Patterdale parish wanted to support Ukrainian Refugees in the UK, and to do so collectively as a whole parish as well as with individual hosts. So they decided to offer free respite and holidays making use of accommodation, recreation and food facilities all provided for free by local people and businesses.
The Patterdale Ukrainian Relief fund was started to support this initiative, to cover any additional expenses (eg transport and travel). Contact was made with the manager of the Manchester Ukrainian Centre and it was agreed to begin by supporting four refugee families. The four families came to Patterdale on Monday 25th July for a familiarisation visit, with their main holiday being 15th-18th August. The main holiday will include adventurous activities provided by Patterdale Hall.
Patterdale welcomed the families for their familiarisation visit on Monday with plenty of Ukrainian flags, and a programme which involved seeing their accommodation for their stay in August, a baked potato lunch in the beer garden of Old Water View, a return Steamer trip to Aira Force with a walk to the waterfalls (thankfully the rain held off!), and finished with a special traditional English afternoon tea provided by the Inn on the Lake. An unexpected highlight of the day was also the way all the children loved and responded to Tolula, the pet dog of the mini-bus driver, Neil Thompson! It was amazing to watch the therapeutic effect of a loving animal!
Hania Tkaczuk, Manager of the Manchester Ukrainian Centre, who also acted as interpreter for the visit, said, ‘We are all so touched by the generosity of people towards Ukrainians who have suffered as a result of the current war in Ukraine. Our visit to Patterdale was very special. We were made to feel very welcome, loved seeing our national flag all over, had a great time and everyone can’t wait to come back again!’.
Ven Morris Rodham, Vicar of Patterdale, who has helped organise the visit, said, ‘Patterdale is a beautiful place with a wonderful community! The community have pulled together to offer support to those who have been traumatised by the war in Ukraine. We thank all the local people and organisations who have offered their support both on the familiarisation visit and the main holiday in August. It’s been a great team response and we hope to be able to offer more respite holidays of this sort in the future if all goes well this time.’
Donations to the Patterdale Ukrainian Relief Fund can be made by scanning the QR code opposite or going to the church website: www.stpatrickschurchpatterdale.org