The empathy and generosity of people in Reading has once again shone through during the Ukrainian war, which is absolutely no surprise to me. I know the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre was quite taken aback by the sheer scale of physical donations, so much so that it had to temporarily ask people to stop bringing items.
Following my own conversations with the Community Centre, it is now very clear that financial donations are the best way residents can support the centre to help those poor people who are caught up in this terrible conflict, which is why I launched a Mayoral Appeal. The Ukrainian Community Centre knows how best to use these donations and money allows them to be flexible in the support they give to fellow citizens, whose needs may of course change over time.
Reading is a City of Sanctuary not only in name, but in our actions. I know Reading will – as we always do – stand ready to welcome people, and I know the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre will be at the heart of that.
We very lucky to have this Community Centre in Reading, which helps us reach out to the people who need our support. I know that household budgets are undeniably stretched at this time, but if people could find their way to making a small donation it will be hugely appreciated. Reading stands with Ukraine, now and in the difficult months to come.