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  • Ali Yenidunya

Knowle Masons' Support to Ukraine Crisis Appeal

On Saturday, 12 November 2022, Knowle Centre for Freemasonry held a significant event supported by the Province of Warwickshire. Honored with the presence of Ken Meeson, the Mayor of Solihull, the multi-national gathering, with a high attendance of local Ukrainians, raised funds for the British Red Cross's Ukraine Appeal.

Following a warm welcome from Andrew Lee, the chairman of the centre, all guests had the opportunity to appreciate every detail of the colorful paintings delivered by the pupils of Springfield House Community Special School and Ukrainian artists as well as the masterpiece of the day, Peace Rose, kindly donated by Dion Ellis-Taylor, a local professional artist. In the company of beautiful Ukrainian folk songs played by Cristinel Bacanu, a renowned violinist, everyone shared their experiences and, most importantly, their hope for a better tomorrow with each other.

Thanks to informative presentations concerning the humanitarian front presented by Chiara Viezzi, a British Red Cross caseworker, and Scott Lucas, professor of international politics, at Clinton Institute of the University College Dublin, all attendees were informed about the most recent developments. This was followed by a further presentation given by two prominent leaders of the local Ukrainian community, Nataliya Rozhin and Olga Meglinskaya, who stressed the need for holidays for Ukrainian children in the UK, community trips, transport for the elderly, materials for their English language classes, storage space, job opportunities and a database comprising of the landlords who are willing to rent out their properties to the Ukrainians. Both leaders also sold a wide range of materials including t-shirts and tote bags to raise funds for the Arts against War initiative that aims at helping Ukrainian students who unfortunately have no means of supporting themselves in the UK.

With the kind participation of Keith Reynolds, deputy chairman of the centre, a raffle was drawn to select the new owners of the paintings. Including a £100-worth cheque from Knowle and & Dorridge Lions, the centre successfully raised over £300. However, this does not include the ongoing fundraising page which is still active. You can donate by clicking HERE.

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