CHRISTMAS SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
On 22 February 2022 Russia expanded their full scale invasion of Ukraine, 20 months on and it is estimated that over 100,000 Ukrainians have been killed, almost 10,000 of them civilians and children and another 120,000 wounded. 8 million women, children, elderly and the vulnerable fled the country and became refugees.
Southern England, in particular, saw a massive influx of Ukrainian refugees, most had nothing with them other than the clothes on their back and one bag they could carry. Many Caterham parents and the wider community opened their homes, offering them accommodation through the Homes Scheme.
Some families have now managed to return to Western Ukraine, but for those from the East returning home is simply not a possibility. Their hometowns are either currently under occupation, destroyed, or under continued bombardment from drone and missiles.
As life in the UK has developed for our Ukrainian community – some have managed to find local rented accommodation, but many are still with their host families and will be for the foreseeable future.
A Caterham parent who has a Ukrainian family living with them said:
“It’s not all been plain sailing, but we have also learned from hosting our Ukrainian family. Watching our guests becoming slowly more able to rely on stability, make some plans and move forward with their lives has been extremely rewarding. It has also taught us a lot about the extended consequences of war, far beyond what we see in the headlines. What ever happens in the future we will always be connected with their family.”
The realisation of spending another Christmas away from home is deeply upsetting for many refugees. The reports from the front-line only compound the devastation.
A local Ukrainian lady in her 70’s said:
“Everyday I am in touch with Ukraine, the situation is very bad, there are not enough weapons, lots of people are dying, and going missing, my heart is very heavy. I really miss my home.”
We wanted to express our thanks to the Caterham School community who throughout have supported so many local Ukrainians, in so many ways, whether hosting, baking, donating, volunteering or providing much needed shoes through the PA supported charity Sal Shoes. The support has been unwavering and so very appreciated.
HOW YOU CAN CONTINUE TO HELP?
We will continue to support our local Ukrainian community for as long as they need us. Our volunteers are organising a children’s Christmas party again this year taking place on 21 December. If you would like to support this event you can do so by buying a Father Christmas present via the link here – the presents will be delivered directly to our volunteer and each child will then receive one gift each.
We are also collecting preloved blankets and single bottoms sheets (Blankets must be easily washable not dry clean) for the front-line medical staff and hospitals. You can also donate men’s thermal base layers/underwear size XXL, warm coats, sleeping bags and cold and flu medicine. Please contact [email protected]
Louisa DrejaBack to all news