Mum says new Ukrainian refugee flatmate is already “like a sister to her”.

Andrea Rimmer took in two Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, mother and daughter Olena, and Yeva, the Merseyside mother of two, said her new flatmate was already “like a sister” to her

Andrea and Olena carry a Liverpool flag
Andrea and Olena carry a Liverpool flag

One woman said the Ukrainian refugee who now shares her home is already “like a sister to her”.

Andrea Rimmer decided to take in a refugee after seeing a Facebook post urging Brits to open their homes to those fleeing the Russian invasion.

After registering, the mother of two, from Formby, Merseyside, was put in touch with a mother and daughter who had fled their home in Odessa, Ukraine Liverpool echo reported.

Andrea has been home to mother Olena, 40, and her eight-year-old daughter Yeva for a month now.

Olena was originally supposed to stay with her partner in Bolton but before she arrived he decided he didn’t want to take her in.

Speaking to ECHO, Andrea said: “Olena came to see her longtime boyfriend on a family visa, who turned around two days before she arrived and said he could no longer accommodate her.

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Andrea with mother and daughter Olena and Yeva


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“He had prepared everything. She is from Odessa and left with her mother and daughter.

“They went to Moldova, then to Bucharest, took care of all the visas and her mother said she couldn’t leave her father and went back to Ukraine.

“I got a message asking if we could host Olena and Yeva and I absolutely said yes.”

Olena, who was a real estate agent in Ukraine, arrived in Liverpool on March 17.

Since then, she has been “overwhelmed” by the support from the local community, Andrea said.

She said: “I made a post on Facebook asking for a bike for Yeva and within about four days things started arriving at the house.

“I’ve had friends come over with bags full of toys, someone I know paid for them to go out and have a nice lunch. Olena said the people she met were amazing.”

Olena and Yeva have now left Andrea’s home and moved in with another couple in Formby as part of the Homes for Ukraine program so Olena and her daughter can have more financial support while in the UK.

Andrea said: “I felt like I had a sister in the house.

“With all the horrible things that are going on in Ukraine, the downside is how amazing the community has been.

“I can’t tell you how friendly people are. When Olena arrived she had nothing, but when she moved out she had bags full of items that were donated.

“It’s not about what I’ve done. I just did what any other person in Liverpool would do to welcome someone in this situation.”

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