Dad lands Bentley Motors job after fleeing war-torn Ukraine
A Ukrainian refugee has started a new life with his family in South Cheshire – and landed the ‘best job ever’ at Bentley Motors. Nick and Christina Zhmurchenko and their daughter Karina fled their home in Kyiv, Ukraine, when the invasion started and drove to Poland not knowing what the future held. It triggered them to take up the offer of Crewe resident Donna Foden – who they had met on holiday in Turkey three years ago – and now they’ve ended up in South Cheshire.
Nick said: “We didn’t know where to go. We did not want to spend more time in Poland. Then Donna, who we met on holiday in Turkey, kept writing to me, saying ‘You should come to the UK’.
We didn’t have a chance to go to the UK because we needed a visa, it was really tough to get one. So she kept saying ‘you have to come, you’ll get a job, you’ll really like it’. I said, ‘If we get a chance, we will probably go there’.
: Ukrainian family stranded for six weeks in Home Office visa delay “But there was no scheme launched here at that time. So we just waited, and they launched this visa scheme on March 18.
We applied the same day and got our visas in seven days. “We barely knew each other. And she made such a generous offer to us.
It was kind of scary, going to a different country. She helped us all the way through with papers and with jobs.” It wasn’t long before Nick landed himself a job at Bentley Motors.
He added: “I’ve had a lot of different jobs in my life. But I think this is the best one I’ve ever had. I’m working on the main line assembling Bentaygas.
When I tell my friends what I do they wouldn’t believe me.”
When the family arrived to stay with Donna they were some of the first refugees to arrive, and the system was in its infancy when they got here. Donna said: “My family arrived on March 28 and the council wasn’t aware. I rang the council and they said ‘have you got a family you want to match with?’ I said ‘they’re already here’.
So things had to be speeded up.” The family can now stay with Donna for three years. Meanwhile, Nick has bought a second hand car and Christina has got a job as a credit controller in Crewe.
She says the situation in Ukraine is still very bad and does not know if some friends are dead or alive. Christina added: “The eastern part of Ukraine is a disaster right now. There’s lots of killing, a lot of rapes and people just dissolving into thin air, you cannot find them, or get hold of them.
“Coming back would be a safe opportunity or a safe chance for any member of my family and I would really love for all my relatives to be somewhere safe. So we got a chance to stay here in Crewe for three years and Donna gave us a shelter in the house to stay with her. She’s very nice and helpful.
And I would take that opportunity and try to start over and be safe here.”
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