Ukrainian child refugees who are taught their native language at a club in Shirley have come together with their parents to celebrate the arrival of Christmas.

The party, organised by the Ukrainian Language Club, saw dozens of guests fed the country's traditional fayre.

They also enjoyed a nativity play performed in Ukrainian by the club's children at Freemantle and Shirley Community Centre on Saturday night.

READ MORE: Ukraine mum rejected from more than 20 jobs in Southampton

The centre on Randolph Street plays host to the club, which every Sunday hosts language lessons for the children of the families who had to flee the war with Russia.

One of the teachers, Nadiia Sukhorada, 39, said: “Teaching has always been a passion for me. It’s the job that I love and when they ask me to teach it’s something I want to carry on doing.

“I love the Ukrainian language and I like helping the children feel Ukrainian.”

Daily Echo: The Christmas party hosted by the Ukrainian Language ClubSpeaking about how it is to be together with other fellow nationals while living in the UK, she said: “It’s like a big family. It is very nice to be able to be together because everyone helps each other out.”

Angela Tuck, 69, helped set up the language club in October last year and has been “working behind the scenes” to support it, even though she can't speak their language.

Speaking to the Echo, she said: “It is really important that the children have a place where they can learn their language because their language is their culture.

“We don’t know when they will go back to their country and it would be a huge disservice if we don’t help preserve their knowledge of their Ukrainian language so that one day they go back and speak with their family in Ukrainian."

Daily Echo: The Christmas party hosted by the Ukrainian Language ClubShe added: “And for parents to be able to talk to one another and feel part of a community is also really important.”

Equipment such as books, arts and crafts were donated by the Southampton Solent Rotary Club to help the language club set up.

The Christmas party was also sponsored by the Rotary Club who helped cover venue hire costs as well as the food.