Andrea Rimmer took in two Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion, mum and daughter Olena and Yeva, the mum-of-two from Merseyside said her new housemate was already ‘like a sister’ to her
Image: Andrea Rimmer)
A woman has said the Ukrainian refugee who is now sharing her house is already “like a sister to her”.
Andrea Rimmer decided to house a refugee after she saw a Facebook post asking for Brits to open their homes to those fleeing the Russian invasion.
After signing up, the mum-of-two from Formby, Merseyside, was put in touch with a mother and daughter who had fled from their home in Odessa, Ukraine, the Liverpool Echo reported.
Now, for the past month, Andrea has been housing mum Olena, 40, and her eight-year-old daughter Yeva.
Olena was originally meant to stay with her partner in Bolton but before she arrived he decided he did not want to take them in.
Speaking to the ECHO Andrea said: “Olena came over on a family visa with her long term boyfriend who turned around two days before she arrived and said he could not accommodate them anymore.
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“He had it all set up. She is from Odessa and she left with her mum and daughter.
“They drove to Moldova then went to Bucharest, sorted all the visas out and her mum said she could not leave her dad and went back to Ukraine.
“I got a message asking if we could take Olena and Yeva in and I said absolutely.”
Olena, who had been an estate agent in Ukraine, arrived in Liverpool on March 17.
Ever since then, Andrea said she has been “overwhelmed” by the support of the local community.
She said: “I put a post on Facebook asking for a bike for Yeva and within about four days there was stuff arriving at the house.
“I had friends come over with bags and bags of toys, somebody I know paid for them to go out and have a lovely lunch. Olena said the people she has met have been amazing.”
Olena and Yeva have now left Andreas’s home and moved in with another couple in Formby on the Homes for Ukraine scheme so Olena and her daughter can get more financial support while in the UK.
Andrea said: “I felt it was like having a sister in the house.
“With all the awful things that are going on in Ukraine the flip side is how fantastic the community has been.
“I can’t begin to tell you how kind people are. When Olena arrived she had nothing but when she moved out she had bags full of items that have been donated.
“It’s not about what I have done. I just did what any other person in Liverpool would do to welcome someone in that situation.”