Ukraine: Support grows across Uttlesford

People gathered for a candle-lit vigil in Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, over the Ukraine invasion

People gathered for a candle-lit vigil in Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, to show solidarity and pray for the people in Ukraine - Credit: Saffron Photo

Support continues to pour in from across Uttlesford for the people of Ukraine.

In Saffron Walden, a candlelit vigil has been held in Jubilee Gardens, with £2,069 donated on the night and a further £110 donated towards diesel costs to get aid to the right location.

Tomorrow (Saturday) residents can donate items and cash via a bucket collection the Country Collectables stall at Saffron Walden Market, across from Holland & Barrett.

Jacqui Portway and Jan Langworthy are working together, and aim to fill a van with donations for the Ukrainian church in Peterborough.

They are asking for donations of: wet wipes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disposable nappies, batteries, candles, flash lights, instant food such as soups, pot noodles, canned meat and canned fish, pasta, dried fruit and nuts, energy bars, chocolate bars, hygiene products, first aid kits, paper towels, and medication - even if it's out of date provided it’s unused. 

Rumblebees in Felsted is hosting a music and drinks event tonight (Friday March 4). The cash raised will go to UK-Aid, also based in Felsted. The charity is sending two truckloads of aid to help civilians, following Russian's invasion.

Jane Fielding of Rumblebees said people have been coming in to offer support, ranging from a child emptying their pocket money coins on to the counter to a man who generously wrote a £100 cheque.

On March 12, St Mary's Church in Saffron Walden is holding a fundraising concert.

Poster of the upcoming concert being held at St Mary's Church, Saffron Walden, on March 12 in aid of the crisis in Ukraine

Poster of the upcoming concert being held at St Mary's Church, Saffron Walden, on March 12 in aid of the crisis in Ukraine - Credit: St Mary's Church

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Essex County Council has lit its headquarters in the Ukraine flag's colours.

And 35 pallets of medical supplies have been flown out from Stansted Airport.

Saffron Walden vigil for Ukraine

A vigil was held at Jubilee Gardens last night (Thursday), led by Saffron Walden town mayor Richard Porch, supported by St Mary's Church Rector, Rev'd Jeremy Trew, and Rev'd John Goddard from Saffron Walden Baptist Church.

Saffron Walden resident Kateryna Shotropa who is from Ukraine and her mother Helena Mazur Boland spoke movingly.

Ukraine vigil in Saffron Walden, Essex: Kateryna Shotropa, mayor Richard Porch, mayoress Michelle Porch

Kateryna Shotropa speaking at the vigil in Saffron Walden about the situation in Ukraine, watched by Saffron Walden mayor Richard Porch and mayoress Michelle Porch - Credit: Saffron Photo

People at the vigil in Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, for the Ukraine

People at the vigil in Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, for the Ukraine - Credit: Saffron Photo

Participants at Saffron Walden's Ukraine vigil, Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, Essex

Participants at Saffron Walden's vigil to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine - Credit: Saffron Photo

Some of the many participants at the Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, vigil for Ukraine

Some of the many participants at the Jubilee Gardens, Saffron Walden, vigil to show solidarity with the people in Ukraine - Credit: Saffron Photo

A participant lights a candle at Saffron Walden's vigil for Ukraine in Jubilee Gardens

A participant lights a candle at Saffron Walden's vigil for Ukraine in Jubilee Gardens - Credit: Saffron Photo

Helena Mazur Boland, Kateryna Shotropa and the Ukranian flag, with Saffron Walden community leaders

Saffron Walden's vigil in support of the people in Ukraine. Helena Mazur Boland and her daughter Kateryna Shotropa with the Ukranian flag, with Saffron Walden mayoress Michelle Porch, mayor Richard Porch, Reverend John Goddard and Reverend Jeremy Trew - Credit: Saffron Photo

Rev'd Jeremy Trew of St Mary's Church said: "I think there was a tremendous sense of solidarity last night.

"It echoed the communities coming together when Covid hit. In this case it was for people living a couple of thousand miles away.

"I think that example of compassion is quite wonderful."

Rev'd John Goddard from Saffron Walden Baptist Church said: "For me, it was a privilege to be there, it was a reminder of what a fantastic town we live in, to see the way that people turned out to show their support at such short notice."

Rev'd Goddard read Psalm 31, which is about God's presence at a time of siege.

Essex County Council

Essex County Council's headquarters lit in the Ukraine flag's colours

Essex County Council's headquarters lit in the Ukraine flag's colours - Credit: Essex County Council

At Essex County Council, the building has been lit in the Ukraine flag colours, and a new Facebook page telling people across Essex how they can support the people of Ukraine has been set up.

The page called ‘Essex is United for Ukraine’ provides details for the organisations across Essex who are supporting humanitarian efforts through donations and fund-raising, linking them up with residents who want to help.

The initiative is led by the Essex Is United Facebook team, a collaboration between Facebook admins, Essex County Council and the Public Health team. It can be found here: www.facebook.com/groups/eiuforukraine

ECC chairman Eddie Johnson and leader Kevin Bentley have released a joint statement.

It reads: “The people of Essex stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, here and across the world, in our outrage and condemnation of this illegal war.

“Essex will offer support in whatever way we can.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the brave people who have stayed to oppose this illegal occupation, and their families, many of whom have become refugees in the past few days.

“County Hall in Chelmsford has been lit in the colours of the Ukrainian flag in a public display of our unity with them.”

Medical supplies flown from Stansted

Aid being loaded on to a plane at London Stansted Airport for Ukraine

Aid being loaded on to a plane at Stansted Airport, bound for Poland then onwards to Ukraine - Credit: MAG, London Stansted Airport

A Titan Airways 737-cargo aircraft left Stansted Airport on Thursday morning with 18 tonnes of medical supplies for Ukraine.

The aid - including masks, intensive care unit monitors, and catheter sets - was flown to Poland then transported to Ukraine, provided by the UK Government.

Titan Airways commercial director Alex Harrington said: “We received a call from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office asking if we had an aircraft available to support.

"We have worked with the Department of Health and Social Care previously flying Covid-19 test kits from London Stansted to Belfast and with FCDO on aid missions to Nepal, Iran and Haiti. We have a long-standing relationship and were delighted to be able to help when asked.”

Stansted Airport has waived the normal landing fees for flights carrying aid to Ukraine.