Standing up for Ukraine

Yevgeniya Pozigun, who launched an Enfield hub for Ukrainians displaced by war, speaks to James Cracknell

Ukrainians meeting at Trinity Church in Enfield as part of the North London Ukrainian Hub
Ukrainians meeting at Trinity Church in Enfield as part of the North London Ukrainian Hub

When Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Yevgeniya Pozigun wanted to help but didn’t know where to start.

She had been living in the UK for 15 years, while her family were still in Odessa and it was unclear what might happen to them. After a few weeks, as it became apparent that the war would drag on for a long time, Yevgeniya decided to do something to help those who had fled and were arriving in the UK as part of the government’s refugee programme.

Since April last year, Yevgeniya has run the North London Ukrainian Hub from Trinity Church in Enfield Town. It is open for two hours every Saturday and offers a variety of support for Ukrainians from Enfield and beyond.

Yevgeniya told the Dispatch: “I was trying to find a way to help and for about a month I couldn’t do very much, I was so worried, but I saw what other people were doing and at some point I thought I can’t just do nothing, so I decided to work with the local community and with Ukrainians that are arriving here.

“I didn’t have any experience, I just wanted to help people get integrated here and find a job and meet other people in London. We didn’t have a plan at first, we just started listening to people and very quickly they started coming to us.

Yevgeniya Pozigun (credit Jacopo Spilimbergo)
Yevgeniya Pozigun (credit Jacopo Spilimbergo)

“The church were very supportive of starting a Ukrainian community group and we started the hub – it is now a registered charity. People might come her monthly or once per week. They come not just for material help but for the atmosphere and to talk to people. There are families with children so they like to meet up and make friends.”

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The hub runs a variety of activities, including English language classes and help accessing local services and other support, plus donated materials for people who are settling into new homes. There are between 20 and 30 people who attend each week, from across Enfield, Barnet, Haringey and even as far afield as West London. There is also a larger online community of around 1,800 people using the hub’s Facebook group.

Yevgeniya adds: “For every person we help, I am so happy for them, but I can’t stop, I want to do more!

“I am very grateful to the English people who have really welcomed Ukrainians into their homes and their hearts.”

The North London Ukrainian Hub is supported by both Trinity Church and by Enfield Chase Rotary Club, with Steve Vincent providing English conversation classes three times a week and also helping to organise a Christmas and New Year ‘borscht’ party with live music.

Find out more about the North London Ukrainian Hub and get in touch:
Email [email protected]
Facebook /groups/3199095657074419

Enfield Community Heroes

This article is the latest in our ‘Enfield Community Heroes’ series, sponsored by Edmonton Green Shopping Centre. Dispatch readers are welcome to nominate their own local hero – someone who has gone above and beyond to help support the local community. Simply email your nomination to [email protected].

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