UK: Cornwall Celebrates Ukrainian Christmas to Show Support for Ukraine


Melinda Simmons, British Ambassador to Ukraine, shared information about Cornwall, a small town in the United Kingdom that celebrated Ukrainian Christmas on December 25. This event demonstrates Cornwall’s ongoing support for Ukraine even after a year of Russia’s invasion. The celebration was held in response to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which began in February 2021 when Russia invaded Ukraine.

In the days leading up to Ukrainian Christmas, volunteers from Cornwall travelled to various parts of Ukraine to bring gifts such as crayons, stuffed animals, and clothes to needy children. One of the locations they visited was Saltivka, near Kharkiv. Some children and their families continue to live in an underground metro station due to the missile attacks the area has experienced. In addition, the volunteers organized a Christmas party for approximately 300 children in Kharkiv to spread holiday cheer.


The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has had a significant impact on the country and its citizens. According to the United Nations, approximately seven million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, and many more have fled the country to seek safety elsewhere. Data from the UK Home Office shows that, as of August 15, 2022, over 115,000 Ukraine Scheme visa holders have come to the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

Anna Tysovska, a Ukrainian woman now living with a family in Cornwall, fled Ukraine a few weeks after the war began and spoke about her memories of the day Russia invaded. “Until I fled, I watched as my country was ripped apart,” Tysovska said. “I watched as friends and family lost their homes, businesses, and in some cases, their lives. It was a perpetual hell of sleepless nights checking the news and praying for a miracle.”

Despite the ongoing conflict and the difficulties faced by Ukrainians, the celebration in Cornwall showed the community’s support for Ukraine and its people.

Wendy Warrington, a nurse, midwife, and humanitarian worker, organized a few visits to Ukraine and stated that their goal was to bring some joy to the children during the holiday season, even if it was only for a short time. Warrington noted that these celebrations might not change the world, but they provide a sense of normality and a break from these children’s difficult circumstances.

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