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Six-year-old Ukraine refugee finds safe haven at Gosfield School after community welcomes family

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A rural community has welcomed a Ukrainian refugee family with open arms, after they fled their home city as it came under siege by invading Russian forces.

Six-year-old Tymofii – known as Tim – and his mother, aunt and cousin had been forced to shelter in their basement in Odessa to avoid rocket fire, before fleeing the city, while Tim’s father, a police officer, remained behind.

After having their visas approved, the family secured passage into the UK, travelling by bus out of Ukraine, through Romania and into Bulgaria, where they waited for a suitable flight to England – all in the space of two weeks.

Tymofii is a Ukrainian refugee who has been enrolled at Gosfield School. Contributed picture
Tymofii is a Ukrainian refugee who has been enrolled at Gosfield School. Contributed picture

Through the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, Tim and his mum, Alina, have now settled in Gosfield, at the home of former schoolteachers Elaine and Stuart Jones.

“The local community have been amazing – we’ve been given everything we needed to make them comfortable in our home,” said Elaine, who was in Palestine while the family was in transit and filled out the forms to provide them with a home on arrival.

“I approached Gosfield School as Stuart and I use to work there as teachers over 10 years ago, so we knew what a special place it is.

“I asked if they could offer Tim a bursary place. We were thrilled to find that they were already thinking of how they could support the Ukrainian crisis and they agreed to accept Tim.

“Tim has settled well in these early stages and his mum, Alina, is delighted.

“She says she is so happy, and can’t believe that people have been so kind to her and Tim. She says that Tim is already making lovely friends.”

Tim has now been enrolled into the Year 2 class at Gosfield School, under the guidance of the head of prep, Kate Hornshaw, and class teacher Eleanor Smith.

Principal Rod Jackson added: “Gosfield School is extremely proud and pleased to have been able to help a child in need under these circumstances.

“We wholeheartedly support Tim and his family with their new life within the Gosfield community and hope to continue this support for as long as they need.”