Local intiatives to help the people of Ukraine

As Russia escalates its war against Ukraine, find out how to help the people of Ukraine.

As the war in Ukraine dominates the news, many of our readers have reached out to us about how to support those who now find themselves in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. We look at how best we can support our fellow Ukrainians in their hour of need.

Since Russia renewed its invasion of the country in the early hours of Thursday 24 February, around 600,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes according to the UN refugee agency and there are reports that tens of thousands are on the move within the country itself. In addition, Ukrainian reports estimate that more than 4.5 million more could follow if the fighting spreads. 

Millions are at risk of losing their home, having limited access to medical supplies, and suffering the consequences of the psychological trauma of war.

Alongside many members of the international community such as France, Germany, America, and Australia, the UK government has imposed sanctions on Russia. These include freezing assets of Russian oligarchs and banning all Russian commercial and private jets from UK airspace.

As Ukrainian citizens face escalating conflict, violence, and displacement if you want to support the people of Ukraine, here are some suggestions.

Support local initiatives and national charities

Roman Road Market’s family-run Sinclairs Pharmacy are accepting donations to help the team provide and send medical equipment, medicines, and toiletries to support those directly affected by the war in Ukraine. Either give donations at the pharmacy directly (557-559 Roman Road, E3 5EL) or call them on 020 8980 5743 if you are unable to gift in person.

Tuck Shop and The Rambling Beer Company in Hackney Wick have teamed up for a beer tasting to raise money for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal on Saturday 5 March. All of the proceeds will go to DEC. Over an hour and a half, taste five beers all while talking all things beer, at the price of £10 a head (options to pay more if you wish).

Hackney Bridge has set up a Ukraine Crisis Donation drop-off point at Hackney Bridge Kitchens. Open Tuesday 1 March 12pm to 10pm and again on Wednesday 2 March at 12pm. The team is asking for new, warm jumpers (not wool), bedding, and first aid kits. All items are going to the Polish-Ukraine border.

The Romanian community in Canning Town is organising a collection for 12 March at St. Margaret’s R.C. Church, Bethell Avenue, E16 4JU. Loredana Musat and Father Eduard Fartan from St. Margaret’s Church are organising the collection. They will be at the church at 9am on 12 March. The group is asking for warm clothes in good condition, sturdy footwear, blankets, non-perishable foods, and hygiene products. They are arranging transportation to refugee centres at Romania/Ukrainian border. For more information, contact Father Fartan on 07460 977998.

The Ukrainian Embassy in London has set up a special fund to support Ukraine and its people.

Anna Dezyk, deputy chair of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), set up the crowdfunding campaign Help Ukraine Emergency Appeal. Donations given will provide medicines, food, and services to support the most vulnerable to overcome the consequences and trauma of war. Organisations involved in the appeal include AUGB, the Association of Ukrainian Women (AUW), and The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London.

Voices of Children is a Ukrainian organization that provides psychological care for kids dealing with the trauma of war. Its work is focused in Donetsk and Luhansk, two areas that have been particularly hard hit by Russian aggression. They are taking donations via their website portal

Other charities that are helping in the Ukrainian relief efforts include:  

The British Red Cross’s Ukrainian Crisis Appeal

Save the Children’s Emergency Fund Appeal

Unicef’s Protect Children Appeal

Crisis Relief’s Ukraine Humanitarian Fund

US-based Sunflower of Peace’s Help the People of Ukraine fund.

Support local journalism

The Kyiv Independent is one of Ukraine’s major English-language media outlets and says it was created by journalists in order to defend editorial independence. It is doing detailed reporting on its website and its Twitter account. It is taking donations via Patreon or Gofundme.

New Voice of Ukraine is covering developments on the ground as the conflict unfolds, using local journalists.

This site on Twitter covers many local journalists in Ukraine.

Support anti-war protest

Thousands joined protests outside the Russian embassy and Downing Street in London. Keep up to date with news and anti-war protests in London through the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign Facebook group or email them on ukrainesolidaritycampaign@gmail.com.

More locally, the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign is hosting an in-person and online event at the Cranbrook Estate Community Centre on the evening of Thursday 10 March. Speakers will include a guest from Ukraine online, Cllr. Eve McQuillan and Chris Ford from Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign.

Email your MP

Emailing your local MP can be a good way to lobby the government to place further sanctions on the Russian government and its associates. You can get in touch with our local MP, Rushanara Ali via email at: rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk

We are updating this page with more information as it comes in. 

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