A UKRAINIAN refugee from Redditch has performed alongside former Eurovision star and Liverpool pop sensation Sonia.

Tatiana Volikova, aged 42, arrived in the UK last year alongside her two children, Daniil aged 18, and Zlata aged seven, and was forced to abandon her vocal coaching business as a result.

But the singer has been given the chance to take the stage once more thanks to a project which has brought the National Lottery funded European Youth Music Refugee Choir (EYMRC) together with Sonia for a rendition of her 1989 UK number one hit You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You.

Tatiana and the choir performed the song with Sonia at the Everyman Theatre on Hope Street in Liverpool. 

More than 50 refugees and asylum seekers from countries including Ukraine and Afghanistan make up the choir.

Tatiana said: “I am really enjoying it and it is a very big honour for me to stand on the stage with someone so famous in Liverpool and the UK.

“It’s a great experience and I am very lucky.

“It’s a new experience for me being amongst such different people. I used to sing in a choir, but I didn’t see so many different faces around me so it’s another great experience.

“For the last year I didn’t sing on a stage, so I lost my skills. When you don’t do something for a long period you are afraid to start again.

“Sonia is very supportive, and I feel much more comfortable with her on stage. I am like a fish in water now.

“I was a vocal coach, digging deep into signing techniques and I am hoping that I will find some people here who are interested in my experience. The best things that happened in my life were because of music.”

Tatiana spent two months in Poland before making her way to the UK, leaving the father of her children and many other friends and relatives behind.

“A year ago, when I decided to leave Ukraine, my first country was Poland,” she said. 

“My two children and I went there, and we were lucky to find a family on our way that gave us a home for two months while we were waiting for documents to get to Britain. 

“I was lucky that everything ended happily. We have a very good house and hosts that gave us shelter. They are a very nice family. They are great people and I really appreciate what they do for us.

“Sometimes it is like I am at home, and then I look round at different styles of architecture or styles of living and I am not at home but I am in a nice place. I have my children with me, so I have to be strong.

“I can’t predict my next day so that’s why I try not to have any expectations. I just live each day as it comes.”

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