News Walthamstow

Walthamstow school raises thousands for Ukraine

Like many Ukrainians in Waltham Forest, Stoneydown parent Ihor said he is struggling to carry on as normal
By Victoria Munro

The bake sale at Stoneydown Park School in Walthamstow (credit: Alastair Fyfe Photography)
The bake sale at Stoneydown Park School in Walthamstow (credit: Alastair Fyfe Photography)

A bake sale for Ukraine at a Walthamstow school has raised thousands to help those suffering under the Russian invasion.

Ihor “Kris” Burgy and his partner Hannah raised £3,255 with the help of the Stoneydown Park School community for the Red Cross and other charities.

Ihor, who is originally from Ukraine, said the fundraiser earlier this month went “incredibly well”, adding: “No one expected to raise that much.”

However, while the response is heartening, like many of the more than 1,000 Ukrainians in Waltham Forest, he is struggling to carry on as normal while worrying for family back home.

Kris (right) with his parents in Ukraine (courtesy of family)

He told the Echo: “Everyone is there, my mum and dad, my sister and my aunts and uncles. They are now in the west of the country, where it’s relatively safe, but I do not know what the situation will be like tomorrow. It’s unpredictable and therefore worrying, to say the least.

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“My uncle’s family was in Kyiv and one of my cousins just had a baby three months ago. Just to have a little baby is hard enough but I can’t imagine having one in a warzone and having to stay in a bomb shelter in a basement. 

“I couldn’t predict [how Walthamstow would respond], I still sometimes find myself emotional about it. People reach out to me that are almost strangers, including clients from years ago, it’s incredible. 

“At the same time, it’s very difficult to maintain my sanity. None of that crisis is here so it’s very unsettling because I have to be civilised, go to work and be a father. I feel it’s my duty to do more, even to be there in Ukraine, but I know I also have a duty to my family here.”

Ihor is keen to offer his van to pick up and drop-off donations around the borough and also to personally house any Russians trying to flee Putin’s regime. Contact him on [email protected].

Let us know about your local volunteering efforts to help Ukraine for a special story in our next edition by emailing [email protected].

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