Wednesday 24 August is Ukrainian Independence Day, marking 31 years since Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union and, this year, six months since the country was invaded by Russia.
The city has welcomed 149 people who have fled from war-torn Ukraine, with residents across the city opening their homes to the refugees. Since March, the Council has offered a dedicated service, staffed by Ukrainian speakers, to support people coming to Hull.
Council services have worked together closely to provide the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and support people arriving under the Ukraine Family Visa Scheme. This has been a big team effort working alongside other agencies, and charities, including Hull4Ukraine, Welcome House and Forum, to provide help and support.
Various organisations in the city will be marking Ukraine Independence Day. Hull Minster, in King Street, is hosting a Pray for Ukraine service of remembrance, which has been coordinated by Hull4Ukraine, on Wednesday 24 August at 6.30pm, and all are welcome to attend. Hull4Ukraine will also have a high profile around the Marina at this year’s Freedom Festival on Saturday 3 September.
Hull City Council will be marking Independence Day by continuing to light up the statue of William Wilberforce by Queens Gardens in blue and yellow, the national colours of Ukraine, and by flying the Ukrainian flag from the top of the Guildhall.
Cllr Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said, “It has been clear to all that Hull fully supports the Ukrainian community, welcoming so many to our city. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones in the conflict and have had to leave friends and family members behind.
“Being displaced to a foreign country is both challenging and distressing. People not only have to embrace a different culture but different ways of life, such as education and health services, plus the complexity of living in someone else’s home. I’m proud of the warm welcome offered to our Ukrainian guests by their hosts, the support given by a wide range of organisations and the generosity of so many residents.
“In flying Ukraine’s flag and lighting the statue of William Wilberforce, whose name is synonymous with freedom and those seeking sanctuary, we are demonstrating our solidarity with Ukraine and taking a stand against Russian repression.”