Ukrainian teen ‘feels safe’ after arriving in Coventry

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A Ukranian teenager said he feels “safe” after arriving in the UK.

Bohdan, 18, is living in Earlsdon, Coventry, after a charity matched him with Emmanuel Hemmings who wanted to use his spare room to house someone fleeing the conflict.

They met for the first time in Poland last week and travelled home three days ago.

Bohdan said it had been “very hard times” for people in his country before he left.

Upon receipt of Bohdan’s visa. Krakow

Originally from Uman in Ukraine, he said his family decided to send him to the UK to keep him safe.

“It is really unsafe, it is really dangerous.

“People can’t do anything, can’t sleep, can’t do their work, can’t have time with their family, can’t relax, anything because always at any moment can fly a plane or rocket, it is really dangerous.”

Bohdan meeting Earlsdon councillors: Becky Gittins, Kindy Sandhu and Antony Tucker on his 18th birthday
Bohdan celebrated his 18th birthday since arriving and was joined by local councillors

Bohdan, who celebrated his birthday since arriving in Coventry, said he has felt “happy” since arriving.

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“Everything is okay with me and everyday I connect with my family and I hope that the war is really soon ended,” he said.

Mr Hemmings said he had worked in Lviv in Ukraine three years ago and had promised colleagues he would help in the event of a conflict.

Bohdan lands in the UK
Mr Hemmings previously worked in Ukraine and had promised to help refugees

He said a Polish former colleague directed him to a website where he could match with people who needed help and Bodhan’s “need was the most urgent”.

Mr Hemmings travelled to Poland to meet Bohdan, which was “nerve-wracking” but they bonded together over pizza in Krakow.

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