Lancashire school takes in mother and two young sons fleeing the war in Ukraine

A school community launched its own DIY SOS project to prepare an empty house for a refugee mother and her two children from Ukraine.

By Brian Ellis
Monday, 11th April 2022, 8:12 am

Parents, staff and pupils at Rossall School in Fleetwood rallied round to restore a three-bedroom property ready for the arrival of mum Yuliia and sons Oleg, eight, and three-year-old Volodymyr.

The family have fled their hom in Kharkiv and arrived in Lancashire on Thursday after a long and difficult journey via the Republic of Ireland.

Rossall headteacher Jeremy Quatermain explained: "This house has been unoccupied for a little while and it was in need of a lot of TLC.

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Volunteers who carried out a DIY SOS to prepare the empty house for its new family (Image: Rossall School)

"We just thought what potential this house would have and how wonderful if we could, as well as providing the children with an education, we could also provide them with a lovely family home."

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The house, on the Rossall School site, is just part of an initiative to support young Ukrainians caught up in the country's humanitarian crisis.

At least six more Ukrainian children will join the school's senior boarding community at the start of the summer term. Current pupils are raising money to support relief operations in Ukraine itself and the wider Rossall community has contributed to a fund to help support a number of children for as long as necessary.

Yuliia and her sons fled the war in their home city of Kharkiv which has been under bombardment from Russian forces.

Volunteers have been bringing the Rossall house and garden up to scratch. Others have donated clothes, toys and household items.

The school says it has been inundated with offers from suppliers, tradespeople and members of the public.

Oleg and Volodymyr are to join Rossall Prep School and Nursery where they will receive one-to-one support as they begin to learn English.

Mr Quatermain added: “We have all pulled together to make this happen and, from our initial phone call with Yuliia, we knew that we had to do everything within our power to help her and the boys.

“We are so fortunate to be able to help and I am so happy to be surrounded by colleagues, parents and pupils who all share our absolute determination to do something practical in response to the terrible and heartbreaking images that have flooded our screens in recent days.”