23 May 2022

A Ukrainian family is settling into life in Knutsford, after fleeing the Russian invasion. Thanks to a host family providing them with a home in the area, Knutsford Academy has welcomed their 15-year-old daughter, Polina, into Year 10.  

Along with her mum and younger sister, Polina left her home in Odessa in southern Ukraine and crossed the border into Poland to escape the fighting and their journey is being followed by BBC’s Newsround. They featured an interview with Polina on last week’s programme, to see how she had found her first week at the Academy.  

Polina explained that she was scared on her first day but everywhere people smiled at her, even though she didn’t know them. A lot of teachers said, ‘hi and if you need anything please let me know.’ She hopes to have friends soon. “The most difficult thing for me is the language barrier and for me to find the right words, but I have to go through it.”  

Polina is following the Year 10 timetable with her new classmates and says she likes all subjects. "The most interesting subject is History, and the teacher is so cool, you just want to listen and listen.” In her spare time, she joins online lessons which, incredibly, are still being provided by her teachers in Ukraine. 

During the interview, Polina says “I speak often with my friends and tell them interesting things about school but sometimes I don’t like to tell them how good I feel here, whilst they are in Ukraine, in danger.” 

Knutsford Homes for Ukraine 

A local community group is aiming to sponsor housing for another Ukrainian family fleeing the war zone. They’re hoping to raise around £16,000 to rent a furnished home for one year in Knutsford or the surrounding area. If you think you can help house another family like Polina’s, please visit https://ukrainezone.org/knutsford-homes