Residents of South Somerset come together to reflect on the last 12 months of war in Ukraine
South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has demonstrated its support to those affected by the tragedy of a year of conflict in Ukraine through the symbolic donation of trees.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded and occupied parts of Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has resulted Europe's largest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
Here in South Somerset, the effects of the conflict are being felt by those with family and friends in Ukraine, and Ukrainian individuals and families that have sought asylum and are being given a home and support by residents.
The Ukrainian Community in Yeovil, supported by Yeovil Community Church, recently held an event on Saturday 18 March at Howard Road Park in Yeovil, to raise awareness of the anniversary of the invasion, and to express thanks for the Government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ initiative.
Ukrainian families and residents attended, assisting with the planting of 12 trees donated by South Somerset District Council, one for each month that has passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Alongside the tree planting, the event also hosted a range of outdoor activities for children, including an origami masterclass, and for a taste of Ukraine there were traditional desserts enjoyed by not just local residents, but also by Deputy Mayor and District Councillor Andy Kendall who attended the event on behalf of the Mayor of Yeovil.
Councillor Kendall said: “It was incredible to see so many people come along to this event to pay their respects and celebrate the town’s support for Ukraine and appreciate those hosting Ukrainian families. I have personally been hosting a Ukrainian family and I am very aware of the struggle they and others have faced. It was an absolute honour to open this event and plant the 12 trees to represent the tragedy of the past 12 months, but to also look to the future with positivity and hope for Ukraine.”
Residents who would like to help Ukrainian families affected by war can find more information on how to support here: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/Ukraine/