South Downs Ukraine Response was set up in response to the Ukraine crisis to help support Ukrainians moving to the area and the people hosting them.
The different local response groups joined together under an umbrella group in order to support each other, work more effectively in finding and sharing information and to help both hosts and their guests find a sense of local community. South Downs Ukraine Response has helped to match Ukrainians with hosts and is now starting to support some families needing to find a new home within the local community. We have had many Ukrainians come to our English lessons at The Village Hub which run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. On a Monday there is also a separate class for children. The Village Hub holds a drop session on Friday mornings to help with all the paperwork when people arrive. It has also served as a way for people to connect with others staying in the area. A similar drop in session is run at St Mary’s Church Hall in West Chiltington on Thursday mornings.
Locally there have been trips to Amberley Museum, Weald and Downland Museum, fundraising concerts in West Chiltington and Amberley, picnics, meals and other social activities organised to help the Ukrainians build friendships and get to know the area they have moved to. Over the summer many of the Ukrainian children enjoyed taking part in summer camps like Splash at St Mary’s Primary School and the Premier Education camps at the Chanctonbury Leisure Centre. The Village Hub has also supported a Ukrainian artist currently living in Pulborough to run art classes over the summer for both adults and children.
We would like to thank all those who are involved in supporting the Ukrainians in and around Storrington, people who give generously of their time to teach English, all our volunteer drivers who have kindly offered lifts to the Ukrainians on numerous occasions, those who have taken part in organising social events and, above all, the hosts who have made the sacrifice to kindly take people into their homes.