Ukrainians who have fled the war and are being hosted by people in Marlborough and surrounding area are organising a special festival to say thank you for the friendship and kindness that has been shown to them. The festival will be held in Kennet Valley Hall on July 17 from 16:00 to 19:00 and will celebrate Ukrainian food, music and art. There will be arts workshops to make a traditional Ukrainian head-dress, children’s games and musical performances. A charity auction will be held to raise money for a Ukrainian charity that supports women and children who have been unable to leave the country and seek safety elsewhere. Entry is free and includes a Ukrainian meal.
Anastasiia Banatska is leading the team organising the festival. She told Marlborough.news, “People here have opened not just their homes but their hearts. We have nothing. We have lost our homes, our business, all we have for all our life we have lost and we don’t know what will be next. But people here do all – find clothes, lessons, summer camp and they try to make our life here like home. When I come here I feel like I am at home.”
Richard Ramsden, who together with Erica Stuart, runs the Facebook group ‘Ukrainians and their Sponsors in the Marlborough Area’, and who has helped place many Ukrainian families in the area, said he is grateful to Kennet Valley Hall for hosting the festival free of charge.
“The festival was Anastasiia’s idea but it’s great that Kennet Valley Hall have offered their space. Almost all village halls in the area have offered their halls for free and we are most grateful.”
Richard and Anastasiia are hoping that many local people will join in with the festival and find out more about Ukraine in the process. Anastasiia and her team are planning the Ukrainian food – borscht, vareniki and bisquit with apple so why not go along and try some?