On 24th February 2022, Anna woke up to the sounds of bombs in her native city, Kharkiv, in north-east Ukraine. In that moment, her and her son's lives changed forever.
Like many Ukrainians who were housed with British families, once her six-month term came to an end, Anna and her son feared they would become homeless in a foreign country.
Life in Ukraine
Life in Ukraine was stable. We lived peacefully in our flat, not expecting anything to change. I worked as an artist, and on the 23rd of February, I was on a call discussing new upcoming projects for the spring - I was so happy.
But at night, all our dreams and plans were destroyed by the Russian missiles. On 24th of February, we were awakened by - what I thought were fireworks - but then they were not stopping. It was the sound of bombs. The tanks were coming to our streets and I thought we will be killed. It was very terrifying. The war was my biggest fear from my childhood.
Arriving on the Homes for Ukraine scheme
When my son and I arrived in the UK, we were hosted by a British family and we are very happy and thankful to them for giving us this opportunity. They helped us a lot, and helped to enrol my son to school. It was a nice family, but for sure it's not easy, for us and for them, living with someone else. The six month term eventually came to an end and I was so stressed, fearing that we would become homeless.
Finding support from Beam
A woman from Brent Council was aware of my situation, and she gave my details to Beam. Then I got a call from Beam saying that they could help me - I couldn't believe it!
Beam helped me with covering the first month's rent and the deposit. I also got a voucher for some furniture. It was huge help considering the rising prices of flats in London. There is a big difference in renting in Ukraine and UK - it was really stressful - so I was very grateful to get support from my caseworker at Beam.
The kindness of strangers
When my campaign launched, and I saw that people started to donate and leave so many kind messages - it really surprised me. It was touching to see how many kind people who are ready to show their support and help.
Thanks to Beam and my supporters, you know that the help will always come even when you don't expect it at all.
£4,785 was raised to support me into stable housing with a deposit, first month's rent, and housing essentials.
Ukraine war: 1 year on
I cannot believe it has already been a year since the war started - and no one knows how many more years it will last.
There are so many things I'm grateful for... My life and my son's. All the people I have met on the way. The support I have received, from the kind strangers to the family who hosted us and helped my son get into school.
I'm also grateful to this country for all the help and support they have given to Ukrainian people and soldiers.
Despite the circumstances, I'm happy that we're alive and now settled.
A message of thanks 💝
I want to say thank you to all of my supporters for your help, your donations, your kind messages that you leave under my campaign. If you were here, I would hug each of you. I don't know what your life circumstances are but this is so heart-warming that you can find the resources to help people who are in difficult situations. Thank you so much.
Anna's campaign wrapped 🎁
💰 £4,785 raised | 🙌 18 supporters
You can check out Anna's campaign, here.