Generosity, empathy, and support are coming from across the UK in response to the sheer awfulness of the invasion by Russia into Ukraine. The desire is to help the people fleeing from war. Communities around the UK are getting together to support the people of Ukraine. ITV News reports that 43,000 people in Britain signed up to host a Ukrainian refugee in response to a recently published government sponsor scheme.
Support for Ukraine from the Allen Valley
The Allen Valley’s Help for Ukraine is one such group. The group says it is:
“People of the Allen Valleys coming together to aid Ukrainian refugees with supplies, transport, and accommodation.”
Caroline Wagstaffe tells about the very practical support in her blog.
“I have just returned from a five day trip to Poland with a friend and neighbour, Tony Beck. We went with a van full of medical supplies, destined for Ukraine and helped bring a family of 3 back to the Netherlands. This involved giving the family a lift in our van from Poland to the Netherlands, organising a safe place for them to stay where they can feel safe, access food, money, medical care etc and wait for their UK visas to come through. They will then be supported in their onward journey, being driven to the Amsterdam-Newcastle ferry and collected and brought to their host homes in the UK. Our crew consisted of 2 people travelling and a strong team of supporters back home to help make decisions, organise things along the way and keep everyone up to date via our Facebook page.”
“This trip was the second one to go from our community, the first being a convoy of three vehicles (one a minibus) taking aid and helping 21 women and children to find safe homes in Germany.
These trips have been a result of a group of friends and neighbours from our local area in rural Northumberland getting together and taking action. Funds have been raised and people have given generously to support these ventures.”
Support from across the UK
The Mayor of London, in partnership with European Movement UK, led a march of thousands last Saturday sending a message of solidarity to the People of Ukraine. Many groups across the world are heeding Ukrainian President Zelensky’s appeal to show their support for the people of Ukraine.
Ruth from Bristol has been at Warsaw central station welcoming refugees. Here volunteers provide meals, toiletries, Polish sim cards and healthcare support for refugees. According to Bristol Live Ruth says that her attempts to help refugees navigate the British government’s system to secure visas is fraught with difficulties. She said:
“Our UK policy for allowing people in is so difficult, it’s so complicated. It’s hard for someone to navigate if you do speak the language, never mind if you’re a non-English speaker who’s just fled a country.”
Currently, refugees without a family in the UK have to find a sponsor to house them before they can become eligible to be resettled here, but Ruth said the processes are far too difficult.
Some Ukranian refugees who get to experience a new life will have lost their homes, possessions, loved ones and so much more. For others the tragedy will be greater.
It is imperative that we stand with Ukraine and support those fleeing war.