Ukrainian Settlement - Welcome to Walsall
On 24th February 2022, Russian military invaded Ukraine, escalating the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. This invasion has led to thousands of deaths of both sides, and as a result we have seen Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. One year on, Ukrainian people who have settled in Walsall, and have been supported by Nash Dom Community Hub – an Eastern European and Russian-speaking Community Support and Business Development Centre – share their stories. (Names have been changed to protect the refugees in these case studies).
Irina came to the UK in June 2022, escaping from the war in Ukraine and looking for shelter for herself and her son. In the Motherland, she left her family who refused to leave the country and went to defend the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine on the battleﬁeld. Having no relatives or friends by her side, Irina got acquainted with some of the Ukrainians in Walsall and very soon she got to know about Nash Dom Community Hub who were mostly dealing with refugees from Eastern Europe, including Ukrainians. In Ukraine, Irina worked as a tutor of English and German. After several sessions in 'Generations Café” — which is aims to gather and unite all the migrants in the Walsall Community — Irina was offered the opportunity to lead ESOL classes for Ukrainians who were struggling with English learning and social adaptation. The Community Support Centre, Nash Dom Community Hub, supported the Ukrainian community with their desire to ﬁnd their own place in British society and get accustomed to a new lifestyle gradually. As a result, it became the place not only for studying but also for social interaction, communication, support and achievement of the professional potential. There are already two ESOL groups for beginners and upper-intermediate learners who are searching for a more advanced level. The ESOL participants started to spend time together outside of the classes. At the moment, this project has already grown into a successful story of mutual understanding, cultural integration and emotional reinforcement.
Nadiia came to the UK in February 2022 as soon as the war in Ukraine broke out. She came to Walsall under the Ukraine Family Scheme. Nadiia is already in her 60s and has got a lot of health issues which demand professional treatment. In the beginning, Nadiia suffered a lot from anxiety and stress due to the war and also because of a lack of friends and acquaintances in England. Over time, she learnt about Nash Dom Community Hub in Walsall where she found lots of like-minded people here who shared her interests, thoughts and similar past experiences. Joining the ESOL classes for the Ukrainians, she made new friends with a lot of fellow citizens. She has become an integral part of the Ukrainian community, and is eager to participate and help for the general good. Nadiia tries always to be active, and sets an example for the rest of the community. She inspires people to believe in their own capacity and strength, never give up, keep on enjoying life and appreciate every single minute of your life as you never know what will be next.