Monthly column: Supporting our Ukrainian guests

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It has now been more than 22 weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine and whilst it has dropped off the front pages the conflict continues.

Bedford Borough is now home to nearly 300 Ukrainian guests, including over 100 children. I have been impressed with the generosity of so many of our residents who have opened up their homes or are supporting our guests in other ways.

Many of the children have now completed the summer term in our local schools and I would like to thank the schools, teachers and other pupils who have made them so welcome.

Bedford Academy recently opened its doors for a fun day for Ukrainian families and their hosts which I was delighted to pop along to.

The day enabled not just Ukrainians to meet and discuss their experiences but also to allow the hosts to meet each other. Thank you to Bedford Academy for arranging this.

A number of churches and other organisations have been arranging coffee mornings and excursions for our guests – again I would like to thank them too.

We are also looking at how we can mark the Independence Day of Ukraine on 24 August, commemorating the Declaration of Independence in 1991. We will certainly be flying the Ukrainian flag and hope to hold an event for our guests.

We are now asking for your help again.

Do you have any unused bikes you could donate for our Ukrainian guests?

We are looking for bikes, of all sizes and in particular ladies’ bikes, to help our guests travel to work or school and also to discover Bedford Borough.

If you have a bike at home, or at the back of your garage, that could do with a new home, please consider donating it.

If you have a bike you are no longer using and it is in reasonable condition, you can drop it off at one of our two collection points:

  • Thursday 4 August, 10am to 4pm at Priory Marina (near Beefeater) on Barkers Lane, Bedford, MK41 9DJ
  • Wednesday 24 August, 10am to 4pm at Kempston Pool Car Park, Hillgrounds Road, Kempston MK42 8SZ

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson. It is published unedited and
does not reflect the views of the Bedford Independent.

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