HMC member school support for Ukrainian refugees
See how a variety of HMC schools have been supporting Ukrainian refugees since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Support from HMC schools has ranged from raising funds to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to providing clothing, food and shelter to Ukrainian refugees amongst many other intiatives.
We are proud at HMC to showcase these wonderful examples of kindness, compassion and support from HMC member schools to those who have been directly impacted by the invasion of Ukraine.
The whole community at Alleyn’s School, pupils, staff, parents, governors and alumni, all wore blue and yellow as they took part in a sponsored walk over a combined distance of 2,656 miles (the equivalent of walking from the school to Kyiv and back) in order to raise funds towards the crisis. The pupil-led Charity Committee also organised a movie screening and Easter Scavenger Hunt to raise funds for the Refugee Council, and others organised a cake sale. See here for more information.
Pupils at the school have all written letters of support to Ukrainian refugees, which the Refugee Council helped them to send. They have also written pledges of how they can help, which have been tied to a tree in the school grounds.
The school is also working with other local schools to provide a bespoke curriculum, so that Ukrainian refugee children are supported to learn English and eventually maths as well. Teachers, recognising the emotional impact the crisis has had on children in the UK too, have also set up classes for existing pupils to learn about asylum seekers and refugees.
Bishop’s Stortford College
The community at Bishop’s Stortford College have worked with UK-AID: Felsted Aid for Deprived Children to collect and ship emergency aid supplies to Ukrainian refugees on the Moldovan border.
Pupils and the Old Stortfordian Foundation have also held various events including cake sales to raise money for the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, and eight members of staff managed to double their fundraising target running a local half marathon.
Personal reflection times have also been held during the school day, when many children have said they sent their thoughts to all refugees. Learn more here.
The Grange School
The Grange School has offered places to a pair of Ukrainian sisters and came together to ‘Sing for Peace’ with all sponsorship funds from the event going to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Pupils also made cakes, bracelets, ribbons and badges and completed sponsored cycle rides in order to raise funds and collect donations of emergency aid items for Ukrainian refugees. Some children have also committed to collectively take on 1,400 challenges (one for each mile between the school and Ukraine) to raise funds too. The challenges have ranged from sporting challenges such as swimming and running, to challenges relating to litter picking, baking and singing too. See here to view tweets from the school.
As well as holding a variety of events such as bake sales to raise funds for humanitarian appeals, Strathallan School have acted as a depot after a parent whose partly Ukrainian-based company asked them to help in the collection and shipment of beds and bedding to a centre for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. The school teamed up with the High School of Dundee and one of their alumni and have (within a week of announcing their appeal) shipped over 100 beds and over 200 sets of bedding to the refugee centre in Grodzisk Mazowiecki just outside Warsaw. Find out more here.
Duncan Spinner, former Strathallan pupil and Foreign Office employee in Ukraine, was also invited to talk to pupils at the school to provide them with an insight into how and why the current crisis is happening and answer their questions.
You can watch a recording of Duncan Spinner speaking to Strathallan pupils here.
Warwick Schools Foundation
Pupils across the Warwick Schools Foundation have reflected on their school values whilst arranging a variety of fundraising activities. The schools’ raised funds and collected emergency aid supplies by holding a non-uniform and buy-a-doughnut day as well as a table-top sale; and pupils at Warwick School and King’s High took part in a sponsored walk as a powerful testimony of solidarity with all those suffering in Ukraine. The schools have expressed their thanks to the generosity of donors who have helped them to double their fundraising target. This means they have been able to purchase not one, but two ambulances filled with vital medical supplies, which have been driven to a field hospital in Ukraine.
Royal Hospital School
Royal Hospital School arranged a non-uniform day to raise funds and a community appeal to collect emergency aid items. They then worked with Anchor Freight’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal to have the supplies driven to the Ukrainian/Polish border.
Pupils themselves also organised a variety of fundraising initiatives, including a cake sale, a cake decorating competition and a ‘Fast Fashion Fix’ second-hand clothing sale. All funds raised have been donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The school’s chapel has also been open for private prayers and reflections.
Brighton College pupils have and are continuing to organise a variety of fundraising events, including collectively cycling the distance from Brighton to Kyiv, with all funds being donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Pupils are also writing to their local MPs to garner parliamentary support for the UK government to do more to help the situation.
In addition, the school has welcomed 18 Ukrainian refugee children into the school on full scholarships, including the cost of all school uniforms, clubs and activities, trips and devices. Each of the children’s families have also been given accommodation; and the school is working to ensure the whole of each family feels supported, with counselling, play and art therapy, EAL lessons and social occasions for the families to meet together all being offered. Learn more here.
Some of the school’s senior pupils have also helped to create and deliver online English lessons for children who have so far been unable to leave Ukraine.
Woldingham School have been working with the Polish community in Balham and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) Ukraine appeal to collect and ship emergency aid items to Poland, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine itself; and groups of pupils have taken on challenges such as walking from the school to Clapham Junction in London (approximately a six-hour journey) to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal too. Members of the school’s Glee Club also took part in a charity performance, from which the proceeds of the ticket sales have been donated to the Save the Children Ukraine Appeal.
The crisis has also been discussed in assemblies and in the school’s chapel in an attempt to help pupils better understand the conflict. The chapel has been decorated with blue and yellow peace cranes made by pupils, and the school’s Prayer for Ukraine can be read on the school’s website here.
Royal Belfast Academical Institution
The whole school community at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution came together in a non-uniform day in order to raise funds to support Ukrainian refugees. Everyone at the school also showed their support to one of their teaching assistants who is Ukrainian with family still there.
Barnard Castle School
Barnard Castle School arranged a collection of emergency aid supplies which they have been shipping to Ukrainian refugees in Poland. They have also held non-uniform days in order to raise funds for charities providing aid to those affected by the conflict too. Learn more here.
Downe House has worked with a local charity, Racing to Help Ukraine to collect emergency aid supplies and drive them to Ukrainian refugees at the Ukrainian/Polish border via a convoy of horseboxes.
In addition, the school held a Music Showcase event and their choir, Prima Voce performed A Prayer for Ukraine, in its original Ukrainian, to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal via Christian Aid. They later released the recording of their performance of A Prayer for Ukraine and released it through social media to add to the funds already raised.
You can watch their performances here.
Felsted School has been working with UK-AID: Felsted Aid for Deprived Children to collect and ship emergency aid supplies to Ukrainian refugees in Moldova. The school has also held charity events such as cake sales and set up a fundraising collection, all of which is going to UK-AID: Felsted Aid for Deprived Children too. Find out more here.
Pupils at Marlborough College have raised money for a variety of charities supporting the Ukraine crisis. Some of the funds raised have gone to the charity, Sunflower of Peace who are producing first aid medical backpacks for medical aid volunteers on the front line; the money raised from the charity pizzeria some of the pupils organised is going to Ukraine Aid; and the money raised from the Prefect’s Prom is going to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The school has also held a collection of emergency aid supplies which are being shipped to Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border, as well as holding a moment of silence and reflection to hope for peace. Learn more here.
Tonbridge School has been working with local charities to support refugees and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children cared for by Kent County Council since 2016. Since the Ukraine crisis erupted the school has now increased their charitable activities so that they can raise additional funds for the RefugEase charity, which is helping Ukrainian refugees too. Most recently everyone at the school took part in a ‘whole school’ cycling challenge to raise funds for RefugEase.
In addition, the school is working with other organisations to run social and educational events for the several hundred Ukrainian refugees expected locally.
Pupils at Oswestry School organised, hosted and performed a charity concert, Songs for Ukraine at the Holy Trinity Church in Oswestry in order to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The emotional event featured breath-taking performances by Ukrainian singer and DJ Dasha Minieieva, as well as around 200 pupils of all ages from both independent and state schools across North Shropshire. The joint performance of World in Union is said to have left not a dry eye in both the church or livestream online. Learn more here.
In addition, the school have also been carrying out ‘Mini Missions’ to raise ‘Pounds for Peace’. Activities have been varied, with their most recent one being a ‘Conga for Cash’.
You can watch a short video of the children in action here.
Portsmouth Grammar School
After holding a collection of emergency aid supplies, the Portsmouth Grammar School community came together and formed a human chain in order to load a truck destined for Poland. The school worked together with Portsmouth-based charity, The Parenting Network; NGO, Bridge to Unity; and local businesses to ship over 500 boxes of essential aid items, particularly medical aid, to Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border.
You can read more about their efforts and watch a news report about it here.
Pupils at the school also organised and performed at a charity music concert to raise funds which will be donated to charities supporting the humanitarian relief effort, and they have also written messages of support to Ukrainian children which will be shipped with the supplies. The school’s MUN (Model United Nations) also met to discuss the Ukrainian refugee crisis and theorised different ways nations could unite to provide joint assistance to those being forced to flee their country. View tweets here.
In addition, the school invited Rear-Admiral Chris Parry OP (a former Royal Navy Officer, broadcaster and strategic risk expert) to speak to senior pupils, parents and staff about the current situation in Ukraine.
Wellington College is keen to support the Ukrainian refugees making a new life in the UK. The school's flagship fundraising event is being organised by the pupils of the Wellington College Peace & Conflict Institute, situating a practical response to the crisis within a wider educational programme of reflection upon war, its causes and impacts. Leading up to 20 June 2022 - World Refugee Day - a group of Wellington pupils will walk 562 km, being the equivalent distance from Kyiv to the Poland border crossing that so many refugees have had to endure recently. The school is also looking to expand their established Refugee Partnership to include a local Ukrainian family. The partnership currently supports four Syrian and Afghan refugee families living close to the College with tutoring, access to sports and activities, and friendship. This is a long term commitment initiated in 2017 and expected to continue until the children of the families reach 18.
The RGS Worcester family of schools arranged for 10 Ukrainian pupils to join them for a full educational provision across the age groups. The pupils are staying with host families who have links to the schools; and RGS is providing additional support through extra language assistance, as well as providing each child with an iPad and helping with school lunches and uniforms.
RGS pupils also ran a Ukraine Appeal to raise funds for essential emergency aid items. A local Worcestershire car company then provided a truck, free of charge, for three members of RGS support staff to travel to the Ukraine/Romania border where they linked up with a charity providing hostels for Ukrainian refugees and particularly children. The staff all contributed towards the fuel, so that the volunteers running the hostel could use the funds raised by the pupils to buy exactly what they needed in order to make a very real difference on the ground.
RGS Worcester is also organising regular ‘get-togethers’ for Ukrainian refugees and their families to give them the chance to connect and support one another. The first of these events had 18 Ukrainian families and over 50 people attend. The event was advertised by the local press and these ‘get-togethers’ will continue to be held for as long as needed.
Canford School worked with representatives from the Polish community in Bournemouth to collect and ship emergency aid items to Ukrainian refugees in Poland; with Old Canfordians returning to the school to help box, label and load the supplies, as well as matching the generosity of the current schoolchildren by providing supplies from their own business as well. Learn more here.
The Royal High School Bath
Students and staff at The Royal High School Bath held a Community Day, where all wore blue and yellow, ate a delicious meal of borscht soup, holubtsi and paska cake (Ukrainian food) at lunchtime and took part in a solidarity walk around the school’s grounds. The student leadership team also handed out blue and yellow pin badges to all involved. All money raised has been donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, and aid items given to the Wiltshire Appeal who have a weekly transport to Poland from where the essentials are distributed to a hostel in Kgierz and volunteer centre in Lodz. Find out more here.
See social media activity from HMC member schools that highlights how they have been supporting Ukrainian refugees here.
We understand that all HMC schools will be involved in activities and initiatives to support Ukrainian refugees and whilst it is not possible to showcase every initiative on this webpage, we would like to thank all of our member schools for sharing their work with us to support Ukrainian refugees.