As a school community, we have been very concerned about the conflict in Ukraine and have wanted to help in any way that we can. We were alerted to a Ukrainian family who flew to the UK and joined a host family locally. Two of our students took the opportunity to meet and support the older children of the family with their spoken English, as they adjusted to life in the UK. Here, Trinity students Lucy Ma and Hugh Bishop talk about their experience: 

Until the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Kristina (20) and Misha (17) were living in the west of the country, with Kristina studying at university and Misha at school. They fled the country with their siblings and parents, leaving their grandparents back in Ukraine. Over the summer we met with them to help with their spoken English and support as they settled here. Kristina was applying to continue her studies, so we helped her to complete the compulsory English exams; she has since received two offers to study Psychology from Reading and Manchester universities! Whilst Misha had much less developed English than Kristina, we helped him with more common life experiences, for example, interviews for jobs or key phrases for starting school.” 

Lucy says, “Having the opportunity through Trinity to help Kristina and Misha was, and is, a truly enriching experience. We were able to hear their stories and watch their progression and this was not only inspiring but also exciting to see them have so much hope after such a difficult time. Although we were there to help with their English, I feel that we also played a part in making them feel more welcome and hope that we provided them with some comfort and support. I am incredibly grateful for meeting them and will continue to in the future, not just to teach them but, as true friends.” 

Hugh agrees and says, “Helping Misha and Kristina has been an incredibly refreshing and rewarding opportunity. Just going to meet them and being able to talk about their experience was deeply interesting and moving – despite such a traumatic year, it was clear that they are looking forward to exciting new opportunities. Their resilience was inspiring and, overall, I believe it was an incredibly valuable experience for all of us.” 

We’d like to thank Lucy and Hugh for the time and energy they gave to Misha and Kristina over the summer holidays.


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