Ukraine support event at St Lawrence Church

Since the start of the war in Ukraine last February, Winchester Rotary has been part of local community initiatives seeking to help Ukrainian refugees arriving in our city and assisting relief efforts in Ukraine itself.  Earlier in the year a number of street collections were organised and an event at the ARC, facilitated by Winchester Rotary, brought the various refugee communities together and a performance of Ukrainian dance and song was staged.

On Saturday 29 October, a different cultural event, facilitated by Winchester Rotary, was held at St Lawrence Church in the city centre and attended by over 100 people.  Some of the ARC performers, under the leadership of Elena Popova,  returned, with an hour-long presentation ‘Ukraine & UK Undefeated’.  They depicted in dance, song, and video presentation the consequences of the war and portrayed the ways in which refugees in Winchester are adapting to their new surroundings.  A particular delight was a children’s choir, who performed the Ukrainian Eurovision-winning song!

Mayor of Winchester Cllr Derek Green was among the audience and both he and Winchester Rotary President Deborah Macartney thanked St Lawrence churchwarden Beauman Chong for making the church available for the event.  A retiring collection raised £1,215 for further distribution to relief organisations.  We are working with our Ukrainian friends to identify initiatives that will particularly benefit from these funds.

Very many thanks to all who supported this moving event.

A number of photos have been gathered together and can be seen here: Ukraine event – St Lawrence Church

Gill Russell

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