Andrea Wallace, from Louth, is supporting inspirational Ukrainian Julia Benya, who fled the Ukraine with her twin daughters Anna and Nadiia to set up home with a sponsor here in the town, driving for three days from her war-torn country to get here.
Andrea got to know Julia and heard that she runs her own dressmaking business, and offered Julia her spare room so she could continue to run her business here in Louth.Three weeks ago she returned to Ukraine to deliver vital supplies to an orphanage where she used to volunteer, and sold her car to raise the money to enable her to stay in the UK.
Andrea said: “We were all so amazed by her story and think she’s so inspirational – considering what she’s been through, she’s so positive and optimistic.
“She’s taken every opportunity that’s been given her and it’s opened many doors for her.”Local farmer and garage owner, Alistair Needham from R & A Needham farms in South Cockerington, heard about Julia’s story from his sister Andrea, and had a word with his friends Micheal Watts from M J Watts Garage in Grimoldby.
They were so touched by her story, Alistair said that he wanted to buy her a car, so they selected one from MJ Watts forecourt, which they supplied at cost and also taxed and put fuel in.
Micheal said: “Julia was so thrilled. She kept saying she needed to pinch herself because it felt like a dream.
“It was a nice afternoon, and it’s always good to help someone who is less fortunate than yourself.”
Julia said that when she was given the car, she felt as if she had been given hope for the future:
“With this car I am now independent. I can work and drive my children. For the first time in my life I felt what those I helped in Ukraine must feel. It is incredible!”
Julia said that while she was scared coming to the UK at first, she said she now feels right at home.
“I love this country as my Ukraine,” she said, “I feel safe. England has given me and my children everything we need – the opportunity to work, children to study and be happy.”