Mum believes her new Ukrainian refugee friend is a’sister to her’


Andrea Rimmer accepted two Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion. Mum and daughter Olena, and Yeva, were both from Ukraine. The Merseyside mum-of-2 said that her new housemate was already a’sister’ to her.

One woman said that the Ukrainian refugee now living in her home is already a household member. “like a sister to her”.

Andrea Rimmer chose to shelter a refugee after seeing a Facebook post asking Brits for help with fleeing Russian invasion.

After signing up, the mother-of-two, Formby, Merseyside got in touch with a mother/daughter couple who had fled Odessa, Ukraine. Liverpool Echo reported.

Andrea, Olena, a 40-year-old mother, and Yeva, her eight-year old daughter, have been staying with Andrea for the last month.

Olena was initially meant to stay in Bolton with her partner, but he decided that he didn’t want them to move in.

Andrea spoke to the ECHO and 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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“It was all ready for him. She is originally from Odessa.

“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 from the local community.

She explained that she posted on Facebook asking for Yeva a bicycle and it arrived at her house in four days.

“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.”

Yeva and Olena left Andreas’s place and moved in with a couple in Formby under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Olena can receive financial support while Olena is abroad.

Andrea said: “I felt it was like having a sister in the house.

“Despite all the terrible things happening in Ukraine, the other side is how wonderful the community has been.

“I can’t begin to tell you how kind people are. Olena had nothing when she arrived, but she left with bags full of donated items.

“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.”

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