A care and rehab provider has enabled a Ukrainian woman who moved to the UK last year amidst the ongoing conflict to start a new chapter in her life, which has left her feeling empowered “both as a Ukrainian and a woman”.
Iryna Blyzniuk moved to Cambridgeshire in July 2022 from a small town called Volochysk in the Khmelnytskyi region in the west of Ukraine as part of the government programme ‘Homes for Ukraine’, where she has since been living with a host family just 20 minutes from Askham Village Community, in Doddington.
As HR administrator, 28-year-old Iryna has become an integral part of the second generation family-run care community — organising payroll, annual leave, working hours, assisting with recruitment and ultimately, being a friendly and reliable port of call for the team.
Before moving to the UK, Iryna studied law at university, graduating with a Master’s degree, before pursuing a career in Human Resources — a sector she has worked in for over four years in Ukraine. Askham has provided Iryna with her first role within the social care sector, and since starting, she has left a lasting impression on colleagues and residents alike.
Alongside her new career, Iryna has been exploring the UK and what it has to offer — taking regular trips with her host family to the seaside and landmark cities, whilst exploring the surrounding countryside. In her new home away from home, she is looking to push forward professionally while “dreaming and believing in the speedy victory of Ukraine.”
“Working at Askham has been such a great opportunity for me not only professionally, but also personally. Everyone is so friendly and it really is a great place to work,” says Iryna, on International Women’s Day.
“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. Of course, 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.
“Although I’m not in a resident-facing role, I really enjoy interacting with them, even if it’s just a quick chat in the onsite cafe in the morning — they have all been so welcoming to me and I’m really proud to be part of this inclusive and caring community.”
Askham is a family-run community with a resident focus, whether they are visiting for the day, receiving long-term or respite care, or specialist rehabilitation.
Iryna continued: “Working at Askham has made me feel empowered both as a Ukrainian and as a woman. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work here and look forward to learning more and developing my English language skills.
“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. I am hoping every day that the war comes to an end and that there is peace all over the world.”
Aliyyah-Begum Nasser, operations director at Askham, added: “Iryna has quickly become an integral part of our community and the cheerfulness she spreads on a daily basis is truly admirable. We want to support her as much as we can and there is no doubting that she will have a very successful future career.
“International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the achievements of women and Iryna is one of the many shining examples of remarkable women at Askham who have worked hard and achieved so much. It makes me proud to have such colleagues on the Askham team.”
Askham is always welcoming new residents and staff into its growing community. For further information, please contact 01354 740269 or visit https://askhamvillagecommunity.com/.
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