Ukrainian refugee says her ‘whole life has changed’ as she settles into Cornish home

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A woman who moved from Ukraine to Cornwall after the Russian invasion says her "whole life has changed".

Halyna has been supported by the group 'Helping Children of Ukraine', finding herself a new home with a family in Mevagissey.

The Cornish refugee charity says the momentum to help more people out of Ukraine has slowed down more than 120 days into the war with Russia.

Credit: ITV

In Ukraine, Halyna was a mother and businesswomen but arrived in the UK with nothing more than a suitcase. Here, she’s found two very different jobs in fruit picking and waitressing.

Halyna’s 19-year-old son Lukas was unable to flee the country with her, in anticipation that he may be called to fight. She says their separation is a devastating time for the family:

"I had a good job, and I had a normal life and my whole life has changed.

"I can’t understand now what’s going on. Seriously, it’s like a dream."

Despite a traumatic few months, Halyna has found herself a host family in Cornwall, but there are still lots of others seeking the same support of hosts in the UK.

Richard and Jackie Dew say they understood the potential risks of welcoming someone into their home but the experience of living with Halyna has been 'lovely’. Jackie added that they urge others to help if they can, and "In the end Richard and I decided that if we thought about all the problems, we just won’t do it."

Their main focus is supporting Halyna in her new roles and helping her overcome her English-speaking nerves in her customer facing jobs.

Halyna says she feels "so close to Richard and Jackie because my mum was a teacher and Jackie teaches as well. I don't feel any difficulty - it's quite easy."