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Care Home Residents Pay Tribute to Ukrainian Team Member’s ‘New Chapter’

Care home residents in Hindhead have paid tribute to a brave Ukrainian colleague who marks her first six months of working there.

Having witnessed the devasting impact of the conflict in her home city of Chernihiv, situated close to the Russian and Belarusian borders, Iryna Shust, her son Bohdan and dog Druzhock fled following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022.

The trio’s 1,700-mile journey took them to a host family in Surrey, where Iryna found work in August 2022 in the hospitality team at Signature at Moorlands Lodge, a care home in Hindhead.

Coinciding with the care home’s celebration of International Women’s Day, Iryna was one of Moorlands Lodge’s 95 female team members who were presented with daffodils by residents recognising the expert care and support they provide.

The care home also led an activity to champion the impact of famous women from around the world including Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

Having since settled in Surrey, Iryna recounted her journey where she left Chernihiv after it was locked by Russian troops for two months, along with the kindness and compassion that she was met with at the care home.

Iryna Shust, 50, a team member at Signature at Moorlands Lodge, said:
“The beginning of the war was a fateful date for all Ukrainians, crashing our homes, hopes and lives. From the first days of the war, my native city suffered from shelling, bombing and airstrikes. We had no food, no water, no electricity, no phone connection with relatives and friends.

“My house and many others were ruined, a lot of houses were damaged, a lot of people were killed but the enemy never entered the town. We decided to move to the UK, to start a new life, and I’m very grateful to our host family who helped us to obtain UK visas, and to start my new ‘Signature’ chapter.

“l am very happy to work at Moorlands Lodge, where residents and colleagues have become new friends. Each have been understanding and supportive, I am grateful to everyone here.”

Rachel Yoxall, General Manager, at Signature at Moorlands Lodge, said:

“Each of the women living and working within our home has an inspirational story to tell. “The past 12 months have been particularly challenging for Iryna, and we have been determined to ensure she was met with a nurturing environment when she arrived. She has settled to become a treasured part of the Moorlands Lodge family.”