June Update

Dear friends

It has been a while since we wrote to tell you about the Ukrainian Community’s activities but I am writing on the cusp of the Chalke History Festival which begins on Monday morning (for schools) and continues through to Sunday June 30th.  Hurrah for the weather!!

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the week and I know that many of you already have tickets.  Please look out for the Ukrainian Tents (yes plural) where there will be a variety of workshops, lots of Ukrainian food to sample, music, drama, embroidery and much, much more!

The Ukrainian tent is part of Museum Row, near the biggest talks tent so you should spot us! Site Map and Activities below.

On Sunday we have our treasured Eka playing on bandura and a short play, which we have been working on for the past 3 months, with Anastasiia Atamanchuk and Tom Curzon Penn.  The play will be performed at Speakers Corner from 2.30 on Sunday 30th June and is a reflection on the UKrainian and British experience of living together since 2022.

We are still scouring the county for props and although we are in the middle of numerous farms, we are hoping for 6 small bales of hay!!  We have been offered gigantic ones but have no way of bringing them onto the site, so if any of you are able to help please let me know over the weekend.  We also need an easel and a couple of benches (like those uncomfortable school ones you used to sit on!)….and if any of you have sunflowers, please just bring them on the day (artificial ones are welcome too as I understand it’s a bit early for the real thing!). 

One of the other requests on my list – not so joyous but nevertheless extremely urgent –  is for additional offers of hosting.  As you know, what has been unfolding in recent months in the Eastern part of Ukraine is horrific (not to mention the devastation on the Ukrainian energy sector as a whole).  Families and individuals who were determined to remain in Kharkiv, Sumy and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have finally decided that they can no longer stay there.  We are receiving appeals for safe passage to the UK and shelter when they arrive.  I know that most of the people on this mailing have already hosted (some several times) but if anyone would consider supporting new families from the East of Ukraine, please let me know.

Back to the joyous news!  Valeria Honcharova has been running her food stall in Salisbury Market Square since September last year.  In spite of the horrible weather, she has continued to bake her fabulous buns and cakes and turned up every week to sell them.  We are truly delighted to say that a couple of weeks ago, she went home early because she had nothing left to sell.  Thank you to everyone who searches her out every week!  For those who don’t know, Valeria works a 36 hour shift before the Saturday market, so that her products are as fresh as they can be.  She will be at the Festival throughout next week, so please  visit her cookery workshops.

The next convoy is going out to Dnipro next week and will be full of medical supplies, hygiene products and mobility equipment.  Thank you to everyone who continues to bring supplies.  These are truly appreciated at the other end and congratulations to Tim and his team at Ukraine Freedom Company and to Olga Kott and Philippa Hemming for their tireless work to make this happen each month.

Wishing you all a wonderful Summer and may the weather stay like this for as long as possible!

With warmest wishes