to help a person, it’s better than anything. I have an end of terrace house so it’s a roof over their head.”
A total of £4,000 was raised on a Swans match day towards Ukraine and Beth was determined to keep raising awareness by walking 1,400 flights of steps as the distance the Ukrainian family will be travelling is equal to 1,400 kilometres.
“What is happening has touched a lot of local people,” she said. “A lot of people are donating blankets and clothes.”