A Ukrainian woman who fled her home country to move to the UK believes her role at a care provider has helped empower her as a person. 

Iryna Blyzniuk started working at Askham Village Community in Doddington after moving to Cambridgeshire from a Ukrainian town called Volochysk last July amid the ongoing conflict. 

She moved as part of the government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme and workss as a Human Resources [HR] administrator at Askham, taking on responsibilities such as payroll, annual leave and recruitment. 

But Iryna acts as a friendly and reliable port of call for the team. 

“I have really enjoyed living in the UK and rather than sitting around in front of the TV on the weekends, I’ve been determined to get out and see the country,” she said. 

“Some things are very different compared to back home and it has been quite a challenge learning new HR systems and policies.  

“Fortunately, I have had so much support from my colleagues who have shown me the ropes over the last seven months.” 

Before moving to the UK, Iryna studied law at university and graduated with a masters degree ahead of pursuing a career in HR, a sector she worked in for more than four years in Ukraine. 

The 28-year-old has since embarked on her first role within the social care sector while at Askham and enjoys interacting with colleagues “even if it’s a quick chat in the on-site café”. 

And she has related where she is today to back home. 

“Working at Askham has made me feel empowered both as a Ukrainian and as a woman,” Iryna added. 

“The town I grew up in was actually very similar to where I’m living and working now, and the beautiful countryside really reminds me of home.” 

Iryna, from the Khmelnytskyi region of Ukraine, is living with a host family not far from Askham Village Community. 

Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, operations director at Askham, believes Iryna is already making an impression on staff.  

“Iryna has quickly become an integral part of our community and the cheerfulness she spreads on a daily basis is truly admirable,” she said. 

“We want to support her as much as we can and there is no doubting that she will have a very successful future career.”