Dunmow residents fundraise for children's centre in Ukraine

Langhorn Plantery Owner, Ed Cannon

Langhorn Plantery Owner, Ed Cannon - Credit: Phil James

A group of Great Dunmow locals have been raising money to provide aid to a Ukrainian rehabilitation centre.

The fundraising was led by historic fundraisers for the centre George Mills, Ed Cannon and Richard Lockward.

They were raising money for the Chernihiv Regional Council’s Centre for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Children with Disabilities - Revival - was set up in 1994 to provide help for disabled children, after the Chernobyl nuclear explosion caused what Revival calls the "stable growth" of children being born with disabilities.

George Mills

George Mills - Credit: Phil James

Using Ed's business, Langhorns Plantery in Little Canfield, as a venue, the trio set up stalls to give away free teas, cakes and scones in return while collecting donations.

This went on for four days over the Jubilee and in this time £1,530 was raised for the Revival Centre.

The trio had help from local Ukrainians in baking the cakes and running the stalls.

The group are historical fundraisers, as the Langhorns Plantery has previously raised money for the centre; collecting over £1,000.

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In 1998 George organised friendly football matches between Arsenal and Dynamo Kyiv in support of the centre; a football team based in Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv.

Richard Lockward

Richard Lockward - Credit: Phil James

And Richard Lockward, alongside seeing that the money from the jubilee donations goes through to the centre, will at some time in the future be gathering three ambulances and loading them with supplies and delivering them to the centre.

Two of the three ambulances will be loaded with medical supplies like pain killers and bandages.

The other will have day to day necessities such as socks, underwear, toothpaste and body wash.

Richard will meet with two others, who will be driving the other two vehicles, and they'll take them through Europe, arrive in Poland and leave them at the Poland-Ukraine border on the other side of the country where the vehicles will exchange hands and be taken directly to the rehabilitation centre.

The centre has fallen victim to the Russian invasion of the country, being hit by heavy shrapnel and suffering damage to the building; the only one of its kind in the entire country.