Recruitment fair held for Ukrainian families

Posted on: Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Newark and Sherwood District Council and Active4Today held a Homes for Ukraine recruitment fair for Ukrainian guests within the district who are looking for employment while living in the UK.

The event at Active4Today’s Southwell Leisure Centre provided attendees with information about vacancies at the leisure centre which included roles such as receptionists, fitness instructors and leisure attendants.

It was also an opportunity for sponsors and guests to have an informal chat and build local connections with other services in the area.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Here is a great opportunity to link Active4Today vacancies with local guests who have arrived from Ukraine. Finding employment is key to feeling a sense of independence, to help them feel settled in the District and a real chance to help integrate into the communities they live”

“Those fleeing the conflict have been through the pain and agony of being forced to leave their homes and it’s something that no person should ever have to experience. We want to do all we can to assist families who have stepped up to take care of people who have had to leave their country in fear for their lives.”

Andy Carolan, Managing Director of Active4Today, said: “We are pleased that we are able to invite guests from the Ukraine to apply for our vacant positions and hope that several of them may be successful in their applications.

“We cannot begin to understand the devastating effect having to leave your home, country and at times loved ones behind must feel like. We hope that this small step of offering employment opportunities to individuals will go some way to trying to assist them to rebuild their lives and hopefully replace a little of what they have lost.”

Host Sarah Wood, who lives in Winthorpe, said: “We felt passionately about the cause and searched for someone who could fit in our lives. We found a mother and son and she’s a doctor and her son is a medical student.

“My guest left home to go to a medical conference for three days and she hasn’t been home since because her town was invaded. It’s really upsetting and that’s why local support is important as you’re looking after vulnerable and traumatised people who would have experienced a whole range of different things - not only in what happened in causing them to leave, but their journey to get to us

“When they arrived they were in tears. There were tears on both sides. I hope I’ve made a positive difference. I see the appreciation from our guests and I’m sure that’s reflected in many other households. Our local MP’s office has been superb and really helped lots of guests.”

Sarah’s guests Valentyna Mihailovna and her son Mykhalio Alekseevic arrived in the UK back in May this year. Valentyna said: “I am a doctor in Ukraine working in the city of Kherson and lived there until Wednesday 23 February. I went to Lviv for a medical conference and when I arrived war had begun. I was no longer able to return to my city because it was occupied and I had to evacuate on train.

“It was a difficult time because we only had 3 days to leave. My son and I had to leave separately but Sarah our host was wonderful and even travelled to Belgium to pick me up and her husband picked my son up from London.

“I was very nervous and worried how my son would get here as he was alone. He was not allowed on the plane without documents but thanks to people like Sarah they did everything and made sure my son got her safely.

“Everything is fine here, but the only issue I have is the language barrier. I’m used to talking to my patients a lot back home paying them positive attention and I can’t do that here. It’s even more difficult as I’ve not been working for five months now and it’s the longest time I’ve spent not speaking to patients and helping people.

“Today my son was able to look at opportunities for himself and I’ve filled out a questionnaire so maybe I can work during evenings and weekends.”

Newark and Sherwood has seen a high number of applications for the scheme from hosts within the District. The Council has worked hard to support successful placements through completing accommodation checks and supporting families once guests arrive in the UK.  More than 130 families are being hosted in the district with the number rising every week.

If you are hosting a Ukrainian guest or family, or for more information, visit: www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/advice-for-residents/homes-for-ukraine-/