‘Over the Border’ by Nikodem Budziński, Age 14, Year 9, Soham Village College

I woke up to gunshots. I heard tanks moving across my home city of Donetsk, or what’s left of it. We heard the Russian soldiers shouting and firing their guns. We couldn’t leave our house, we were scared. Some streets and homes were under rubble and completely unrecognisable. The streets and alleys I remember were filled with soldiers and armoured vehicles. We couldn’t stay any longer.

After days of fear, we had to escape. My friends who I always laughed with were in tears and scared. We had a long journey ahead of us as we were heading to Poland, specifically to Hrubieszów in order to seek refuge. It’s a 1,282km journey and we were prepared. We were ready to make this journey, we had to.