By Ian Mean

A young mother from Ukraine is helping students at SGS College in Stroud to raise funds for their emergency war appeal.

Mariia Bezkorovaina,36, is building a new life in Britain with her four year old daughter, Milana at Wotton -under-Edge.

And she has been encouraging students to raise funds with £14 000 already raised for their Ukraine Emergency Appeal with the British Red Cross.

Mariia’s mother, Taisa, lives in the middle of war-torn Ukraine—at a small town called Svitlovodsk. And her brother, Oleksandr, 31, is living closer to Kiev.

Mariia is taking GCSE in english and maths soon and hopes to then get an apprenticeship.

“I hope to look at something in teaching like an assistant”, she added. ”I have started my life here again because I can’t go back to the Ukraine.

“I am in love with the UK and I would like to stay here.”

Movingly, Mariia talks of her mother and brother’s life in Ukraine:

“People there feel very scared. They are brave people but they are just down and tired of all this.

“The most dangerous place in Ukraine is the East. I talk to my Mum every day and she tells me that the Russians are planning a huge second attack.

“I am feeling very down, and people there just can’t see when the war is going to stop. The Russian army is now killing civilians—it is genocide.”

What does she think about the support for Ukraine from the UK?

“It is not good—it is amazing! We now call the UK our real sisters and brothers. You feel you are not alone with your pain—this is what we feel from the UK”.

And SGS College principal Sarah-Jane Watkins, said:

“We are really proud of the brilliant work of both our staff and learners with their amazing fund-raising efforts for the British Red Cross in Ukraine.

“We achieved nearly £14 000 before Easter-£6 500 coming from our auction of Promises alone.

“We have managed to secure a small container on a commissioned convoy going into the region who will try to deliver to Mariia’s family.”