By Andy Hirst

Huddersfield has rallied round to help people suffering terribly in Ukraine and here’s our latest round-up about what people are doing to help. If you’re doing something to support Ukraine let us know and we’ll tell the whole of Huddersfield about it.

A Kirklees councillor and three friends are driving two vans packed with badly needed supplies on a 2,700-mile round trip to the Polish Ukraine border this week.

Clr Tim Bamford represents the Denby Dale ward and, along with friends Andrew Beckton, Chay Rogers and Jason Butterworth, will be setting off on Thursday, March 24.

They set a GoFundMe target of £2,500 but have already more than doubled that. They have been loaned the vans and local businesses are paying for the fuel and other travel costs.

Clr Bamford said: “I have family in Ukraine and never thought I would see war in Europe in my lifetime. What we are doing has been made possible by the generosity of people in the Denby Dale ward and further afield.”

Since 2006 the Meltham Shoebox Campaign based at St James’ Church in Meltham Mills has filled shoeboxes with goodies and sent them to children living incredibly deprived lives in eastern Europe. Over the years they have sent an average of 10,000 shoeboxes a year.

Some of the team decided they must do something to help in Ukraine and so Judith and Paul Powell, Mike Still, Grace and Chris Dronsfield drew up a plan of action.

Chris said: “We decided we must do something to help the displaced Ukrainians who were having to leave their homes and flee across the borders into neighbouring safe countries in order to escape the bombing and fighting. This is a humanitarian crisis and there is an urgent need for basic supplies.”

They contacted all the schools in Meltham with emails appealing for donations then sent out by the staff to all the parents on the school’s mailing lists.

Donations started to flood in from the next morning and the church was given a huge quantity of much-needed supplies to provide refugees with the basics they badly need.

Chris said: “The church became a hive of activity as lots of volunteers came along each afternoon to sort out and group the donations into cardboard boxes. It was a wonderful sight and we are continually amazed at the generosity of so many people in Meltham and the surrounding area.”

The team at St James’ Church with Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney (centre)

The Meltham campaign comes under a larger charity called T4U (Teams For You) set up in Wrexham, North Wales, by founder Dave Cooke. Since 2013 it has sent more than 221,000 shoeboxes and now has Ukrainian Appeal and will be sending the aid to countries bordering Ukraine.

Chris added: “It was an emotional time for everyone who had been involved during the four days and especially for the five of us who had met together just three days earlier and who had felt compelled to do something and enable the local community to come onboard and make it happen.”

The appeal for donations continues at the church.

Honley Ladies Choir staged a concert which raised more than £2,000.

The ladies have recently competed in the Mrs Sunderland competition in Huddersfield and so had several performance songs ready, including the inspirational You Raise Me Up.

During a choir outing they got talking and decided they just had to do something to help Ukraine and so organised the concert at St Paul’s Church in Armitage Bridge within a week.

The concert featured young solo sopranos Rosanna Hall, Iris Pinder and Alexandra Muir.

Choir member Lynn Brooks said: “We tried to make the concert as uplifting as possible in these very sad times.”

Some of the singers help at the Shoebox Appeal in Meltham so the money has gone to the T4U Ukrainian appeal.

Meanwhile, St Michael and St Helen’s Church and Community Hall in Fleminghouse Lane, Almondbury, opened its doors to accept donations for Ukraine.

Churchwarden Jane Dutton said: “We were staggered with the amazing response from the whole community.”

A team of volunteers sorted, boxed and labelled 125 boxes containing medical supplies, toiletries, sanitary items, nappies, towels, bedding, warm coats and clothing.

Grahame Oddy from John Shaw & Son Ltd van sales on Leeds Road, Huddersfield, and Debbie Creaser from Morrisons, Waterloo, provided three vans and drove them to the distribution warehouse in Halifax.

Snug Aromatics in Birkby has created a special new candle (pictured above) for Huddersfield to support Ukraine.

The Support Ukraine Candle features the national colours of blue and yellow with 100% of the profits donated to the British Red Cross appeal in Ukraine. They can be bought from their website and at Huddersfield Ukrainian Club on Edgerton Road, Edgerton.

Huddersfield Pendragon 41 Club raised more than £1,000 with a spontaneous auction of items donated by members.

Club member and local businessman John Pasicznyk, came to the UK from Ukraine as a refugee 65 years ago. He teamed up with club chairman Julian Goodall and Graham L. Pickup to organise the fundraising auction. Keith Dawson wielded the gavel.

From left to right: Graham L Pickup, John Pasicznyk and Julian Goodall from Huddersfield Pendragon 41 Club.

Kirklees Council has pledged total support for Ukraine at its full council meeting.

Its motion states: “This council condemns the illegal invasion of Ukraine. Kirklees stands united with its residents of Ukrainian heritage and will continue to support them as this crisis unfolds.

“The council reaffirms Kirklees’ status as a place of welcome and sanctuary for refugees and urges the government to set out a comprehensive and humane refugee scheme for people displaced by the Ukraine conflict as a matter of urgency.”

Fundraising shorts

The two TK Maxx stores in Huddersfield donated camping equipment worth £800 to Huddersfield Ukrainian Club to send for soldiers battling the Russians.  

Meltham haulage company Taytrans donated money, boxes, packing tape, pens, and lots of walkie talkies and power banks.

Most of the fundraising is going to the Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal – and the direct link to the page is

Michelle Tolley completed a sponsored run to raise £280.

Molly Ibberson took part in a fundraising bake sale held at her school, King James’s in Almondbury.

Sophia Fisher and her seven-year-old son, Harley, created plant pots with the national symbol of Ukraine (the Tryzub) and sunflower seeds inside, to sell and raise money.

Fundraising events coming up

* Today, Sunday (March 20) sees a screening of the film Don’t Worry, The Doors will Open by Oksana Karpovych at Northern Quarter, 23 Wood Street, in Huddersfield town centre.

Doors open at 5pm with the film starting at 6pm. It costs £15 including a drink supplied by Magic Rock Brewing but tickets are limited so best buy them in advance from

The film was shot over summer and winter on the Elektrychka, a typical Soviet commuter train that travels between Kyiv and several small provincial towns. It features working-class, mostly marginalised passengers.

* Holmfirth Film Festival is screening three films from Ukraine to raise money for victims of the war.

Entry to all three is free but people are urged to donate generously. All will be screened at The Tech, 140, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, HD9 3AR.

The first one on Monday, March 21 is Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors which won several awards in 1964. It follows the life of IIvan in a celebration of the Ukrainian Carpathian mountains – long winters, storm-ridden springs and blistering summers. The director, Sergi Paradjanov, was a political prisoner under the Soviets.

Tuesday, March 22 at 7pm features Cyborgs: Heroes Never Die. A small group of Ukrainian volunteers known as Cyborgs defend the homeland in the legendary and bloody fight with separatists for Donetsk Airport in 2014.

The third film, White Bird Marked With Black, on Wednesday, March 23 at 7pm was made in 1971 and is one of the most important films of Ukrainian film heritage. It’s an optimistic, tragic epic set in the Second World War.

* Katie’s Kitchen in Marsden is holding a Ukrainian fundraising meal at Marsden Parochial Hall on Saturday, April 2, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £25 for a three-course meal and drink on arrival and the menu will feature Borscht starter (beetroot and potato soup with garlic bread), mains are chicken Kiev or stuffed peppers with mushrooms, buckwheat and vegetables.

The mains are served with new potatoes, cucumber dill and sour cream, courgettes, braised red cabbage with salad.

* Tell us what you’re doing for Ukraine by emailing and don’t forget to include photos add in your phone number so we can get back to you if we need more information.

* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.