Ukrainians forced to flee their homes have found refuge in an unlikely location thanks to a Herefordshire company.

PGL Group, based in Ross-on-Wye, and known for hosting hundreds of kids on activity holidays, has opened the doors at one of its location centres to offer safety to nearly 100 Ukrainians from three-years-old to over 70, as well as a pet dog and two pet cats.

It has welcomed Ukrainian guests to one of its centres in France.

One Ukrainian currently staying at PGL’s northern France centre, Chateau de Tertre, was forced to leave most of her family behind.


Verinoca, 40, made the trip with her two daughters, aged five and 12.

"I have left my grandmother, mother, older sister, and dog behind in the Ukraine", she said.

"I left on March 20 and travelled from Kyiv. I spent four days in Poland, two weeks in Germany and one week in Paris before arriving at Chateau de Tertre.

"I’m confused and tired but I have some feeling of relief and security."

Hamid is also staying at Chateau de Tertre after leaving his home in the Ukraine on March 25.

He said: "The journey took nine days. I don’t feel good, this is clear, but when I think of how it was living with the war close by, I feel better now."

This is not the first time that conflict with Russia has impacted his life.

"The war started in 2014 in the Donbas region, I lost my house to bombing in 2015 and was forced to leave for Kyiv.

Hamid also doesn’t plan to return to Ukraine for now and thinks he will have to start a new life once again in France.

PGL made the decision to offer its support after being approached by the French local authority’s prefecture in partnership with charity, France Horizon, to see if they were able to help.

Anthony Jones, chief executive of PGL, visited the centre in late April.

He said: "I am so proud of how quickly our teams have worked with the French authorities to make our centre, Chateau de Tertre, available for this aspect of the country’s Ukrainian aid effort.

"Being left with no option other than to leave their country is a horrendous situation for these refugees to be in, and we will continue to do everything we can to make their time at our centre as pleasant as possible."