Leeds fundraising for Ukraine: How to donate to the city's official appeal and where the money will go

A major fundraising appeal has been launched by Leeds City Council to help people following the invasion of Ukraine.

By Georgina Morris
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 7:21 am
Updated Friday, 11th March 2022, 4:20 pm

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

Among them is former University of Leeds student and Ukrainian journalist Maria Romanenko who has arrived in the UK after a 23-hour trip through the Polish border with her British boyfriend.

Now the council has set up the Leeds Together For Ukraine appeal, making a donation of £50,000 from its own funds to kickstart the fundraising.

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Olga Callaghan, who chairs the Leeds branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, has welcomed the creation of the fundraising appeal. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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How will money donated to the Leeds Together for Ukraine Appeal be used?

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.

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.

Hundreds of people gathered in Leeds city centre at the weekend for a protest calling for an end to the war in Ukraine.

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

Who is involved in running the appeal?

The appeal has been initiated by the council with the aim of creating a focal point for people across the city who keen to do their bit to help the displaced and the desperate.

It is being managed by Leeds Community Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that distributes vital grants and gives trusted advice to community groups across Leeds and Bradford.

Leeds council leader James Lewis said: “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.”

The appeal also has the backing of the Leeds branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB).

Olga Callaghan, who chairs the branch, 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."

Why is this appeal focusing on donations of money rather than other items?

The appeal’s launch has been confirmed after a meeting on Friday between senior councillors, council officers, Migration Yorkshire and a delegation from the Leeds branch of AUGB.

Olga said: “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.”

How can donations be made to the Leeds Together for Ukraine Appeal?

Donations can be made online via the dedicated appeal page on the Just Giving website.

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