June 10, 2022 8.00 am

Ukraine refugee dreams of going home after setting up new business in Lincolnshire

She had to leave some family behind in Ukraine

A woman who fled to Lincolnshire from Ukraine with her 13-year-old son still dreams of the day she can return home, but is enjoying her life and new business in Grantham.

Natalia Chekotun and her 13-year-old son fled their home in Odessa in March shortly after the Russian invasion, but had to make the emotional and difficult decision to leave her husband and eldest son behind.

The beauty therapist is now around 2,000 miles away from home and Vilija Burnige, who owns a hairdressers in Grantham, offered Natalia the opportunity to set up her own salon within the premises. Natalia opened her salon in May this year, which gave her something positive to focus on.

An emotional Natalia told BBC Look North: “It was very difficult (to leave Ukraine), I still can’t speak about it. I still dream of going back to Ukraine.

“I’m very happy here and everyone is very kind, but I would love to be able to go back.”

Vilija added: “It was so very difficult to see what’s going on in her country and I was so desperate to do something. From the first minute I met her, it was hugs and tears, it seems like I’ve known her all my life.”