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Vigil to mark Ukraine invasion anniversary

21 February 2023

A poignant vigil to mark the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine will be held in Peterborough city centre this week and all are welcome.

The event will take place in Cathedral Square on Friday 24 February at 5pm and feature prayers from The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, the Dean of Peterborough Cathedral and Ukrainian Priest Reverend Bohdan Bilunyk.

Trees along Bridge Street will be specially lit up in blue and yellow for the occasion and guests are invited to light candles in thought of all those who have been affected by the conflict.

The vigil will be preceded by a procession from Peterborough Town Hall to Cathedral Square with a 25m flag. Afterwards a short reception will be held in the Town Hall Reception room from 5.30 - 6.30pm with stands from charities that support refugees and light refreshments.

The event is being run with support from the Ukrainian community, Peterborough Cathedral and the charity H.E.L.P.

A national minute's silence will also be held on Friday 24 February at 11am, and is a chance for everyone to recognise the struggles of Ukrainian forces and residents, and remember those lost in the conflict.

Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Alan Dowson, said: "The invasion of Ukraine has shocked and saddened many people all over the world. We feel it's only right to come together and show solidarity for the people affected one year on, so if you can spare the time, please come along and be part of this poignant event.”

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "Peterborough is a proud multicultural city and we welcome the opportunity to join together and show our support for everyone affected by the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

"We would also like to remind people that there are several ways you can support the Ukraine crisis appeal. Please visit our website for more details.”

Since March 2022 a group of individuals and organisations from Peterborough have been working with Ukrainian refugees in Gliwice, southern Poland to help Ukrainian communities in Poland and Ukraine. On 15 March, the group will set off on its eighth trip to Poland, driving out in three vans with food, warm clothes and medical supplies.

Members of the public are invited to make donations to the group, with collection points based at the following locations:

  • The Granary Cafe, Stamford Road, Helpston Heath
  • St Botolph's Church, Thorpe Road, Peterborough
  • The Bluebell pub Helpston
  • Princebuild in Empson Road, Peterborough.

You can also watch videos from the group's previous trips here and find out more about their work and how to donate here.