UK pubs offer help to war-torn Ukraine

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Helping out: UK operators support Ukrainian people through collecting donations, and fundraiser events
Helping out: UK operators support Ukrainian people through collecting donations, and fundraiser events

Related tags: Russia, Europe, Social responsibility, Health and safety, Poland

Pubs and bars across the country have acted in support of Ukraine as the country continues to resist a military invasion from Russia.

Russia has intensified its attacks on key Ukrainian cities, with fighting raging for a seventh day. Last night (2 March), Russian paratroopers landed in Kharkiv and joined the fight for control. Russia’s defence ministry claims it has taken the southern city of Kherson, but the city’s mayor says it’s still under Ukrainian control.

Furthermore, The mayor of port city Mariupol reported constant shelling this morning, and a convoy of Russian vehicles is still about 15 miles from Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv.

UK operators are acting in support with the Ukrainian people. This comes after a Ukrainian brewery, the Pravda Brewery, paused its beer production to make Molotov cocktails, while also offering free tea and coffee to Ukraine’s military and police, ​as reported by the Kyiv Independent​.

“Our freedom is at stake,” the brewery wrote on Instagram.

It added, “We do not serve citizens of Russia and Belarus. If you have a weapon with you, please leave it in our security and they will return it to you on the way out.”

Important donations

Bee House bar in Manchester is accepting donations of items needed to help Ukrainian refugees, in partnership with the Polish Integration Support Centre (PISC).

Donated items include toiletries such as baby wipes, nappies, toothbrushes and conditioner, as well as medical aid such as bandage and first aid kits.

In addition, many have donated items to help with sleeping outside, such as sleeping bags, survival blankets and thermal clothing. Venues are working with PISC across the country to collect donations before they are delivered to refugees on the Ukraine-Poland border come Saturday.

“When we saw the crisis and everything that’s happened on the border, when we can see the little children who have cried without their mother, whose parents have already been killed, it’s heart-breaking,”

Polish Integration Support Centre director Anna Buckley said: “The response has been amazing. The people are so kind, so generous, and they do everything they can to support the others.”

The crisis in Ukraine was extremely important to Buckley, as she was Polish. “I’ve run a Polish integration support centre for the last five years,” she said.

“When we saw the crisis and everything that’s happened on the border, when we can see the little children who have cried without their mother, whose parents have already been killed, it’s heart-breaking,” she added.

For Buckley, the fact this was happening after everyone had been locked down in the pandemic, gave people a chance “to show our heart, and show how generous we are”.

Journey to Poland

Owner of the Shave Cross Inn, Marshwood, Dorset, Tom Littledyke, has also decided to travel a 1,000-mile journey to Poland with a minibus full of supplies, such as tinned food, coats, and blankets, for Ukrainian refugees.

Littledyke, who also runs the Shave Cross Cellar and Antonio’s Trattoria in Lyme Regis, Dorset will also provide transport to those who need it. He has already planned another trip to the Ukrainian border for the coming weeks as people continue to offer donations.

On his JustGiving page, he commented: “Too many times do I say or hear the phrase “I wish I could do/have done more”. There is always something you can do. Doesn’t matter how small as long as it’s in the right direction. Im taking a 16 seater Minibus to Poland and the Ukrainian border to take supplies to where it is needed.”

What’s more, Ukrainian cocktail bar Pinch in Fitzrovia, central London, partnered with Ukrainian company Dima’s Vodka, to launch a ‘donate with drinks’ fundraiser yesterday evening (Monday 28 February).

Cocktails were priced at £10, with all money raised through the evening donated to British-Ukrainian Aid, a charity helping support those injured or displaced by the ongoing conflict.

Show of solidarity

Yana Galiyeva, who co-owns Pinch with partner Alex, told the Evening Standard:​ “We are doing this event to raise awareness of a horrific war happening in Ukraine right now and to raise funds to help civilians that are suffering in Ukraine today.”

The Sunflower pub in Belfast, Northern Ireland, exhibits a peace sign mural on its side, painted in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Pedro Donald, operator of the pub said, he had asked local street artist, who uses the street name Francois Got Buffed, to paint the mural in “solidarity” with Ukraine.

“We purposely didn't put it on our social medias, because I don't like people jumping on the bandwagon over Facebook. We just did it as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”

Donald was also looking to host a fundraiser gig with a local singer-songwriter at his pub, where money would be donated to the Red Cross.

The pub’s name echoes the ‘sunflower seeds’ symbol that has become an emblem of Ukraine’s resistance, after a Ukrainian woman told a Russian soldier to carry a handful of sunflower seeds with him.

“Put them in your pockets,” she said, “so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.”

PISC is aiming to raise £50,000 to cover the cost of transporting donations, and has nearly hit its half-way target. You can donate by following the link at: PISC, JustGiving

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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