'It could have been us' The Chepstow family who took in three generations of Ukrainians

  • Video report by ITV Wales Journalist Issa Farfour

A Welsh family took in three generations of the same family who fled their home in Ukraine have urged more people to open up their homes.

Caroline and Alex Harvey decided they wanted to host Ukrainian refugees after being moved by television coverage of women and children being forced to flee their homes following Vladamir Putin's invasion of the country.

A year on from that invasion, people from the war-torn country described the milestone as both terrible and inspiring, as its fighters continue to defy expectations they would quickly fall to Moscow's forces.

On Friday, the King sent a message to the people of Ukraine, acknowledged the nation has "suffered unimaginably from an unprovoked full-scale attack", launched by Vladimir Putin.

In his message, he says: "They have shown truly remarkable courage and resilience in the face of such human tragedy.

A minute silence took place outside No. 10 Downing Street to mark one year since the invasion Credit: PA

"The world has watched in horror at all the unnecessary suffering inflicted upon Ukrainians, many of whom I have had the great pleasure of meeting here in the UK and, indeed, across the world, from Romania to Canada."

The family Caroline and Alex took in was 11-year-old schoolboy Mathew, his mother and his grandmother.

Mathew's mother, Lyana, explained: “It was a hard decision for us, If I was living alone I would have stayed in Ukraine but I have a mother and son, they need to be safe."

The family said it was a hard decision for them to leave their country

“We miss home, we lived there all our lives, and we have friends and too many memories in Ukraine.”

Mathew has started school at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Chepstow where there are several children from Ukraine.

The school offers events and educational support and have converted a bungalow on-site to house refugees.

Mathew said he hopes to become a computer engineer one day

Mathew said he dreams of becoming a computer engineer.

He said: “I hope to have a good life, and the war stops so we can go back home.”

The Ukrainian family now live in Chepstow with Caroline Alex. They have grown-up children who have left home.

After deciding to offer their home to refugees, they met Lyana, Mathew and Olena online first and took part in lots of video calls.

They got to know each other and discovered a mutual love of sports.

Caroline and Alex decided to host the family for 12 months rather. “When we watched the news a year ago, we were incredibly moved by those women and children leaving Ukraine. We thought of our own family, and we thought, how it would be if they had to do the same?,” Caroline said.

“It would be good if more people could open their homes up for Ukrainian and other refugees", Alex said.

"It's really important that we help these people. And if you think about it and think, this could be us, would we want somebody to help us? This could be our children".