Whickham School’s Response to the war in Ukraine

There is a groundswell of opinion within the school community, from both students and staff, that we can’t sit back and do nothing. The daily news updates and images coming from Ukraine are profoundly affecting and often contribute to a sense of helplessness. There is a desire from within the school community to help: to raise money and to show solidarity and support.

Whickham’s response is two-fold:

  1. Fundraising and showing solidarity and support;
  2. Education and information

 

Donating cash to charities on the ground is the best way to help those caught up in the crisis. Unicef chief says sending money, not goods, is the most efficient and effective way to distribute emergency aid:

“We understand that it’s tempting for people to want to make donations that seem more personal to them: raiding their cupboards for items they can imagine being helpful,” he said. “But time is of the essence in Ukraine and we can get money transferred from our bank to a local bank in Ukraine within moments.”

It is tempting to go down the route of collecting goods, but without devaluing efforts elsewhere, there are issues with this. Often the cost of transport is more than the goods themselves, plus there’s the carbon footprint of driving goods 1,500 miles when they could be bought in a shop in Poland, Moldova or Romania. There are also significant time delays; it can take months for goods to be transferred between countries when help is needed now. But most importantly, a question of dignity. Charity donation is a dignified way of giving people support, letting people know we trust them, giving people freedom and power when they have none.

There are several charities on the ground in Ukraine. We have chosen:

Disasters Emergency Committee – Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Sixth Form students are also keen that Whickham School’s appeal goes into the local community and they will be handing out flyers and posters to raise awareness and encourage further donations.

 

If you would like to donate, please visit our JustGiving page and pledge whatever you can afford:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/whickhamschool-ukraine 

 

Other fundraising ideas generated by the sixth-form task-force include local supermarket bag-packs, non-uniform / Ukrainian colours day, bake-sales, selling ribbons/badges, car washes. 

Through assemblies and PSHCE, we are giving detailed information about the history of the region, the origins of the conflict and the consequences for the people of Ukraine. 

We will also discuss how media and social media can influence opinion and reinforce how we can get reliable, trustworthy information rather than fake news.