The Luton branch of the Association of Ukrainian in Great Britain has been working tirelessly to get much-needed supplies out to refugees, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Donations from wellwishers have helped fill four lorries which have already gone out to help the more than three and a half million mainly women and children who have fled the fighting. A further lorry load of vital equipment was sent out into the region last weekend.
On Sunday the Luton Ukrainian community met for mass in their tiny chapel in Cromwell Hill led by Father Andriy Tsyaputa, from Ternopil, near Lviv.
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Among the goods waiting for transportation at the chapel were walking sticks and crutches to help support the many wounded people who have escaped to safety.
Donations have been coming from all over the East of England, with St Mary’s church in Dunstable collecting goods that were donated to the appeal on Sunday.
And a huge fundraising extravaganza has been organised by Luton residents to support the Ukrainian community.
It is being held on April 24 at St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Street, from 1-7pm with music, dance, food, tai chi, martial arts, children’s activities and much more besides.
One of the organisers, Mike Peach, said: “We have been astonished by how quickly and how generously the people of Luton have come forward to offer their time and energy to help raise money for the people of Ukraine.”
Another of the organisers, Frankie Prazer agreed: “Luton is such a warm town. We have support from all parts of our diverse community, and this promises to be a truly exciting activity-packed event, with food, music and activities that reflect Ukrainian, Polish, Indian, Chinese and many other cultures.”
As well enjoying a great day out, people will be able to bring donations of medical supplies and non-perishable foods.
For a list of the essential items needed to help the refugees, visit the Luton branch of Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain Facebook page.