A CHRISTMAS party providing "a taste of home" for 200 local Ukrainian refugees has been hosted by The Lighthouse in Woking.

"It was a very special and joy-filled event," said Erik Jespersen, one of the charity's co-founders.

The party included music from the Ukrainian band Atmasfera, a visit from Sviatyij Mykolai (Saint Nicholas), a Ukrainian puppeteer, loads of food, games, pampering and treats.

Ukrainian band Atmasfera helped entertain the party. (The Lighthouse)

Woking’s Mayor Cllr Saj Hussain came along to join in the festivities and Ukrainian refugee choir Kalyna – formed in The Lighthouse Ukrainian hub this year – sang Christmas carols for all guests.

Irina Garmash-Creeger heads up the refugee hub team at The Lighthouse and the organisation Ukraine UK Unity, and recently won the Stars in Surrey Award for ‘The Make It Happen Community Hero’.

She said: "It was wonderful to see families who are parted from loved ones experience a taste of home and festivity.

Children meet Ukrainian Santa St Nicholas. (The Lighthouse)

"We wanted to celebrate their resilience and courage at this time of year, and seeing the children smiling and laughing was fantastic."

The Lighthouse, based in the High Street, has been supporting hundreds of local people from all walks of life through its Christmas Kindness campaign.

* TO find out more about the work of this local charity, including its refugee support hub, visit www.lighthousewoking.org