Gifts for refugees – and festival is on

Thursday 12th May 2022 1:45 pm
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Khrystyna Kovalevska (right) with Petersfield Town Council officer Katheryn Ellis-Blandford
Khrystyna Kovalevska (right) with Petersfield Town Council officer Katheryn Ellis-Blandford (Petersfield Town Council )

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Newly-arrived refugee from central Ukraine, Khrystyna Kovalevska, collected a welcome hamper of goodies at Petersfield Town Hall – and the generous box of donated gifts even included a ‘welcome teddy bear.’

Khrystyna, who is staying with a family in Steep, is hoping her friend Anastasia , who has been held up by visa delays, will finally arrive here from Spain this week.

The young student who travelled alone to the UK is about to graduate with a BA in journalism after working for her local paper in her home town.

Khrystyna said the journey had been ‘hard’ and that life in Ukraine had become ‘very dangerous’ after the Russian invasion of February 24.

To help compile a cuttings file to show potential employers, over the coming weeks she has offered to contribute articles to the Post about her experiences in her embattled homeland and as a refugee.

The generous welcome hampers for newly-arrived refugees have been put together by Alex Gadsden of Petersfield Cleaning Services and his team of volunteers.

Virtually since the start of the Russian invasion, Alex has been using his Bedford Road business unit as a collecting depot for donated items.

These have been delivered to Ukrainian refugees who have fled the conflict and escaped to neighbouring countries such as Poland.

And as part of the town’s ongoing help to refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine, a music festival in the Petersfield Town Council-owned Festival Hall is set to go ahead.

At their council meeting on April 28, members agreed to allocate £850 towards putting on the event, with all proceeds going to help Ukrainian refugees.

The Sunflower Festival is being organised by council events and media officer Kathryn Ellis-Blandford and council halls supervisor Phil Swan. It is to be held over the weekend of August 6 and 7 and will see local live bands and DJs play, although none has been named yet.

The organisers also hope to attract a ‘famous headliner’ to close the weekend festival.

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