By Leah Dorotiak, (Лія Доротяк), social media manager at Huddersfield Ukrainian Club
The ongoing situation in Ukraine is completely heart-breaking for everyone across the globe, but we feel it a lot deeper in our community, as do fellow Ukrainians in their country. We are all deeply touched and extremely thankful for the outpouring of generosity from those around us in Huddersfield.
What is happening in Ukraine?
On Thursday February 24, the Russian Federation callously and unlawfully invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine, without any provocation.
Many of you may be aware that the threat of full-scale invasion had been building for several months prior to this day, as Russian troops amassed on the border.
As the invasion continues, Putin has resorted to inhumane and globally condemned tactics to further crush the Ukrainian spirit and decimate the country.
The Russian Federation continues to purposely attack civilian areas and cut off necessary supplies to some towns and regions, further exasperating the humanitarian crisis.
More than 1.5 million refugees have fled their country with simply one bag containing their life. Those who are unable to leave are bravely defending their right to live in a sovereign, peaceful nation.
How is Huddersfield Ukrainian Club helping?
At Huddersfield Ukrainian Club, we’ve been doing everything we can to raise awareness and support for those most in need.
Our social media team are also updating our pages daily with updates from our club and sharing verified news updates from Ukraine to counter the spread of disinformation from Russia.
More recently, we are organising a raffle with all proceeds going directly to the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain’s GoFundMe page.
Amazing local businesses have kindly donated prizes such as a Titanic Twilight Spa voucher for two, a £50 voucher for the Pickled Pheasant, and a £30 voucher for Om is Where the Heart is to name just a few.
Tickets cost just £5 and will be sold online and in some local stores, please keep an eye on our social media in the coming days for news on when they will be available.
We are completely overwhelmed and deeply touched by the generosity and kindness of those in our surrounding area. On Thursday March 3, bags and bags of donations were left at our club. Many people even walked up just to donate money!
Teaming up with Crafty Baggage, we are hosting a local event on Tuesday March 8 where people can go along to Crafty Praxis in the Byram Arcade in Huddersfield town centre (12noon-2pm) and make blue and yellow ribbons, badges and wristbands to sell for charity.
To find out more about this event, please click here: https://fb.me/e/1NavBnfOH
What can I do to help?
We are receiving messages of support daily and are inundated with questions asking how people can help in this difficult situation. There are lots of different ways in which you can help Ukraine:
- GoFundMe: Donating to our GoFundMe page is one of the biggest ways you can currently make a difference. All the money goes directly to supporting the defensive war effort in Ukraine, but also to humanitarian efforts on the ground. Stay tuned on our social media pages for future updates on how this money is used! To those wishing to donate, the link is here: https://gofund.me/22b0fbf1
- Write to your MP: Writing to your local MP and asking for easier access for Ukrainian refugees to reach the UK, further sanctions against Russia, and more help for the Armed Forces of Ukraine can have a great impact. You can find your local MP here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
- Peaceful Protests: Protesting is one of the best ways to have your voice heard. The more people who attend a demonstration, the more likely others will take notice and apply pressure for greater change. You can find your local protest here: https://standwithukraine.live/
- Sharing accurate information: Although this action sounds small, simply sharing accurate, verified information makes a huge difference and can help dismantle Russia’s disinformation campaign.
We have just sent a vanload of aid and we are not currently accepting any further donations of clothes and goods at Huddersfield Ukrainian Club due an overwhelming response. For further updates, please keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram profiles.
How our Committee and Members are helping:
Our committee and members at Huddersfield have been working tirelessly and continuously over the past couple of months to help support Ukraine.
Back in late January, we organised one of the first peaceful demonstrations in Leeds city centre – it was a very emotional day yet comforting to work alongside other clubs such as Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, and Stockport.
Since then, we have upheld our media presence to continue raising awareness and offering means of support to the public during a time when many of us feel helpless.
We’ve featured several times on BBC Look North, Leeds Live, Huddersfield Hub, Global Radio, Yorkshire Post, BBC Politics, and even the podcast You’re My Comms Hero, to name a few.
A final note
We would like to deeply thank all those who have donated and helped raise awareness from the bottom of our hearts. Your kindness during these difficult times provides a source of hope for us all.