A 10-year-old girl from High Roding has raised £835 for Ukraine after distributing free sunflower seeds to her neighbours.

Over the Easter holidays Jessica Mills decided she wanted to help the country and came up with the idea to raise money using sunflowers.

She got an idea when her mother was reading a magazine and told her that sunflowers are important to Ukraine as their national flower and a major agricultural export.

So, she bagged up 200 sachets of soil containing sunflower seeds, created small Ukrainian flags out of Hama Beads and sealed it all into envelopes along with handwritten letters explaining her cause, the history of the sunflower in Ukraine, the envelope's contents and a JustGiving link.

Her personal message reads: "Dear Residents of High Roding,

"My name is Jessica Mills and I'm raising money for Ukraine. Sunflowers have been growing in Ukraine for over 200 years as they love the country's hot summers and is now the biggest producer and exporter of sunflower oil and seeds in the world.

Dunmow Broadcast: Jessica Mills' letter included with each pack of soil and seedJessica Mills' letter included with each pack of soil and seed (Image: Claire Mills)

“Within the past few weeks the sunflower has become a sign of hope and peace, people around the world have started wearing them and planting them to their support to Ukraine in these sad times.

“I thought it would be nice if our village took part in growing a sunflower to show our support. Inside this envelope you will find a sunflower seed, some soil and a Ukrainian flag tag to get you started.

"I have set up a Just Giving page if you would like to show your support and make a donation. I am fund raising for UNICEF UK who work to help keep children safe

"If you are not able to donate please take part if you would like to and grow/display your sunflower in your garden."

Her mother, Claire Mills, said: "I'm extremely proud of her in wanting to help and support others.

"Mum and Dad have been involved a little bit bagging up the soil and seeds and delivering letters around the village.

"But Jessica certainly took the lead and has been overwhelmed with the amount of praise.

"There's has been an overwhelming response from the community."

If you would like to donate you can find the page online at



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