By Barrie Hudson – November 5, 2022
Swindon Humanitarian Aid Partnership organized an evening of Ukrainian and British music and culture.
The organization, which provides aid to the beleaguered country and helps Ukrainians arriving in Britain after being driven from their land, organized the event to promote its work and philosophy of unity.
The audience at Ellendune Hall in Wroughton were treated to music, dancing, poetry and demonstrations of gymnastics and fencing.
VIP guests included South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland and potential South Swindon parliamentary candidate Heidi Alexander, and each also had their place on the bill.
Sir Robert, who is Welsh, sang the country’s national anthem, Land of My Fathers, and Ms Alexander delivered a poem, New Day’s Lyric, by Amanda Gorman, which sounds like a message of hope and unity facing great challenges.
Sir Robert, long a strong supporter of the Aid Partnership’s work, said before his performance: ‘I think events like tonight really remind us that we are not just talking about a group of amorphous people. passionate human beings, with skills, with talents like us, and I think that’s what this evening is all about.”
Sir Robert thanked Aid Partnership Chairman Mike Bowden for his team and added that he was privileged to help bring the partnership together as it grew from an aid-focused effort. charity of Swindon Phoenix Enterprises.
He added: “I just met a lady who I helped with a visa for two Ukrainian ladies who are now living with her, and that has been the story of the last few months for me.
“I have worked with hosts to ensure they are matched with Ukrainian refugees, and have made sure that we at Swindon have done our part to support this incredible national effort.”
The Swindon Humanitarian Aid Partnership has so far delivered over 700 tonnes of aid.
Decorations at the site included vases of sunflowers, the symbolic flower of Ukraine, and some of the Ukrainian children wore sunflower crowns and national dress. There were frequent calls of ‘Slava Ukraini!’ (‘Glory to Ukraine!’)
Aid Partnership Chairman Mike Bowden said to applause: “In the months since February I have met probably 200 Ukrainians, and they are the most charming, resilient, humble, educated and beautiful people that you will ever meet.”