How you can help people fleeing war in Ukraine and coming to Manchester by supporting new charity appeal

The fund-raising effort to support people who have been evacuated from the war has been set up by the council and We Love Manchester.

A new charity appeal to support Ukrainian people who are arriving in Manchester after being forced to flee their homes due to the Russian invasion of their country has been launched.

The MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund, which will fund charities and volunteer support groups helping those relocating to the city, was unveiled on Thursday (24 March).

It is being run by the We Love Manchester charity in partnership with Manchester City Council.

Here is your guide to what the fund-raising effort will be doing and how you can get involved and donate.

What is the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund?

The council and the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s charity have teamed up to create the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund, with the local authority making a donation of £50,000 to get the ball rolling.

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The money will go towards supporting those who have had to leave their homes behind due to the war in Ukraine and who will consequently be settling in Manchester.

The fund will allocate money to charities and grassroots and voluntary groups providing support such as small grants for essential items and advice for families and individuals who have escaped from the war.

The aftermath of a destroyed shopping centre in Kyiv, which was hit by a Russian strike on 20 March. (Credit: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

The fund has already identified Caritas (Salford Diocese) and Europia as charity partners with considerable experience of supporting people arriving in the city with next to nothing and further partners are being brought in.

Manchester City will be promoting the campaign on men’s and women’s matchdays at both the Etihad Stadium and Academy Stadium.

The council is also working with other services to co-ordinate planning for the arrival of Ukrainian refugees under Government schemes including the recently-launched Homes for Ukraine programmes which enables UK residents to host evacuees from the Eastern European country.

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The 40m Tower of Light landmark near Manchester Central Convention Centre, part of the city’s Civic Quarter Heat Network, will also be illuminated blue and yellow – the colours of the Ukrainian flag – to mark the launch of the fund.

How do I donate?

Anyone wanting to support the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund can do so by going online and donating to the JustGiving page that has been set up for it.

The page has a fund-raising target of £100,000 on it.

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What has been said about the launch of the fund?

Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig said: “No one watching the horrific scenes unfolding in Ukraine following the Russian invasion can fail to be moved by the plight of the Ukrainian people.

“Manchester stands in solidarity with them and we are ready to play our part, together with towns and cities across Europe, in welcoming evacuees escaping the conflict and the humanitarian disaster it is creating.

Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig

“While some people will even be opening their homes to arriving Ukrainians, we know not everyone is in a position to do that.

“But by donating to this fund you can show you care by helping to provide practical help and support right here in Manchester to those escaping danger and starting to rebuild their lives.”

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The council’s chief executive, Joanne Roney OBE, said: “I’m glad the council has been able to make the first donation.

“We know that Mancunians have big hearts and a proud tradition of hospitality and compassion. They will doubtless be generous in helping to welcome Ukrainian families to our city.”