Spring Newsletter

Dear all

Martisor – the first day of Spring has been and gone and so has the Leap Year (when by chance we met a couple who had just got married  in Salisbury Registry Office).  After a weekend of sunshine, it does actually feel as if we are emerging into Spring.

24 – 25th February weekend was cold and grey and a difficult one for everyone to navigate, not least our brave Ukrainian community who turned out in large numbers to pray at the Methodist Church and to observe a one minute’s silence by the War Memorial.  Later that day, we were invited to a screening of The Carol of the Bells, kindly hosted by the Godolphin School and introduced by one of its directors and actors, Anastasiia Atamanchuk.  Thank you to everyone who supported this day and who attended one or all of the events.

Please find the links to photographs and a YouTube video of the Saturday morning.  

Photographs  https://adobe.ly/48wab5N
Video  https://youtu.be/q4MlhdANDy0

The following day we held a series of creative workshops with children, teenagers and adults, which was an opportunity to come together, to process some of the events of the past few weeks and to create something permanent and beautiful out of shared experiences, memories and hopes.  We called the sessions Longing and Belonging.  Our thanks go to Peter and Roxana Vilk and their son, Darius, who was at the recording station!

We will put the recordings and video clips up on the website later this month, so do look out for our updated and refreshed website.  

The next part of this creative project which started with our Listening Project (also available on the website) will comprise a drama workshop with Tom Curzon (clown, actor, musician, teacher) which we hope to reveal at the Chalke History Festival during the last week of June.

As most of your know, our Ukrainian community has now established itself as a CIC (Ukrainian Community United CIC) and is developing  its own exciting series of regular and one-off events during 2024.  On March 23rd, they officially opened their Saturday Ukrainian School which is generously supported by Chafyn Grove School. Huge congratulations to Oksana Prokopiv and her amazing team. 

So a few dates for your diaries over the coming months:

March 30th – Easter Weekend – in the Market Place.  Please come for cakes and refreshments, the Ukrainian community will be running a stall from 10 – 3pm.

April 20th – Churchill Gardens – some of you may have already noticed a circle of new trees in Churchill Gardens?  These have been generously donated, together with a seat,  by the Ukrainian community as a way of expressing their gratitude to their hosts and friends in Salisbury and surrounding towns and villages.  They would like to invite everyone to join them for a blessing of the trees and a short celebration.  The exact time for this event is still to be confirmed but please put the date in your diaries and we will send out a reminder before the date.

May 25th – Vyshivanka Day – venue TBC – this is an occasion for everyone to wear their beautiful, national embroidered shirts and will undoubtedly be accompanied by food and drink!.  We are currently looking for an appropriate venue to stage a presentation and fashion show of vyshivanka clothing, so will be in touch again once we have the details.

June 24 – 30th – Chalke History Festival – we are very excited to be part of the CHF this year.  Please join us in the double tent, where you can try out traditional crafts and cooking, learn more about the Bandura national instrument, sample more cake and even Borsch and talk to the Ukrainians about their history – past and present.  It promises to be a fabulous week which many of you attend anyway.  If anyone would like to volunteer to be on the stand for an hour or two, please let us know. 

Finally, although we mentioned this in our January newsletter, here is our Adopt a Community Initiative once again.  Thank you to those of you who have already donated. 

We are now in direct contact with Tetiana Fomenko, who manages one of the community centres we are proposing to support.  She has sent through photographs of the shelled community centres (still standing) which need urgent attention.

Thank you and warmest wishes

Jane and the Team at the Hub

Adopt a Community Initiative

A message from Salisbury Community Hub for Ukraine

Until February 24th 2022, Ukrainian Max Maslennikov ran his own business in Dnipro; but within days of the Russian invasion he dropped everything to help people who were fleeing by distributing food, hygiene packs and arranging emergency accommodation. The charity he co-founded, Reconstruction Ukraine, has since helped more than 200,000 people, and now supports 3000 displaced people who are unlikely to be able to return home for years to come.  His team provides residential care for the elderly and those with disabilities, helps adults to reskill and find new work, and supports adults and children by providing social activities and education.

There are more than 7.7million people displaced by the war still within Ukraine, supported by about 25,000 volunteers. We are astonished by the scale of the challenge that Max and people like him face on a daily basis.  Since meeting him in late 2022, we have supported his initiative in any way possible with considerable assistance and with donations from you.  Following a Go Fund Me Appeal last year, we shipped 40 boxes of supplies to Dnipro for the team to distribute where it was most needed.

As we enter the third year of the war in Ukraine, we seem to be at a critical juncture and there is considerable uncertainty about the outcome of the war.  Ukrainians in the UK are struggling to stay positive as the front-line creeps westwards and the news from home is often bleak.  For this reason, we are hoping to rekindle your support for Ukraine and to personalise the delivery of urgently needed supplies and funds.    

We are now working with Reconstruction Ukraine to adopt six villages on the banks of the Dnipro river.  Roughly 1700 people in 1000 households are living without power, regular supplies or even contact with the outside world: we want them to know they have not been forgotten. We plan to send out household packs this spring containing personal messages for the recipients.  Then, during the summer, we plan to support the refurbishment of the community space a village at a time.  We hope this will help to rebuild a sense of community and interconnectedness. 

Can you help? Together we can make a huge difference to the people in our adopted villages which will be both personal and practical. To learn more or offer financial or other forms of support for the Adopt a Community initiative, please see our website https://salisburyukrainehub.org.uk

For more information or to join our mailing list, please email Jane Ebel – j60rbm@gmail.com

Donations can be made either as a one off gift or as a monthly payment, via the Salisbury Methodist Church.  This would enable the villages to plan for the coming year, knowing that funds will arrive.

The bank details for the Methodist Church are:

  • Salisbury Methodist Church R/C 1128567
  • Sort Code: 08-92-99
  • Account: 65592317

If you could reference any donation ‘Adopt a Community’ or AAC – this will ensure that it reaches the right pot!