On Saturday 18th June, there was a “Welcome to Marlow” event organised by the Marlow Ukraine Collective – a small group of volunteers hosting Ukrainian families in the town.
The aim was to create an event that allowed Ukrainians to meet and form new friendships in the town, and also thank all of the host families and help them to meet new friends in similar situations. In total 260 guests attended, around half of them being Ukrainian.
Longridge hosted the event, and many local businesses offered support to help the organisers feed and entertain the guests.
Chris Horn of the Collective told MyMarlow “We had loads of activities for the kids on the river, music acts, face painting, bouncy castle, dance classes, ice cream van, BBQ, goody bags, raffle prizes etc. The response from the day has been overwhelming and quite emotional, for example many Ukrainian mums said that they haven’t seen their children so happy in months. Host families are absolutely delighted that their guests are making new local friends. “
There was an amazing response when the Collective put out a request for help with the even, and as Chris added: “The list of thank you’s is genuinely too large to list here as it runs into the hundreds as most companies donated goods or raffle prizes, in addition to incredible support from local groups and organisations”
The volunteers who set up the event have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from Ukrainian guests after the event, saying how incredibly generous the people of Marlow are and how excited they are now they have new friends and support in the town.
Thanks to Chris Horn and Ian Branch for the following photos: