Grant Shapps reveals what life is like with Ukrainian refugee family
25th February 2023

‘It’s an extended family’: Grant Shapps reveals what life is like with Ukrainian refugee family who have been living in his son’s old bedroom with their pet dog for nearly a year after they fled to Britain to escape Putin’s troops

  • Grant Shapps said it was ‘sobering’ to host Ukrainian refugees in his home
  • He welcomed the family in April last year and says they have become like ‘family’

Grant Shapps called it a ‘sobering’ experience to live with a refugee family for 10 months as the war rages on against Russia.

Last year, Shapps was the second MP to host Ukrainian refugees at his house, as thousands grappled with Home Office in a bid to make it to the UK.

The Conservative MP welcomed a seven-year-old child, his mother, grandmother and dog- who have now become like ‘family’ – into his Hertfordshire home.

Talking with Sky News, Shapps said that being part of the scheme had also impacted the way in which he discusses support for refugees with cabinet.

He told the publication: ‘I found it very helpful because every time we’re discussing what’s happening in Ukraine, in Cabinet, in the back of my mind or when I get home, I’m reminded about the reality of the policies and what it actually means.’

The cabinet minister also added that he felt Brits have many similarities with Ukrainians based on their experience of the Blitz.

Mother, Snezhana Chaykina, moved into Shapps’ home during April last year, fleeing Kyiv and leaving behind her husband in Ukraine. 

The family posted on Facebook asking about the Homes for Ukraine scheme which was reportedly picked up by the Tory MP’s daughter.

Following the arrangements, Shapps tweeted: ‘Today we’re delighted to welcome a three-generation Ukrainian family, along with their dog Max, to live with us in our home. 

‘Whilst their country goes through the turmoil of Putin’s war, our country stands resolutely with the people of Ukraine.’

Shapps’ 18-year-old son was first concerned about the family moving in, but told The Times that they ‘fit in very well’. 

He and seven-year-old Nikita now do ‘explosive science experiments’ together, it was reported.    

Grant Shapps said it was ‘sobering’ to host a family of Ukrainian refugees in his home

Ten months on, Shapps now says they have become a very close household, having dinner together and all taking part in household chores. 

The ‘three-generation’ family currently stay in the room of Shapps’ son who was then studying at university.

Seven-year-old Nikita also attends a local school in the area. 

Despite the scheme’s impact, Shapps highlighted that it has not changed his perspective on small boats coming to the UK carrying refugees. 

He told Sky News: ‘It’s absolutely right that stopping the small boats is one of our top priorities.’

It was claimed that Snezhana does not talk about politics with the Conservative minister apart from the situation in Ukraine.

‘I am not very political, which is funny as I think I must be living with one of the most political families in the country,’ she told The Times.

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