Young victims of the war in Ukraine write letter thanking Leamington residents for town's aid campaign

Ukrainian children and teenagers have enjoyed summer camps this summer thanks to a £3,000 donation made as part of the ongoing campaign lead by the Leaminton Polish Centre

Teenage victims of the war in Ukraine have written a letter to Leamington residents thanking them for the ongoing support the town has given to them.

The teenagers and other youngsters have enjoyed summer camps this summer thanks to a £3,000 donation made by LKQ Euro Car Parts as part of the ongoing campaign, which is being lead by the Polish Centre in Leamington.

Swimming pools, trampolines and sports equipment were also donated and sent.

The children in Lubar gather together showing the donations received from The Polish Centre. Picture supplied.

The summer camps took place in Shepitivka and Lubar and were run by The Sisters of St Joseph.

The camps supported the wellbeing of children and their families, overwhelmed by the situation in their home country.

More than 130 children had the opportunity to meet friends, and relax together away from the rigours of the war.

In the letter the children wrote: “Dear friends from Leamington Spa, we are grateful for all your bighearted help and financial support.

Everyone gathers together outside the church in Shepitivka with a thank you gift for Father Tomas. Picture submitted.

"We are now spending couple of days on a local summer camp for children – playing and praying together.

"It is so good to have few days of fun, distraction from our new reality – the war.’’

There were three events organised for different age groups, ranging from a weekly camp for children aged from five to 12 where the youngsters played together and joined a worldwide prayer for peace in Ukraine.

There was also a weekly retreat for those aged from 12 to 14 for them to reflect, calm their minds, but also have some fun, play water games, dance and play sports.

The three teeangers from Shepitivka who wrote the letter of appreciation. Picture supplied.

The group of over-15s gathered for a three-day retreat focusing around discussions, conferences and common prayers.

Many of them engaged in organising events and overlooking a safe playtime for the youngest members of the community.

The Polish Centre has been at the heart of providing essential relief to the victims of the Ukrainian War since the Russian invasion in February this year.

From the beginning of the war the centre has sent more than 168 tons of relief including medical aid, toiletries, blankets, toys for the children and food.

The sight of a Ukrainian boy Ignat, who’s eyes were damaged by shrapnel, was restored by a £400 operation paid for by donations.

More recently two ambulances were purchased and driven over to replace the 53 year old ambulances currently serving war torn hospitals in Ukraine.

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The centre has said: “One of the less obvious casualties of war is the impact on children’s lives, not just loss of family or friends, but the loss of freedom to meet with friends and have a break from the daily horrors of war life.

"There are many negative results of constant stress and tension.

"The children of Ukraine live in a constant state of uncertainty from the very first day of war.

"Being able to spend some quality time with friends and simply play, as all children should, is something they very much need.”

To find out more about the campaign find The Polish Centre Royal Leamington Spa on Facebook or visit https://bit.ly/39cVI63