Colleague Stories: Kate - My First 6 Months

01 September 2022

3 minutes to read.

We sat down with our colleagues across every department in the business who wanted to share their story and insights into life at Carpenters Group, their development and plans for the future…

This week we spoke to Kate who works in our Legal department and has grand plans for her future.


My name is Kateryna (or Kate for short) and I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine where I lived until 2022 before moving to Liverpool and starting work at Carpenters Group.

In 2021 I graduated from the University of Kyiv with a Master’s degree in Architecture before starting work as an interior designer and had huge plans for my career. I lived a normal life in a beautiful city with my Yorkshire terrier. I would go to work, meet up with friends, go on holidays and play sports.

Ukraine is a modern country similar to the UK with lots of gyms, sports, swimming pools, restaurants and bars with beautiful interiors. In the summers we visit the coastal Odessa in the south and Carpathian mountains in the north where we have one of the most popular skiing resorts, Bukovel.

I love history and have read a lot of books about the second world war but never thought that would be my life. When the war started my mum and I didn’t know what to do. The first 3 weeks felt like one long day. We did nothing other than study the news and concluded that Kyiv was not a safe place to be so decided to move. We decided against moving to Poland to live with my step father as there was already many Ukrainians taking refuge and it was becoming harder to find work there. Poland is an amazing country however and helped us a lot. We then travelled to stay with friends in Lithuania whilst we applied for our UK visa after discovering on the news about refugee programmes.

I shared mine and my mum’s story on a Facebook group and the first person to reply was Ann Allister who also works at Carpenters Group. I had many amazing offers of homes to stay but was delighted to accept Ann’s gracious offer and move to Liverpool and booked our flights.

We spent the first 2-3 weeks filling out forms which was tiring as I didn’t get to finish my English study due to Covid and was also acting as a translator for my mum. We are so grateful to our sponsors Ann and Rob for their help and support. They have spent so much time helping us and we are now like one big family. Ann helped my mum and I find work here and we now have a normal life again without war alarms and bombed cities and towns. The British people are incredible and have welcomed us with big open hearts. When the war is over in my country we will celebrate together.

I started working at Carpenters Group in May and love that I get the opportunity to help our clients every day as well as send some of my salary back to Ukraine to support a Ukrainian troops charity and a care home. I work in the Legal department with lovely people who have been very welcoming and helped me settle. This is my first ever job in English language so I was worried but it has been much better than I feared. My role is preparing parts of a legal case which makes me feel good that I am helping someone after they have had a stressful accident.

I love my job and this business as I value helping others, both clients and the amazing people that work here. We do lots of charity and I have already taken part in my first event, helping at a charity rugby match.

I am not sure what the future holds as I once planned my whole life and realise now how quickly it can change. I try to enjoy the simple things in life like walking the dog in the park on a nice day or see the beautiful views of an evening. My career is very important to me and I would now like to train to be a lawyer because of how much I enjoy this industry but I will see what life gives me next…