Rossall School launches major initiative to support young Ukrainians
Rossall School is leading the way in terms of supporting young Ukrainians caught up in the current humanitarian crisis.
The School has responded decisively and quickly: at least six additional Ukrainian children will join the school at the start of the summer term and this is one aspect of an extensive programme of support that includes a community hub.
This enormous commitment is only possible due to the extraordinary generosity of a School community that has come together to actively respond to those in need.
Current pupils are raising money to support relief operations in Ukraine itself whilst the wider Rossallian community has contributed to a fund established in order to support a small number of Ukrainian children for as long as is needed.
The School has gone one step further by sponsoring a family from Kharkiv.
Yuliia and her two sons Oleg (8) and Volodymor (3) are arriving at Manchester Airport on Thursday afternoon where they will be greeted by members of the School community who have spent the last few days restoring a three bedroomed property on the School site.
Yuliia and her children have experienced an incredibly difficult journey to get here. As their ‘letters of permission’ took a little while to process, they travelled to Ireland to stay with the Headmaster’s sister-in-law Caroline Dennehy, and her husband Tom, in County Cork.
Within twenty four hours of arriving, Tom was teaching the boys how to hold a hurley stick! They are amongst the very first families to arrive in the UK under the ‘Home for Ukraine’ scheme.
In scenes reminiscent of the much loved television programme ‘DIY SOS’, everyone has pitched in to paint windows and plant the garden of the family’s new house.
Others have donated toys, clothes, and other household essentials.
The School has been inundated with offers from suppliers, tradespeople and kind members of the public.
Parents, staff and Ukrainian pupils currently studying at Rossall, have helped to transform the house into a beautiful family home.
Once Oleg and Volodymyr have settled into their new home, they will join Rossall Prep School and Nursery where they will receive one-to-one support as they begin to learn English.
Other Ukrainian children will be welcomed into the School’s senior boarding community at the start of the summer term.
They include children who contacted the School with requests for support and younger siblings or friends of Ukrainians who had previously attended the School.
Jeremy Quatermain, Headmaster, commented:
“It is a privilege to lead a community that responds so compassionately to a crisis such as this.
“We have all pulled together to make this happen and, from our initial phone call with Yuliia, we knew that we had to do everything within our power to help her and the boys.
“We are so fortunate to be able to help and I am so happy to be surrounded by colleagues, parents and pupils who all share our absolute determination to do something practical in response to the terrible and heartbreaking images that have flooded our screens in recent days.”
“We know that what we can accomplish is relatively modest in the grand scheme of things but amidst such tragedy, we hope that the Ukrainians we welcome into our community will feel the love, kindness and compassion of this incredibly special community.”