Home France France Kind taxi driver gives a family of refugees in Ukraine a lift to their relatives in West London #France

France Kind taxi driver gives a family of refugees in Ukraine a lift to their relatives in West London #France

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Kind taxi driver who travelled to Poland as part of an aid convoy returns to the UK – and gives a family of four Ukrainian refugees a lift to reunite with their relatives in West London

  • Cabbie Richard Gough drove 1,200 miles to a refugee centre in the city of Chelm
  • He met the Rebrova family of four and offered to take them to a sponsor family
  • Yulia, Roman, and their two daughters Zlata and Angelina now live in London 

A taxi driver who travelled to Poland as part of an aid convoy returned to the UK with a family of four Ukrainian refugees.

Cabbie Richard Gough was so moved by the plight of those displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that he drove 1,200 miles to a refugee centre in the city of Chelm.

While there, he met the Rebrova family and offered to take them to safety and their sponsor family in West London.

He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘As cab drivers we take people from A to B, but we thought we could use our skills to help somebody else… I didn’t just want to take people down the road, I wanted to take people the distance. I was happy to go anywhere – Italy, France or, of course, back to England.’

Cabbie Richard Gough (right) was so moved by the plight of those displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that he drove 1,200 miles to a refugee centre in the city of Chelm. While there, he met the Rebrova family and offered to take them to safety and their sponsor family in West London. Yulia Rebrova with her daughters Zlata, eight, and Angelina, four, and with Ulia’s mother Irena

Before the war, Yulia, husband Roman and their two daughters Zlata, eight, and Angelina, four, had been living in Kyiv. While Roman stayed behind to join the war effort, the rest of his family fled with Yulia’s mother, Irena, 61.

Describing their escape as missiles began to fall, Yulia, 38, said: ‘It was an animal fear. We were terrified for our lives, our children’s lives.’

Many of Yulia’s neighbours left Kyiv for Bucha, the scene of some of Russia’s worst atrocities, but the Rebrovas instead took a train to Poland where they met Mr Gough, from Epsom, Surrey.

Alerted that the Rebrovas were trying to get to the UK to meet a host family that had been arranged via social media, Mr Gough stepped in to help. Without him, Yulia believes, they would still be in the camp. Richard pictured with the family

Alerted that the Rebrovas were trying to get to the UK to meet a host family that had been arranged via social media, Mr Gough stepped in to help. Without him, Yulia believes, they would still be in the camp. Richard pictured with the family

‘Being in Chelm was shocking. Seeing people get off the buses, some of them carrying their whole lives in plastic bags, was a humbling experience,’ he said.

Alerted that the Rebrovas were trying to get to the UK to meet a host family that had been arranged via social media, Mr Gough stepped in to help.

Without him, Yulia believes, they would still be in the camp. ‘He’s a person with a capital P. In Ukrainian, we say a “person with a capital P” to explain that someone is great,’ she said.

During the trip to the UK, the group struggled to navigate Home Office bureaucracy over visas. On arrival in the French city of Dunkirk, they faced delays until their sponsors lobbied MPs to step in and finally arrived last month.

Since then, Yulia, who ran her own market research company in Kyiv, has got a job as a housekeeper in a hotel and her eldest daughter has started school.

‘We’re here to be safe,’ said Yulia. ‘In Ukraine, you wonder, “Is something going to land on my head? Am I going to get shelled?” It’s like you’re sitting in a trap.’

Pictured, Zlata, eight (back) and Angelina, four (front) in their new home of west London after London. axi driver Richard Gough gave the Ukrainian refugee family from Kiev a lift from Poland to London

Pictured, Zlata, eight (back) and Angelina, four (front) in their new home of west London after London. axi driver Richard Gough gave the Ukrainian refugee family from Kiev a lift from Poland to London

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