South Shields family set to welcome Ukrainian mother, daughter and dog and launch JustGiving page to support them ahead of arrival

A family set to welcome a Ukrainian mother, daughter and their pet dog to South Shields have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support them when they first arrive.

Sarah Dunn, 37, and her three children, from the West Park area of South Shields, will be welcoming the Ukrainian family as part of the national Homes for Ukraine housing scheme, which was launched shortly after Russia’s invasion to support those fleeing the country.

Nadia, 41, and Sofia Malakhova, 13, as well as their pet corgi Shanti, fled Kiev when Russian forces entered Ukraine, making their way to Poland where they are in a refugee camp, waiting to make the journey to South Shields later this month.

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Sofia and Nadia Malakhova (left) and Sarah Dunn (right)

Sarah, who lives alone with her three children and has a spare room, was keen to do anything she could help after seeing the horrifying situation unfold.

She said: “I was horrified when the invasion first happened. It was so shocking to see and just so sad. When I heard about the scheme, straight away I knew I wanted to do it.

"There was no doubt in my mind. I just thought it was a great idea. If the tables were turned and it was me fleeing war with my children, I hope someone would do the same for me.”

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming Nadia and Sofia and we’ve never had a dog before so the kids are really excited about that as well.”

Sofia and Nadia Malakhova

Ahead of their arrival, Sarah has launched a Just Giving page to support Nadia and Sofia in their first few weeks, with the page already raising over £400.

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Sarah added: “I was really pleased with how well the fundraiser has done. People have been so generous and it’s wonderful to see.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is now in its third month and the bitter conflict looks set to continue for some time.

When she arrives, Nadia is keen to find work in South Tyneside and asks that anyone who has anything available get in touch with Sarah.

Sofia with pet dog Shanti
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To contact Sarah on behalf of work for Nadia, please email [email protected] and you can also visit their just giving page via .

Sarah Dunn, 37