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Rural communities come together to support the Ukrainian people

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

The situation in Ukraine is at the forefront of many people’s minds, and certainly it’s a topic that’s unavoidable when reading the newspapers or watching the news.

Rural communities are, as we all know, always some of the first to respond when situations like these occur, and the war in Ukraine has been no different.

Gamekeepers from the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group carried out a coordinated response to requests for coats, boots, clothing, sleeping bags and other essentials such as personal hygiene products, blankets and children’s toys, which were delivered to a hub in Reeth.

The gamekeepers delivered about 40 bags of priority items, all of which had been requested by the 2 Dales Refugee team, which then winged their way to their various destinations in Europe.

As the keepers who organised the collection said themselves, the plight of the Ukrainian people has touched the hearts of everyone, and the desire and will to donate so many items from within a small rural community is testament to this.

Elsewhere, others in the uplands, and in rural communities across the country have also been doing their bit to support the Ukrainians. Rachel Wood, a farmer from Lockerbie, sold a sheep at Longtown Auction last week to raise money for children suffering in the Ukraine crisis. Expecting to make a few hundred pounds the sheep – a Texel Cross Ewe – in fact raised £3,600. Her employer, Bendles Solicitor, topped this up with a £500 donation, bringing the total to £4,100. The sheep was "probably worth around £220", said Rachel, adding that "we have still been getting donations this week, so who knows what the final total will be." The money raised is going to the Urgent Ukraine Crisis: Help Kids in Need.

Richard Walton, who previously ran the Coats2Syria project and the International Hound Show has set up a JustGiving account for the Disasters Emergency Committee, and in Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates has said that more than 40 estates had volunteered to help those fleeing war and arriving in Scotland from Ukraine.

“Estates in Scotland are very keen to help in any way they can to those fleeing the devastation in Ukraine. As these estates are rural businesses, many are in the fortunate position of being able to offer not just accommodation but also employment opportunities for refugees arriving here", explained Dee Ward, SLE vice-chair.

"We have no doubt that as well as estates helping those coming to stay here, there will be many Ukrainian people with experience and talent in sectors such including farming, food production and hospitality that can be of real value to our rural communities."

Yesterday, rural insurer NFU Mutual Charitable Trust announced a £150,000 emergency donation to support communities affected by the war in Ukraine.


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