Pupils show their support for Ukrainian children

This story was published 17 March 2022

Pupils across North Yorkshire have been showing their support for children and families from Ukraine.

Child adding ribbons in Ukraine colours to a face

Many of the County’s schools are supporting local and national relief efforts by asking families to bring into school items urgently needed by refugees, or finding other ways to show their support for children and their families whose lives have been torn apart by the violence.

Others have been showing support through allowing students to wear Ukraine’s national colours of blue and yellow for a day in school, in return for a donation to appeals such as the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services said: “The response of children, families and schools to the crisis faced by many families fleeing war in Ukraine has been admirable.

“Children often pick up more than we realise and many schools are currently finding themselves answering  questions from children relating to scenes they are seeing on television, conversations they have heard, or from their own interest. Answering these questions whilst trying not to worry or scare children is a difficult path which schools have dealt well with.”

Alverton Community Primary School in Northallerton is giving children the option to dress in either the red colours of Red Nose Day, or yellow and blue on Friday, as well as collecting items needed by those fleeing the invasion. The supplies will be taken to a local depot on 21 March.  

One student, Ellie-May Willoughby, 11, has been personally helping in the relief effort by packing supplies for Ukraine one weekend. She went to the Ukrainian Aid Collection Point at self-storage firm mylockup.com in Thirsk.

St Peter’s Brafferton CE VA Primary School, near Easingwold, responded to a request from their school council to show their support for children in Ukraine, so the school helped them tie yellow ribbons to the school railings. The school has also donated essential items for refugees to a village collection.

Headteacher Sarah Anderson said: “If children have come to us with questions, we have dealt with them. We haven’t frightened them, but we made it a subject they can talk about with us if they wish. The children on the school council wanted to show their support for other school children in Ukraine, so we arranged for them to tie blue and yellow ribbons to the railings in front of the school.

“We also work closely with our local church, which has run sessions where people can go and have a quiet time of reflection and send some positive thoughts to Ukraine if they wish. We have supported this by letting parents know.

“It’s difficult to hear and see the distressing images coming from Ukraine and it’s important for people to have a focal point for their emotions.”