Sunderland pupils show their support for the people of Ukraine after Russian invasion
Staff and students at Monkwearmouth Academy have been hosting a United with Ukraine Day to show their support and to raise money for people fleeing the war-torn country.
Ukrainian flags with messages of support were displayed around the school while students made a donation to dress in non-uniform colours of yellow and blue.
At break and lunchtimes students ran their own tuck shop, cake bake and hot chocolate stalls to raise extra money.
In addition to the school’s target of raising over £1,000, pupils, staff and members of the local community have also been donating toiletries and non perishable goods which will be taken by the Red Cross to help refugee families fleeing the invasion of Russian forces.
Assistant headteacher Iain Buddle said: “We’ve never known a war like this on our own continent in the lifetime of staff and pupils and it has really captured the attention of our students who, like us all, are shocked by what’s happening.
"The Ukraine border is only a 22 hour journey by car from here and many of our children have been on holiday to countries which aren’t that far away. As well as raising money to support the Red Cross buy vital supplies for refugee families, today is also about showing we are united with the people of Ukraine.”
Students held up pieces of yellow and blue card to create a giant image of a broken heart to show “our hearts are breaking at what is happening there”.
The day was organised by the School Council who felt compelled to act after seeing the invasion unfold on TV.
Council member Lucy Shields, 15, said: “It’s terrifying to see what is happening to Ukraine. Russia is such a powerful country and it does make you think what will happen next? It’s scary for the whole of Europe – we thought war was a thing of the past.”
Fellow Council member Safi Toure, 15, had been running a face painting stall to raise extra funds.
She said: “Seeing fleeing families taking refuge in warehouses and schools is terrible and we just want to do what we can to help. The war is just so unfair and there have been so many civilians affected.
"Surely Putin could find a more peaceful way to resolve this without hurting innocent people.”