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Alina Gorokhova – Community Co-ordinator at Arrive Blue

girl with laptop in workspace

After spending her 20’s working her way around the world, Alina was ready to settle down and had dreams of starting a family.  In 2020 she went home, found a new job with Delta Logistics, an American company based in her home town and she started to make plans for her future.

It sounds like a familiar story, except that Alina had come home to Ukraine.  Little did she know that soon she would be making a long journey to leave her home and her family without ever knowing when she could go back.

I was excited to be back home with my plans to settle down. I have a deep connection to my home city in the south of Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia is an historical place where you can find the Island of Khortytsia and home to the legends of the Cossacks Sich. The very famous painting ‘Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks’ by Ilan Repin illustrates how old and beautiful our native city is.

Alina’s high flying career began after she had qualified with a degree in International Law,  after which she became a PA to an international lawyer and travelled round the world working on big international cases.  Alina then moved into hospitality to take up a position as front desk agent at the Ritz Carlton.  She was later promoted VIP concierge and guest relations agent for all members of the United Arab Emirates Royal Sheikhs Family.

“Now aged 30, I am at the beginning again, I am starting from zero, but I knew I couldn’t stay in Ukraine.”

Alina is safely living in the UK and starting her life all over again thanks to Shelter for Ukraine.  To get here she had to make a brave decision and a long and arduous journey, not knowing what her fate would be.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine had wiped away her future.  She knew she had to escape the war.

We were hiding in a shelter, some people got used to living like that but me and my best friend, decided to leave our families and travel to Poland. It was 16 hours by train crammed full of people, with more than 150 in one carriage and we were standing for all that time as we travelled to the North and towards the border.

“We had another journey by bus and then we walked to the border of Poland.  We were out of Ukraine, but we still didn’t feel safe, we were scared the war would follow us, that we weren’t far enough away from it.

“Both me and my friend, who is a school teacher decided to apply to go to Canada and England because we could both speak English. I really wanted to come to England, my friend wanted to go further away to Canada.  It was a hard process to go through, a lot of rules and pressure but finally a breakthrough, Shelter for Ukraine matched me with a family that wanted to help me.

Alina arrived in April 2022 and her friend followed three weeks later. Alina moved in with her sponsor family in Eccles and they suggested she apply for a job at MediaCity and after a successful interview she was recruited to work at Arrive Blue as a community co-ordinator.

I’m proud to be a part of Peel L &P, this is an amazing opportunity to be a member of the Peel family. I am surrounded by amazing colleagues, who support me the most and I’m very happy in my role as community co-ordinator. I am starting something new and I try not to look back, but I miss my family. I will want to visit them one day, but now it’s not safe.

“I feel blessed to have wonderful hosts, they have done a lot for me.  We are a household of three nationalities, French, English and Ukrainian so we eat well, I have tried fish and chips and I have made them traditional Orthodox celebration Easter cakes.  I love running and I go for long walks, I love it here and I can’t wait to meet new friends here.

“I say to anyone going through something like this, set up your goals, do not be afraid of anything. Live like there is no tomorrow, focus on the here and now.  When people ask me what is my superpower, I say that it’s that I am Ukranian and therefore I am human.  The more good energy I put out, that is what I get in return.  I stay strong and positive.


Shelter for Ukraine

ARRIVE at MediaCity

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