A SOLICITOR at a law firm based in Rhyl is supporting two Ukrainian families whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by the war in their country.

Debbie Owens, a child law specialist at Gamlins Law, and her husband, Robin, have been providing accommodation to a mother, Luda, and her three children, Yan, 10, Zhan, nine, and Emma, seven, for almost two years.

The couple are also responsible for coordinating packages of vital items for another family who continue to live in the Ukrainian city of Kyiv.

The items they collect and distribute, thanks to the generosity of friends, family and colleagues, include clothes and shoes, toiletries, medicines, sanitary items, candles, bedding, tea and coffee.

Debbie and Robin, who live in Whitchurch, applied to take in a family under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme when the Ukraine war first broke out in February 2022.


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Debbie said: “I was watching the lunchtime news at the start of the war and found it heart-breaking how families were being separated, with mothers and children leaving their towns and cities and their husbands having to stay and fight.

“I said to Robin that we could do something to help and he agreed. If that was our grandchildren, we would want to know that others cared about them in the same way.

“Our children have grown up and left home so we had the space to be able to accommodate them.”

The children attend schools in the area and are also keeping their studies going in Ukraine.

Debbie said: “It is really important to them to keep up their studies in Ukraine because one day they want to be able to return to their schools there.

"It means the children are going to school in Whitchurch in the day and then catching up on their Ukrainian studies in the evenings.”

Debbie is also in regular contact with the family in Kyiv - Alona, Serghi and their 11-year-old daughter - receiving lists of items that are urgently needed.

She said: “It’s a little bit like a jumble sale. Some people donate money, while others drop off various items that we then box up on a Friday and, usually, by Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week they have arrived in Ukraine.

“Most of the items are everyday requirements, but we do get the occasional extra request such as popcorn. The families living in Ukraine spend so much time in air raid shelters so these supplies are vital.

“It makes you realise how lucky we are and helping out in the way we are is the least we can do. We are also hugely grateful for the generosity of everyone who has donated money and items, from my colleagues at Gamlins Law through to people in my local community. It’s a real team effort.”

Gamlins Law’s head office is in Rhyl, with other bases in Ruthin, Denbigh, Mold, Abergele and Holywell.