‘Shocked’ councillors use grants to support those hit hard by Ukraine crisis

Councillors Ukraine Crisis Grants

Welwyn Hatfield's Paul Zukowskyj and Fiona Thomson are among the councillors who have provided grants. - Credit: Archant/Flickr

Councillors ‘shocked’ by the war in Ukraine have rallied to support those hit hard by the crisis, using grants to donate to the humanitarian efforts.

Herts County councillors have used their locality budget to support aid groups, including Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross, taking their donation total to £21,621.

Among them were a number of Welwyn Hatfield councillors, with Cllr Paul Zukowskyj awarding a grant of £800 to the Polish Saturday School in Welwyn Garden City.

The school has been supporting Ukrainians living in the borough, with a statement reading: “Many children don’t play with cars anymore, but talk about the war. Many people talk about pre-war and post-war reality.

"I wonder how many of us have already lost hope in recent weeks, how many of us feel completely overwhelmed and broken. It is all still incomprehensible, unreal.

“I believe that unity amongst people can help to rebuild our faith and hope. A short-term project won't stop the war. A short moment of reflection won’t change the reality for many, who were and are forced to flee.

“However, we must do everything not to lose hope, even in our darkest hours. There is always something that can be done for someone else.

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“This is why, this much needed help will reach a lot of people, who are fleeing war and prosecution. I am delighted that a local councillor is happy to provide some funding to support people in need.”

“The impact of the war in Ukraine is being felt throughout our communities and the community getting together to provide support is a cause I am delighted to support,” added Cllr Zukowskyj.

Welwyn Hatfield’s Cllr Fiona Thomson and Cllr Sunny Thusu have awarded a £1,000 grant to the Red Cross, while Cllr Marios Artemi has handed out £250.

“We have been shocked and saddened by what we have witnessed in the news, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this war on Ukraine,” read a joint statement.

“This funding will enable the Red Cross to continue to support the humanitarian response in Ukraine, assisting people by directing aid and supplies to where it is most needed.”