Back in June, we sponsored a Ukrainian refugee child to go to camp in Poland as part of a fantastic initiative that aims to support the people of Ukraine during such unprecedented and dire times.
The summer camp consisted of an action-packed week of activities, such as climbing, archery, dancing, obstacle races and English Language lessons – all of which the children thoroughly enjoyed.
Several other Peterborough-based companies and individuals also supported the scheme, which meant 160 children could attend the summer camp at a cost of £240 per child. Many of the children that attended have experienced extraordinary trauma as they witnessed air raids and fled their homes and country. Although this is by no means a long-term solution, it most definitely provides a welcomed break of normality for the children.
The initiative has been led by a Peterborough based group of individuals and businesses that have been working with Ukrainian communities in Poland and Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. One of the selfless individuals assisting with leading the programme is Richard Astle of Athene Communications, a consultancy based in Cambridgeshire specialising in PR, community and stakeholder engagement, education and internal communications.
Richard and the team began crowd funding in March, 2022 and in total have now raised nearly £60,000 to fund the summer camp and five trips to Poland, delivering over five tonnes of medical supplies and food donated from communities in and around Peterborough. They have also donated 10 heart valves and over 600 sutures to the Kyiv Heart Institute.
The team are now working on new projects to support Ukrainian refugee teenagers by facilitating networking opportunities and connecting them with students of a similar age from local schools in Peterborough.
They have plans to deliver more in the future, with a Christmas delivery of food, medical supplies and gifts for the refugee children scheduled for December. They would also like to raise money for more heart valves – each one of which can save a life - recognising the destruction of a large number of hospitals and clinics by the Russian invasion.
If you would like to support the cause, all donations are gratefully received and can be made via Just Giving - https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpingukrainesurgeons.