A Ukrainian woman and her family have found a new home as they had to leave their accommodation at Aveton Gifford.
Tatyana Dankova and her four children 12 year old Kostya, eight year old Mirra, six year old Solomiia and two year old Mark now have a new home in Hope Cove.
Tatyana explains: “The house is small, but a very neat, comfortable, bungalow.
‘‘There is a garden.
‘‘It is located near the sea and the forest.”
The family arrived in England in June last year with their dog Volt after living in both Germany and Poland following their departure from Ukraine.
They found it very difficult as they don’t speak German.
Russia invaded the country on February 24 last year and there have been tens of thousands killed on both sides causing the biggest European refugee crisis since WWII. There is no sign yet of Russian President Vladimir Putin calling a cease fire.
Tatyana’s oldest son Kostya goes to Kingsbridge Community College and plays both tennis and is part of the KM football team.
Her daughters Mirra and Solomiia go to Aveton Gifford Primary School.
Tatyana said: “The children like it even though it is very difficult to learn.
‘‘Especially Kosty who is 12 years old.
‘‘He acts like a teenager.
‘‘The girls already write and read well.
‘‘They have many friends whom they visit. “
Tatyana’s husband Denis is still fighting in Bakhmut in the east of Ukraine.
Thankfully he isn’t right on the front line and is based in an office.
The family are counting down the days as they are planning to visit Ukraine for the first time since they left.
Denis has 10 days off in May: ‘‘Tatyana says: ‘‘We are excited but also afraid about making the trip, especially with the bombs.’’
Tatyana is an ecologist who worked at Kyiv Zoo as well as a natural park in the city.
Since her youngest son Mark started to go to play school she has been able to find a cleaning job.
She said: ‘‘I am now working in Kingsbridge and all over.’’
Tatyana said she’s been treated well: “The attitude towards us is very good.
‘‘If I need help, I can always turn to someone and they will help me.
“For example, if I need someone to sit with the children or fix something in the house. My children and I have new friends, both English and Ukrainian.
Tatyana added: ‘‘The only thing I don’t like much is the NHS.
It is difficult to get treatment here.
‘‘I have had a headache for around four months and and have been seen in Plymouth but it hasn’t solved the problem.
‘‘The same applies to the dentists, treatment is difficult to find.
‘‘Both doctors and dentists work better in Ukraine where you can just make an appointment and be seen.’’
There are many things she likes about England she said: “We love nature, architecture, and I also like to see many animals around.”
She also said that the family had settled down well in the area: “I started to speak and understand the language better.
‘‘There are around five Ukranian families in the area including another in Hope Cove itself.
“We have made lots of friends around here.”
The family have also been exploring as Tatyana explains: ‘‘We have been to Plymouth, Exeter and have visited many beaches.
‘‘We have also been to Edinburgh to sort out our new Ukrainian passports.
‘‘We could have gone to London but the queues there are much, much longer.
‘‘In Edinburgh you can make an appointment and get it all sorted.
Looking back on their nine months in the South Hams the family have taken giant steps towards adapting to a very different country and way of life.
Tatyana wanted to finally say: “I want to thank our previous and new sponsors who have helped us a lot and continue to help us.
‘‘I will be grateful to them all my life.’’