When the war ends: The plans being made by Ukrainians and their new families

Nadiia and Bohdana have learned a lot since their arrived in the UK eight months ago.

They now speak excellent English, having only known a few words initially. They have also learned how to cook British dishes, however, they still prefer cooking food that they used to have back home in Ukraine.

"It’s a memory, because when we eat our food it’s like ‘oh, we’re at home’," says Bohdana.

The two young women are artists. They would prefer to be back in their village new Kyiv, working on projects and being close to their friends and family. But, one year on from the Russian invasion of their country, a permanent return is just a dream for now.

Photographs sent to them by friends and family show the destruction and violence they have left behind. They have lost people they knew and even endured a month with Bohdana's uncle and aunt being kept prisoner by Russian soldiers.

Photos sent by friends and family show the destruction and violence they have left behind in Ukraine

"We have a lot of feelings about Ukraine," says Nadiia. "We worry and a lot of crying. So this is a place just for stop, relax and enjoy and we can hear what we have inside. We can hear our voice inside our heart."

Nadiia is talking about their new home and new family. Married couple Hugh Hope-Stone and Nina Bell welcomed them into their house as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme last year. They live in a hamlet called Clewer, near Wedmore in Somerset.

"We had an empty house and two boys had left home," says Hugh. "Now we’ve got two girls. So it’s been good."

"Hugh - we love you so much!" shouts Nadiia. The bonds the women have formed with their hosts is clear to see - the word 'family' is regularly used to describe each other.

But despite how upbeat they are, these are two women living with the reality that the latest call home could be their last

Hugh said: "They speak to their family on a regular basis and they just get a lot of bad news.

"They are so cheerful and happy and want to get on but, at the same time, they’ve got all this stuff back home going on.

"But what they’ve done here is amazing. They were saying how they know Somerset because they’ve just been connecting with people, getting stuff set up. They’ve got this amazing energy."

Nadiia and Bohdana have arranged a performance to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine

That energy has been put into working in a factory and sending money home. Their focus around the anniversary of the invasion, though, has been putting on a special event in Wedmore - an immersive performance at the village hall including items sent to them from the war to tell the stories of the people back home.

Bohdana said: "It’s so horrible but, at the same time, unbelievable how people - they don’t stop their lives, they continue. Terrible things happen with them but they still have this belief in their souls and they believe in the future and they continue to do something."

Nadiia and Bohdana’s performance is called Don’t Close Your Eyes. They have been supported by a performing arts centre in Monkton Heathfield, near Taunton, called The SPACE.

Course director David Duthie said: "They could be very down about the situation but, straight away, I had a sense of we can make a difference, we can make this better and to make the most of every opportunity. Our young company members have been inspired by that also."

The event is their way of doing something positive whilst the war still rages as they dream of what they’ll do in their homeland beyond the fighting - particularly with their new English family.

Nadiia said: "We speak a lot about our future and what we must do all together in Ukraine."

"You should come this, this, this time - all year in Ukraine!" adds Bohdana.

"And we will show all the parts of Ukraine because here we have the sea, here we have mountains. So, yeah we will be very happy if they come. They will definitely come - when the war stops," said Nadiia.

'When the war stops' - those positive words keep Nadiia and Bohdana moving forward in the hope that one year on from the invasion they will one day return home for good. They plan to visit friends and family soon - taking a risky journey for that close contact they crave. For now, Somerset is their home - their safe place.