Here are some student-led initiatives to support Ukraine in London
Think again if you thought London students can’t do anything to help
Horrific images coming from Ukraine have been all over our social media feeds.
They fill us with anxiety over the thought that as London students, we can’t do much to help other than sending our best hopes and donating money (if possible) to organisations that look legit.
But our fellow London students, specifically those from Ukraine, have been proving that thought wrong with many amazing initiatives on campus that are both creative and practical. The London Tab gathered some of them for you to check out and support:
Volunteering to support Ukrainian refugees
The LSE RAG (Raising & Giving) Society has launched a project to “facilitate volunteering and help Ukrainian refugees at the border” between Ukraine and Poland. They are aiming to send volunteers who speak English, Ukrainian, and Russian as “it became evident that what is needed is not just monetary support.”
The two ways you can support this project are to donate money to the society and apply to be a volunteer on the ground. More information can be found here.
Charity events by Russian students at UCL
Despite the unfounded stigmatisation they might face due to Putin’s war, a group of Russian students at UCL are collaborating with the British Red Cross to hold charity events for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
Their campaign, called “For Peace We Stand Together,” has been raising money through selling handmade tote bags and other merchandise with anti-war symbols, which has already raised £1,745 in donation. They also have a direct donation page that raised £3,500 so far.
General donation drives
Many donation drives have been organised by student societies across London’s campuses, taking items from medical and military equipment to daily necessities like clothes.
One was organised by UCL’s SSEES (School of Slavonic & East European Studies) society for 11 days last month and saw remarkable solidarity from students, involving “1,600+ boxes, four lorries to Ukraine, 70+ student volunteers, and four universities.”
Due to the volume of donations, they are currently asking for students who want to donate to contact them beforehand to arrange a time and date. There have also been restrictions about what can be donated, so make sure to check those out first.
Other donation drives might also be announced by individual societies, so follow them below for the latest updates:
Period products drive
UCL’s LGBT+ and Trans Networks have been hosting a period products drive on campus for both refugees and those still in Ukraine.
Since early March, the networks have gathered “four large boxes/bags” of period products from students, with half of the donations going to the SSEE society drive and the other to the Polish White Eagle Club. The donation boxes are still available at the north and south cloisters on UCL’s campus for those still wanting to contribute.
Keep in mind that these are just a tiny fraction of the opportunities available to support Ukraine as a London student.
You can find a list of non-uni-associated donation sites in London here, and here’s a reliable site to donate money set up by the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• ‘I’m very worried’: London’s Ukrainian students on the crisis back home
• SOAS students evicted from occupation by ‘over 40 private bailiffs’
• UCU ‘called further waves of strike actions’ at 14 London unis in late March