Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland have been welcoming and hosting Ukrainian refugees in the months following the war between Ukraine and Russia.
Llandudno Rotary in Wales, led by Rotarian Mike Perry, is planning and coordinating initiatives designed to help the refugees feel welcome and integrate them into the local community.
The club is liaising with Meredith Levine of Friendswood Rotary Club in Houston, Texas. Representatives of the two clubs have met several times on Zoom.
The Friendswood club is engaged in a programme of providing financial support for many Ukrainian refugee initiatives being undertaken both by Link International (an umbrella voluntary organisation helping Ukrainians in North Wales) and Llandudno Rotary itself.
Fundraising is a massive part of what Rotary does, but for that afternoon, Rotary reminded people that it can also raise spirits.”
Together with his friend Steve Ransome, Mike Perry has also organised multiple events to engage with the Ukrainian guests.
The events hosted included a bowling trip, where games were free of charge to provide an opportunity for the community to come together.
Rotarian Dan Worsley, the owner of Worsleywear clothing, has also taken interest in supporting the initiative.
Worsleywear has donated a large quantity of mixed clothing to soldiers and refugees, valued at approximately £10,000, as well as a variety of makeup products.
Dan has also been instrumental in arranging for Glan Conwy Football Club to welcome Ukrainian players. Dennis a young boy who is training to be on the team has spoken of his determination to be on the team.
He said: “I will keep on training hard until I am good enough to be selected.”
There’s so much more that needs to happen and if you feel that you might be able to help in these or any other initiatives, write to Rotary in Llandudno.
Down in London on the 24th August, Ukraine’s Independence Day, Bromley’s Rotary Clubs, led by Assistant Governor Christine Atkinson, held a Family Day on the grounds of The Warren in Hayes in conjunction with Cllr Hannah Gray, Mayor of Bromley.
One of the casualties of war is happiness, and the event aimed to bring Ukrainian families together to be entertained and feel valued by their new community.
The events hosted included a bowling trip, where games were free of charge to provide an opportunity for the community to come together.”
As the event unfolded, Ukrainian guests of all ages turned up throughout the afternoon, selling artwork, food and more, while others enjoyed the stands and buying new items.
As the day ended, staff from Bromley’s Copper Ceylon restaurant handed round portions of their ‘curry in a hurry’ meals to Rotarians and other event helpers.
Fundraising is a massive part of what Rotary does, but for that afternoon, Rotary reminded people that it can also raise spirits.
The Ukraine Appeal is still taking donations. Follow this link to donate.