Refugee toddler excited to receive same doll she left in Ukraine from charity

Veronika and her mother Tatyana, who are staying with a sponsor family in Surrey, were delighted to receive the doll from Stripey Stork.

09 April 2022

A young refugee was delighted to receive a doll exactly the same as the one she had to leave in Ukraine after she arrived in the UK.

Veronika and her mother Tatyana arrived in the UK on Thursday to stay with a sponsor family in Epsom and Ewell, Surrey, via the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

They arrived with just one case and a pushchair, so the sponsor family contacted baby bank charity Stripey Stork to try to get help sourcing some practical items.

They travelled to the charity’s warehouse on Friday to pick up the supplies which had been prepared for them, including clothes, shoes, toys, a high chair, bed guard, potty training kit, nappies and toiletries.

But Veronika and her mother “got very excited”, the charity said in a tweet, when they spotted the doll which was “just the same as one she’d had to leave behind”.

Nicola Dawes, founder and chief executive of Stripey Stork, said: “It was particularly special to discover this doll was just the same as one that Veronika had not been able to bring from home.

“A moment of joy and connection, and it made our day when Veronika blew us a kiss as she left.”

Stripey Stork's Sara Beadlewith Veronika (with mascot Stripey and Tatyana
Stripey Stork also provided Veronika and Tatyana, right, with some essential supplies (Stripey Stork)

Stripey Stork has been helping families across Surrey since it was formed in 2013.

It uses a model similar to a food bank to help provide essentials to families with young children, and is now helping out Ukrainian refugees arriving in the region.

In a tweet, the charity said: “We know that over 700 families have been matched in Surrey and we are scaling up to support any requests we receive.”

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