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Meet Tatyana.

Tatyana volunteers at Tenovus Cancer Care's Caerphilly store, which has helped her to learn English and settle into her new home town

Volunteering has helped me to learn English and settle in my new home town”

Tatyana Latysheva

When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Tatyana Latysheva was living with her husband and three children in the centre of a town called Cherkasy, about 3 hours from the capital Kiev. 

That day, the family fled their home for safety and finally ended up in the Welsh town of Caerphilly as part of a resettlement scheme. 

Tatyana, 50, couldn’t speak English, had no friends - even acquaintances - and the family had to start over.  It was scary and stressful time for all her family and Tatyana was desperate to learn English to help her family resettle in their host country.

Her first experience of Tenovus Cancer Care was a visit to our shop in Caerphilly as a customer. She'd gone in to browse, to look for clothes and got chatting to the lead volunteer coordinator Caz.

It was through Caz that Tatyana, known in the shop as Tanya, was persuaded to become a volunteer. Caz thought signing up would help her make friends and learn English. 

Thanks to Caz's support, Tatyana started volunteering two hours a week in the shop in January last year sorting out clothes and other stock in the storeroom. 

At first, I used Google Translate to help me communicate, but gradually I became more confident and learned new words. The work became more varied the more English I learnt. Every month I managed to do more and more"

Over time, Tatyana's English improved and she started to work on the shop floor. She began to make friends with shop staff and customers whilst volunteering for a cause she believed in. 

Having overcome my stress and fear of not knowing the language, I gained so much confidence, made new friends, found new experiences, and the opportunity to learn English. I’ve also got to know more about the culture and traditions of my host country."

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