Rotary Clubs in East Surrey have been volunteering this year with local Drop-Ins for Ukrainian guests to the area.When we realised there was a Ukrainian Independence Day in August we worked together to organise an event that would unite guests in East Surrey and allow them to meet together and celebrate this day. Working with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Tandridge District Council, every Host and Guests from Ukraine were contacted and invited. The whole event was sponsored by Rotary District 1145 with similar events taking place throughout the south east.
Alan Knight (of RRD) was the Rotary organiser and, after discussions, Zhanna volunteered to organise the ladies from Ukraine to cook traditional food for the event. Originally we thought the numbers attending would be 50 - 100 people; in the event the total was 285. The number of rooms reserved at Reigate Park Church had to be extended and the ingredients list for food was enormous!
The day arrived, visitors flooded in, entertainment was organised by the Ukrainian guests, a Rotarian volunteer and a young Ukrainian guest worked together to MC the event in two languages - everything worked well and every visitor enjoyed themselves. Brief speeches were given by the Mayor and Chair of both Councils together with the Rotary District Governor, Roger Stent, before everyone enjoyed traditional dishes to eat. The children were entertained in the lower rooms of the building and with a game of skittles on the patio.
Our thanks to everyone who arrived for the event, the ladies who prepared and cooked for three days to provide the wonderful food, to the Rotary clubs (Redhill Reigate and District, Redhill Redstone, Oxted and Limpsfield, Reigate and Titsey) who provided all the volunteers on the day, and those who prepared the building and took two days to clear away afterwards. The Mayor tells us he already has this event in his diary for next year!
The final comment should go to the many Ukrainian guests who said the traditional atmosphere made them feel they were returning home.
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Rotary has been in Redhill for 90 years helping individuals, local groups and smaller charities by raising money and with practical support.more
While working with the local Resettlement Team, we wanted to help our Ukrainian guest 'celebrate' this day in their own way and put on an event so that all guests in East Surrey could come together. The event was a great success.more