Ukraine latest news: Leeds City Council launches major fundraising appeal to help refugees after Russian invasion

Leeds City Council has announced a major fundraising appeal to help people following the invasion of Ukraine.

By Rebecca Marano
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 9:51 am

Russian began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and millions of families have been forced to flee their home country.

The Leeds Together For Ukraine appeal has now been launched and the council has started the fundraising with a donation of £50,000.

All money raised will be used to provide accommodation support and other forms of assistance for Ukrainian refugees as they build new lives in Leeds after fleeing the fighting in their homeland

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Leeds City Council has launched the The Leeds Together For Ukraine fundraising appeal. Pictured is protesters on The Headrow.

It will also be used to further develop local support systems to ensure Leeds remains a welcoming and compassionate city for all migrants in the long term.

The work will be carried out in partnership with a range of refugee charities and other third sector organisations.

Chair of the Leeds branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, Olga Callaghan, said: “We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in launching this appeal.

“We are so grateful for all the support Ukraine has received and continues to receive – I always knew people in Leeds and the rest of the UK were generous, but the scale of the response has been incredible to see.

“The donations of clothing and household items we have had to date are greatly appreciated, but at the current point in time – when so much remains uncertain about what is happening and where people are going to end up – it is financial help that is required, and hopefully the appeal can play a part in meeting that need.”

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The appeal’s launch has been confirmed following a meeting on Friday between senior councillors, council officers, Migration Yorkshire and a delegation from the Leeds branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.

Those present at the meeting included the leader of the council, Councillor James Lewis, and council chief executive Tom Riordan.

They made it clear that Leeds is determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine in their hour of need, just as it has with refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and many other parts of the world in recent years.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor James Lewis, said: "The events we have seen unfolding in Ukraine have been truly shocking. Innocent people are suffering and families are being torn apart by senseless actions that we wholeheartedly condemn.

“It was an honour to meet with the delegation from the Leeds branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain and speak to them about the impact that the crisis is having, not just on Ukraine itself but also on the Ukrainian community here in Leeds.

“Leeds has a long and proud history of helping those in need and, as a council, we will be working closely with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain and Migration Yorkshire to extend our hand of friendship once again.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of Leeds Community Foundation. The appeal's launch gives us all a meaningful way to stay united and stand up for others in the face of appalling tragedy.”

Initiated by the council with the aim of creating a focal point for people across the city keen to do their bit to help the displaced and the desperate, the appeal is being administered by Leeds Community Foundation.

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