The AHC welcomes Ukrainian Refugees to the team
We are delighted to welcome several Ukrainian refugees to join our team at The AHC and hope that they have found us welcoming and empathetic. We are lucky enough to have Ukrainian team members working with us at Great Fosters, Alexander House and Rowhill Grange.
We caught up with Margarita, who started working at Rowhill Grange a little earlier this year to find out a little more about her long journey to the UK and how she is adjusting to her new life in Kent.
Margarita is only 19 and an only child. Prior to coming to the UK she lived with her parents in Vinnytsia, a large city 150 miles south west of Kyiv with close family living nearby. Margarita arrived in the UK at the beginning of April after a protracted and arduous journey from her home town.
She described to us the start of the war and how on February 22nd she woke at 6am to hear bombs falling nearby. She walked to her Grandma’s house and described the fear and panic that people felt. There was a run on cash machines as people worried that their money might become inaccessible and with huge concerns about shortages of their medication. Margarita & her family decided it would be safer for her to leave Ukraine and she set off at the end of February travelling through Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia before arriving in Poland. Her journey took 7 days. She stayed for a month in Poland before being offered a family to stay with near Rowhill Grange in Kent. She flew from Poland to London, her first ever journey on a plane – an exciting but nerve wracking experience at the same time!
Margarita had been studying English and German at college whilst working part time as a barista in a local coffee shop – very useful skills for working with us! Now that she is practising her English every day it is improving very quickly. She facetimes her family & friends every day in between her studies, which she is managing to continue online and her part time role in the restaurant team at Rowhill Grange. Her host family live only a 20 minute walk from the hotel so it is easy for Margarita to get to & from the hotel.
Her family has taken her on the train to London and she has enjoyed visiting the sights that until now she had only seen in films or on tv. She has already seen Buckingham Palace & the Houses of Parliament and been on the London Eye.
Whilst Margarita is enjoying her time in the UK she naturally wants to be reunited with her family & friends in Ukraine as soon as it is safe. Her friends are scattered across Europe including Italy and Poland and she misses seeing them.
We wish Margarita every success whilst she is with us and admire her fortitude and resilience in coming to the UK alone. We all hope that the Ukrainian invasion ends soon so she can be reunited with her family & friends (although we will miss her friendly smile and positive attitude).
If you are reading this and know of any Ukrainians (or indeed anyone else!) looking for full or part time roles please do email our Recruiter Peter Maskens as we’d love to hear from you.