How ARC England members are helping people affected by the crisis in Ukraine – and how you can too

Hand painted blue and yellow. Photo by Elena Mozhvilo, UnsplashARC England members have been busy raising money for people affected by the crisis in Ukraine and thinking about other ways they can help. Members have also been talking to the people they support about the situation and offering emotional support for anyone who needs it.

Leeds Autism Services

LAS have created a web page that includes an easy read guide, links to where people can go for support with their mental health, and a button to donate to the DEC campaign. You can view the page here.

They are planning a week of activities where the people they support can donate to take part in activities such as baking and making crafts which will be based around the colours of the flag of Ukraine. During the week of activities, and the week following the event, they will run a social media campaign featuring pictures of people taking part to encourage donations to fundraising appeals.

Percy Hedley Foundation

Percy Hedley has had links with the Step By Step Association school and college in Poland, Zamosc. They have had student exchange programmes and groups have travelled between the two organisations several times.

However, they now find themselves doing more than they ever envisaged. Zamosc is close to the Ukrainian border and they have found themselves supporting and providing accommodation to 30 refugee families from Ukraine, mainly mothers who have fled with their children, all of whom have disabilities, some very complex.

Step by Step are providing accommodation, food, medical supplies, interpreters and doing all they can to source more permanent accommodation asking anyone in their networks if they can provide shelter.

These are the words from Maria, Step By Step’s CEO.

“Everyday since this horror started we have been supporting families arriving – mostly mums with disabled children. We offer them temporary accommodation (we only have 30 places available at the time) and at the same time working nearly non-stop – we are looking for permanent homes for them, mostly in Poland. Offering those temporary places to families is expensive and we cover all those costs – we have to buy absolutely everything for those who arrive, they arrive with no belongings and often no money to carry them forward – we purchase underwear, clothes, sanitary products, medications, paying for petrol and translators, we also have a call centre which I lead on- luckily a lot of us including myself can speak Russian and Ukrainian too. As a foundation/association we are running this whole operation simply by volunteering in our own time – we have a strong team of over 100 people who have different roles in this process.”

All costs of this are being covered by them including accommodation, food, etc. Percy Hedley have circulated their appeal and cash donations can be made through a fundraising page they have set up.

Windward Day Services

Windward have been talking to their staff team and to the people who use their services, all of whom are worried and anxious in different ways. But nearly everyone wanted to something to practically help so they have had a raffle and a disco and have raised nearly £900 so far.

In addition, the people they support have got together and arranged various fundraising opportunities – a cake sale and a sponsored walk.

We are offering emotional support (using appropriate communication aids) and creating space to talk while trying not to focus too much on worries and making time for respite from the awful news.

Ways you can help

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