A refugee’s journey from Ukraine – to a job in one of York’s top hotels
A young Ukrainian woman who fled her native country after the Russian invasion started working in one of York’s top hotels.
Mariana Kachun, who arrived in the UK with her sister on April 8 under the Ukrainian Family Scheme, works as a clerk at the Middlethorpe Hall restaurant.
She and her sister, who come from a town called Ternopil in western Ukraine, now live with their aunt Tetyana and her husband in Appleton Roebuck.
They had to leave other family members behind in Ukraine when they fled.
“My mother, my maternal grandmother and my grandfather are still in Ukraine,” Mariana said.
“My mum got a visa to come to the UK, but she can’t travel because she works in a busy military hospital.
“My grandmother and grandfather are farmers and live in a small village outside Ternopil.”
Mariana and her sister left Ternopil on an overnight bus that traveled 140 miles to the Polish border and then to Krakow.
“Because of the queues at the border, the bus journey took more than eight hours,” she said.
“Once we arrived in Krakow, we had to go to the airport to catch a flight to the UK. My aunt and uncle met us at Manchester airport.
Now she is settling into her new life.
Apart from her and her sister, five other Ukrainian women and girls live with her aunt and uncle in Appleton Roebuck – all close family members.
They all love York. “It’s a beautiful city and everyone we’ve met here has been very friendly!” she says.
But being able to find work was hugely important, she said. “Particularly because it’s probably the best way to improve my English skills!”
Her uncle approached several local employers.
‘Mr Chatard of Middlethorpe Hall responded very quickly and within a week had offered a job in the hotel restaurant,’ Mariana said.
“Middlethorpe Hall is a great place to work and everyone we met here made us feel very welcome.”
Lionel, who is the manager and general manager of Middlethorpe Hall, said he was delighted to offer Mariana a place.
“We have all been saddened by the scenes of devastation in recent months, and particularly shocked by the impact of the war on Ukraine’s civilian population – women and children forced to flee their country at short notice with little or no possessions. “, did he declare.
“We are delighted to have Mariana on board. Her performance and enthusiasm are flawless and our guests enjoy interacting with her. We would be happy to consider other Ukrainian refugees for employment.
As for the future… Mariana hopes to be able to return to nursing training one day.
“I was studying to become a nurse in Ukraine. If possible, I would like to complete my nursing degree in the UK,” she said.