I thank God the people of Scotland have taken us in and treated us like family... there will always be a ... little bit of us that is Scottish now

Published date29 June 2022
Publication titleAirdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
The conflict has splintered Luda Holomovza's family and shattered the "perfect life" she had with them and their beloved dog Miki in their apartment in the now ravaged Lviv

Because Luda's husband, Vova, is regional manager with a French food company and keeps supplies coming into the country, and her 22-year-old daughter, Vika, is a recently graduated doctor, both are key workers who consider that their rightful place is to remain in Ukraine.

Luda fled the country on April 26 with her 15-year-old son, also Vova, as Putin's forces advanced on Lviv - her family's home city in the country she loves.

They travelled by bus from Lviv to Poland and slept in Warsaw Airport before flying to Edinburgh the next morning, where their host family, the

Nicholsons, met them and drove them to their new home in Strathaven.

They settled quickly into life in Lanarkshire, with Vova now in fifth year at Strathaven Academy, where he is studying for National 5 and Higher qualifications.

Having graduated from university with a business degree and working at a senior level in industry, Luda returned to her great passion, hairdressing, trained with many international stylists, and worked for 10 years in Lviv's most prestigious salons.

But when Jane Nicholson - who welcomed Luda and Vova into the Strathaven home she shares with husband Don - reached out to local hairdressing salons in the hope that they'd offer her a chair to rent, the language barrier proved too much of a hurdle.

That's when Jane's friend and neighbour, Frances Turner- Traill - who, with husband and business partner John, runs FTT Skin Clinics in Hamilton - stepped in.

Touched and inspired by the determination and resilience of talented Luda, Frances installed a back-wash facility in her spacious clinic on Bothwell Road.

Now Luda, who is taking English language classes, is building up a growing client base through the hairdressing appointments she offers on a Friday and Saturday.

And Frances and John, who have a son and two daughters, have invited Luda's Ukrainian friend, Viktoria, and her 17-year-old son, Nikita, to come and live with them in Strathaven.

The couple are currently attempting to source a visa for the mother and son to enable them to leave Italy, where they are currently sheltering, and join them, Luda and Vova, as part of the warm and welcoming Strathaven community.

""he people of Lanarkshire have been very kind to us both," said Luda, 44, who speaks to her husband several times a day.


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