BEARR Newsletter, August 2022
31 August 2022
Dear friends and colleagues,
We hope you’re having a lovely summer. In this issue of our newsletter, we bring you an update 0n our Emergency Ukraine Appeal and share our heartfelt thanks to all those who have so generously organised fundraisers on our behalf. And in case you missed our eye-opening talk with trauma surgeon David Nott back in June, you can now find a recording and report of his discussion with Bridget Kendall over on our website.
Additionally, we share news of a volunteer Ukrainian-Russian Language Service working to support Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the UK, two project reports from recipients of our Small Grants Scheme, and the usual news from the region. We hope you enjoy it!
With warm wishes,
The BEARR Trust
BEARR News & Events
The BEARR Trust’s Emergency Ukraine Appeal: Six Months On
Last week, on 24 August, Ukraine marked it’s Independence Day, which coincided with the six month anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country. For over 180 days, BEARR has been raising money to support its partners in Ukraine and Moldova, who have been working tirelessly to provide support and care for those impacted by the war. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have now sent more than £236,000 to over 40 local organisations providing food, medicine, clothing, trauma support and therapy for those most in need.
Since the launch of our appeal, we have been stunned by the response of those working on the ground. Alongside our partners who had received grants from BEARR in the past, we have also been introduced to a number of organisations that had not previously been involved in humanitarian assistance, but have mobilised their organisational reach and resources to transport medical supplies into hard-to-reach regions or provide food and shelter to those displaced from their homes. You can find out more about our partners and how they use our funds in a recent article by our trustee, Janet Gunn, here.
One organisation in northern Ukraine recently asked us for funds not only to support their work providing psychological care for children with disabilities, but also to stock up on electric blankets to deliver to their beneficiaries in the winter. They told us:
“[From] November 15, according to the information provided by the region’s authorities, the temperature in houses will only reach up to 16 degrees. Many families with children in our region are temporarily displaced persons and have been resettled in homes that are currently not connected to the central heating system.”
Another report from one of our partners in central Ukraine, who have been assessing the needs of largely isolated villages in the region, highlighted the ongoing need for fresh fruit and vegetables, which will only become more acute as the cooler weather sets in.
“Humanitarian aid does not always meet the minimum needs of one or another family. Food kits from humanitarian and volunteer headquarters are aimed at adults, contain long-term storage products, and do not contain fresh vegetables and fruits. Funds are spent on baby food because a large number of women who gave birth during hostilities lost lactation.”
With the summer coming to an end, and as we begin to plan our response for the winter, we ask that you please consider continuing to support and share our appeal where you can. We will continue to fund our partners’ vital work for as long as we have the resources to do so. As one of our partners recently wrote to us,
“Once again I want to thank you for your help and support! Thanks to you, we keep working!”
It is with this sentiment that we kindly ask you to donate to our campaign page here: cafdonate.cafonline.org/19892. All funds donated will be passed on to our partners in Ukraine and Moldova as quickly as possible. BEARR is paying for any administrative costs and money transfer fees itself.
Fundraisers in Aid of BEARR’s Appeal
We are incredibly grateful to all who have donated to our Emergency Appeal, and in this newsletter we would like to give special thanks to those who have recently hosted fundraising events on our behalf.
In July, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a donation and package of cards from the Pencaitland Brownies in Scotland, who held a bake and craft sale in aid of three organisations working to support the relief effort in Ukraine. The brownies worked incredibly hard to organise, advertise, and run a hugely successful sale, which saw them raise over £1000 for their chosen charities. We are honoured to have been selected as one of the recipients of their fundraising efforts, and would like to thank all at the Pencaitland Brownies involved in the event.
And last week, we were contacted by Berwick Church in Sussex, famed for its mural paintings by Duncan Grant and Virginia Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell. Folk and sea shanty group 4-in-a-Bar performed in their Concert for Ukraine, with all proceeds donated to our appeal. We were delighted to hear they raised over £700, and we pass on our heartfelt thanks all those who organised and attended the concert.
We would also like to remind you of the art sale organised by St Albans resident Ray Postill, who has committed to selling over 250 of his paintings to raise money for our appeal. You can find out more about Ray’s work and his decision to fundraise for BEARR here.
We would be delighted to hear of any other events organised by our supporters, and if you would like to set up a fundraiser in aid of our campaign, please do let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BEARR Trust and David Nott Foundation Report
On 27 June, we were delighted to be joined by trauma surgeon David Nott, who spoke with BEARR patron and award-winning journalist, Bridget Kendall, to discuss his work providing emergency surgical care and training local doctors in Ukraine. If you missed the event, you can now read the report by BEARR trustee Ross Gill on our website here, and watch a full recording of the talk here.
Supporting Ukrainian Refugees in the UK
This summer, two of our trustees attended the University of Cambridge’s Ukrainian language school, where they were introduced to an organisation supporting Ukrainian refugees here in the UK.
Mosty-Movy is an online community of over 100 Russian and Ukrainian speakers who make themselves available to provide language support to Ukrainian guests and their hosts as well as local government and charities. Through their website, they collect requests for translations and interpretation and offer over-the-phone and face-to-face conversation support for Ukrainian guests and job centres, citizens advice and schools.
To find out more about Mosty-Movy’s work, please find a full description of their work, as well as their contact details if you would like to get involved, over on our website here.
People Plus, Belarus
People Plus received a grant last year for their project to reduce the social isolation of elderly people living with HIV. Alongside receiving medical care and advice, the project’s beneficiaries attended weekly computer classes, where they were introduced to social networks and online counselling. Read the full report on our website here.
In 2022, for the first time, The BEARR Trust offered a few Small Grants to CSO’s to help them improve the resilience, wellbeing and skills of their staff and volunteers, with a view to avoiding burn-out. The first report of such a project has come from KEDEM in Moldova. Find the full report here.
News from the region
- Russian teenagers with disabilities gain much from theatre camp
- Donations via Russian internet platforms grew 150% last year
- Joint mission to western Ukraine assesses critical polio outbreak response
- Russia: free IT courses for people who are disabled or unemployed
- Calls double to Russian psychological helpline
- Free vaccinations for Ukrainian refugees in Moldova
- Russia refuses to pay compensation awarded by ECHR to Russians
- Kyrgyzstan: concerns about violence against women
- Russia: development and sustainability of charity work
- Duma approves legislation to regulate foreign agents
- Foreign agents law explained
- Ukraine: Public Health Situation Analysis July 2022
- Development of a food sharing programme in Russia
- Conversations with Ukrainians at a shelter for women in Lviv
- Russia: initiative on jailed victims of domestic violence
- UK lures Central Asian labour migrants