Writing in this week’s Redditch Standard (May 13th), Rachel said:

“Last Friday I had the honour of meeting Tatiana and her family. They fled Ukraine two months ago and they now call Redditch their home.

“It was local resident and business owner, Nitin Sodha, who made contact with Tatiana via Facebook. Nitin signed up to the Homes for Ukraine scheme immediately after it was launched.

“There were some issues along the way, but my team and I worked with Nitin to get the visa issues sorted. We did just that and last week Tatiana and her two children arrived here in Redditch.

“They left Ukraine two months ago and headed for Poland. Tatiana told me that they didn’t know what would happen to their hometown, which is in between Kyiv and Lviv, at the beginning of Putin’s illegal war and so she made the decision to leave everything behind and head for Poland. She did what any mother would have done.

“For Nitin supporting Tatiana and her family is very personal. He himself is a refugee and came to this country at the age of 19. His wife is also a refugee and so they both understand more than anyone what Tatiana and her children are going through.

“It was emotional and inspiring meeting Tatiana and her children. Her son is 17 years-old and he told me that he wants to become an architect so he can one day rebuild his country. It is a moment I will never forget and even writing this is very emotional.

“Tatiana’s daughter is just 6-years-old and currently speaks little English. Despite everything she has been through since the beginning of the war, leaving her home, fleeing to Poland and now living in the UK, she has shown remarkable resilience for someone so young. She will be starting school very soon and I have no doubt she will receive a warm Redditch welcome from her classmates.

“And Tatiana herself made it clear to me just how much she wants to contribute to our country. She is a talented singer and what I took away from our meeting was just how eager she is to get involved with the local community.

“I know I have other constituents who have welcomed Ukrainians into their homes. I want to say thank you to you all. Your selfless actions will never be forgotten.

“I will continue to do everything I can to support Tatiana and her family, and all Ukrainians who now call Redditch their home.”