A jazz concert fundraiser is planned for the start of April in Sheffield to raise money for displaced Ukrainian mothers, children and pregnant women.
The concert, at Heeley Parish Church, is organised by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) Sheffield branch in collaboration with the Reading Jazz Community, and will have a band perform including singers, a drummer and a pianist.
Tanya Mykhaylyk, one organiser of the event, spoke of the ‘constant desire’ she feels to help those struggling from her birthplace of Ukraine.
She said: “There’s a constant desire to help Ukraine in one way or another. We are constantly doing something – sending parcels, helping our friends. We are doing a lot every day.
“But, this particular idea. My best friend called me, she’s a musician and from Ukraine. She called me saying they organised a fantastic sponsored concert in Reading. During that conversation, we decided to do something similar in Sheffield.”
The charity of choice that funds will go to is ‘Unbroken Mothers’ – an organisation based in the city of Lviv in Ukraine. They aim to resettle those affected by the conflict especially if they’re a new mother, a child or pregnant.
Ms Mykhalyk said she was ‘touched’ when she first heard about the organisation.
She said: “It’s really touching. I have a young granddaughter.
“When you see these children suffering, it’s one of the worst things. So, I thought – every single case is touching – but young babies and pregnant women. It’s a deserving case.”
Although the event will be free, donations are encouraged, with the event not only aimed towards those of the Ukrainian community but for everyone in Heeley, to ‘come together’ and celebrate that Ukraine is still ‘standing.’
This event in Heeley will happen just a few months after the University of Sheffield announced two new Ukrainian language courses, allowing those in the UK to begin picking up Ukrainian to help overcome any language barriers.
For Ms Mykhaylyk, this is a fantastic initiative and one that will allow those displaced by war to integrate easier.
She said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea, I didn’t know about that.
“When the war started, we invited our relatives to Europe for a two week trip to then bring them to the UK. I could see that they had, really, a big language barrier. I actively speak with a lot of refugees from Ukraine as well, the language barrier is there. That’s a fantastic idea.”
Tickets for the Jazz concert fundraiser, on 1 April, can be obtained online.
Ms Mykhaylk wanted to thank the generosity of those in the UK who have donated considerable amounts to many charities helping Ukraine.
She said: “The support and generosity of this country (UK) is absolutely amazing. Every single Ukrainian, back at home, feels it.
“All my friends, they say, please tell the UK how grateful we are.”