IN her native Ukraine, Liudmyla Ivasiuk had a successful career as a dentist. Her husband, Volodymyr, worked for the ministry of health and social care in Kyiv. Her daughters, Yuliia, 17, and Veronica, 10, were doing well at school.

Then, on the morning of February 24, the Russians invaded. The Ivasiuks' comfortable life was shattered.

At first, Liudmyla didn't want to leave. But as a Russian column advanced on Kyiv, she became more and more frightened for her children.

"It was a dangerous situation, to stay in Kyiv," she said, speaking through an interpreter.

York Press:

Leaving meant not only separating from her husband - men were not allowed to leave Ukraine - but also her job, her flat, her life.

In the end, she felt she had no choice.

She and her two daughters were driven to Poland - leaving Volodymyr behind.

They stayed for a while with relatives in Poland. "But it was a very small flat. We could not stay there for long," Liudmyla said.

Her Ukrainian sister-in-law, Slava, was living in an English city called York.

Liudmyla and her two daughters came here to join her under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

They were with Slava for four months, while they desperately tried to rebuild their lives.

Veronica missed her dad: Yuliia had to adjust to a new school system; Liudmyla struggled to learn English. But worst of all, they had nowhere to call their own - and Slava's house was very crowded.

Then, in June, charity York City of Sanctuary put them in touch with private landlords Martina Weitsch and her partner Liz Scurfield.

York Press:

They had a property off Hull Road they were willing to rent to a Ukrainian family.

It has transformed the Ivasiuks' life.

"I like this house," Liudmyla says. Yuliia, who is now going to Archbishop Holgate's School and speaks good English, added: "It's nice to have my own space. I can do all the things I want, now."

The Ivasiuks are slowly rebuilding their lives. Veronica has made friends at Park Grove School; Yuliia dreams of being a dentist like her mum. Liudmyla can't work as a dentist here - but she is hoping to train as a dental nurse.

But there are now close to 300 Ukrainian refugees - mostly women and children - living in York.

And Rebecca Russell of York City of Sanctuary says there is a desperate need for more landlords like Martina and Liz prepared to offer properties to refugees.

"We need more landlords!" she said.

In return for a below-the-market rent, landlords will get good, secure tenants, who will look after a property, Rebecca said. And they'll also get the satisfaction of helping those who have lost everything.

Martina and Liz are delighted with their new tenants. Before, they had a 'tenant from hell', Liz said, who eventually had to be evicted.

Liudmyla and her daughters couldn't be more different. They keep the house immaculate, and have planted geraniums in front.

"Its such a relief to have tenants who care about the house!" Liz said. "And seeing this family here is so rewarding."