As we reported last month, Tanya Mulesa brought her 83-year-old grandmother Natalia Anufriieva from the invasion-torn country on March 20.
It was a fierce battle with the Home Office amid many logistical challenges, but Natalia is now safe in Halton.
Ukrainian-born Tanya is now working tirelessly to provide all support possible for refugees.
While helping match them with hosts in the UK, she discovered that most people in Ukraine were too scared to throw their remaining savings on a trip to the UK.
“Their minds are numb to making serious decisions like this,” she said. “Most have lost jobs.
"A lot of them don’t have many savings and are worried that if they leave Ukraine or Poland they will have to spend their final savings.”
With this in mind, Tanya is now helping through her shoe business cleverstein.co.uk, which she runs out of Halton Mill.
Tanya has lived in England for 10 years and her family moved to Halton four years ago.
Cleverstein designs and makes innovative ballet flats which are sold alongside detachable accessories to completely transform the shoes.
The shoes and accessories were made in Ukraine pre-invasion. The brand is circular, upcycling leather and fabric waste to make shoe accessories with Ukrainian artisans and taking them back for recycling.
Tanya is an award-winning footwear designer, and was recognised by the Global Network of Women Innovators as the winner in the creative category in 2019.
Cleverstein is now dedicating its remaining stock to support Ukrainian refugees. The sale of each pair of shoes will sponsor a Ukrainian refugee to travel to the UK to stay with a host.
“Sponsoring refugee travel at the moment is the best way people can help,” Tanya said.
Meanwhile, Natalia is now enjoying her new life in Halton, where she is now baking her signature Ukrainian cakes for the local community, as well as gardening, learning English, and helping refugees come to the UK.
She is also helping Cleverstein with shoe fittings, and visitors can say hello at the Halton Mill office.