Mykhaylo, Olena, and their two daughters lost everything in a single day when Russia invaded Ukraine. Like many others, they fled to the UK on the Homes for Ukraine scheme and stayed with a host family. But when their stay came to an end, the family faced homelessness when they struggled to find an affordable property. In this blog, Mykhaylo shares their story and how Beam supported the family to resettle in the UK.
Life in Ukraine 🇺🇦
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, our life was very good and peaceful. We had good jobs - I worked in business development and my wife ran her own agency business. Our kids were also going to one of the best schools in Kyiv.
On February 24, 2022, we were in Turkey to celebrate our 20th anniversary, the very same day the invasion started. In one way, it felt like God saved us since we were safe, but we lost everything within a single day. We had no money and had no opportunity to go back. We only intended to stay in Turkey for a week but we were stuck there for four months.
Navigating the UK rental market 🏡
Our friends in the UK told us that the UK government is developing the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme and encouraged us to come to the UK since we had nowhere else to go. We came and stayed with a British family for nine months. But when that came to an end, we found the process of finding a home extremely hard. It’s completely different in Ukraine, you just find the place and agree on the price, that’s it. Here, in the UK, it's much more complicated, there are so many more checks and requirements to show you are capable of paying rent.
It’s like a circle because if you’ve just arrived, you don’t have a job and when you’ve got a job, you don’t have a track record to prove that you’re able to pay. It’s endless. The process went on for three or four months.
Getting support from Beam 💛
We heard about Beam from Redbridge Council when we asked how we could get help. Redbridge Council held an information session with Beam, specifically for Ukrainian guests to showcase how Beam could support us.
We only had one week to move to a new house so I explained the situation to Beam and they were able to help us immediately. We got help with paying the deposit, and first month's rent and we also got an Ikea voucher.
I met quite a few people at Beam and everyone was very helpful and nice. Besides the support with housing, they are also helping me find a job. At the moment, I’m working with my caseworker who’s helping me get an interpretation course so I can become an official interpreter. So every encounter I’ve had with Beam has been amazing.
Beam has been a great support to the whole family and we now feel established and more comfortable. When you stay with someone else under a house stay, it's not your own place and you’re still stressed. So when we were able to gain support with moving into our own home, it was a relief for everyone.
New beginnings in the UK 🇬🇧
We now have a house here, my wife has a job, and our kids have been enrolled in a nice school too, settling in well, and speaking fluent English now. As the war continues in Ukraine, I’m not sure it will finish any time soon so we will try to live here and rebuild our lives. My next goal is to get a job and make sure that all the bills are covered.
A message of thanks 💙
We wanted to say a big thank you to all the English people who open their homes and their hearts to help the Ukrainians in this hard time. On behalf of the Ukrainian community, we also want to thank everyone who is involved in this help, the UK government, councils, individuals - everybody who continues to show their support, we really appreciate it. We believe that this is what should be done when somebody is suffering, somebody should lend their helping hand in a time of need.
Mykhaylo's campaign wrapped 🎁
💰 £1,139 raised | 🙌 60 supporters
You can check out Mykhaylo's campaign, here