03:07PM, Thursday 26 May 2022
About £1,500 was raised during the Cookham Festival for an organisation supporting Ukrainians and host families.
Safeplaces RBWM, which matches people coming in via the Homes for Ukraine scheme with willing hosts in the Borough, is fundraising to help with ‘that extra support’ people may not be getting elsewhere, such as transport to English language lessons, or education.
For example, says Arti Sharma-Grey of Safeplaces, Year 11 children find there is no schooling for them because those children in the UK are preparing for summer exams.
“It’s about how we can support them so they aren’t left hanging,” said Arti.
Arti is director of Once Upon a Bus, a company providing interactive storytelling for children in a themed bus.
The bus parked up at the Odney Club as part of the Cookham Festival on May 14 and 15, and brought in £1,500 in ticket sales, all going to Safeplaces RBWM.
“We were really pleased with that, it was completely booked,” said Arti.
Story telling was enjoyed by both Ukrainian and local families.
Two Ukrainian women painted traditional pictures for sale and Anastasia Knot, a professional make-up artist, face painted the children. Many adults asked for the Ukranian flag on their face.
“Safeplaces is encouraged by the amount of companies who are getting in touch to fund the project, also those offering services and those who are coming up with ideas such as corporate days to raise money for the project,” said Arti.
“The word seems to be getting out. We encourage others to get in contact to help fund the project so we can really make a difference to the Ukrainian families.”
Safeplaces RBWM has a Go Fund Me page: gofund.me/c8ce5357
Closures are planned on the M4 between Langley and the M25 this weekend for smart motorway works.