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My first Christmas in the UK… A Ukrainian’s perspective

Christmas can be a time for coming together, but for refugee and people seeking sanctuary it can be a reminder of everything and everyone they’ve lost. Today we hear from one from who after fleeing Ukraine has found safety in Shropshire…

“This is our first Christmas in the UK. Our Christmas wish is for peace in Ukraine.

My son and I came to England from Ukraine almost nine months ago and step by step we are integrating, but it’s quite a different culture.

In Ukraine we celebrate Christmas the 7th of January according to Orthodox traditions. We used to gather with all our relatives around a big round table full of different festive dishes including our traditional one, Kutia – a wheat berry pudding.

Right now we are happy that we ware able to rent our own accommodation here, and thanks to that we put up our own Christmas tree and decorated it just the way we wanted.

It makes us appreciate what we have, because some Ukrainian families and many other refugees end up in hotels, where they cannot have that.

This Christmas tree reminds us of our happy life and cheers us up when sad thoughts creep into our minds, especially when we so far from our families, friends and our homeland.

My Christmas wish, of course, is peace so we can finally hug our loved ones still in Ukraine.”


This Ukrainian family is being supported by our friends at Shropshire Supports Refugees.

With your support, even more people seeking safety will be met with welcome and understanding. Wherever you live or work there are ways to get involved, just visit our Groups page.