Ukrainian refugees helped by Rossendale residents 

Published February 28, 2023 at 13:33

a block of flats destroyed by bombing in Ukraine

It has now been a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Rossendale residents have supported 84 people from Ukraine to settle into the Valley.  

All have stayed with local host families who have opened up their homes and helped them to acclimatise to this country. Many have now found jobs and even moved into their own homes.  

Local volunteers with links to Ukraine quickly established a support group that still meets every Tuesday, at Kay Street Baptist Church from 4pm-6pm in Rawtenstall.  

The group offers advice, information about jobs, benefits, schools, etc., as well as possibly more importantly, friendship to all Ukrainian guests and their hosts.  

a large group of people sat around tables talking at aUkrainian support group

As well as organising an event to commemorate Ukraine’s Independence Day in August, Kay Street’s congregation have also organised day trips out and arranged collections of clothing for children, adults and soldiers. A couple of volunteers are also co-ordinating deliveries to Ukraine every two weeks.  

There is also a project to make candles, which serve as hand warmers, that have become essential to Ukraine’s residents and their armed forces, sheltering without electricity or heating. 

A local volunteer who was born in Manchester to Ukrainian parents and has lived in Rossendale for 39 years, set up the support group said: “We would like to thank all of the individuals and organisations that have made a huge difference to the lives of Ukrainians who have been welcomed into Rossendale. Many of our guests have had their homes destroyed or have had to move away to avoid the daily shelling in their neighbourhoods.  

“We hadn’t expected to still be asking for people to open their homes to Ukrainian families, or to be asking for help with longer-term rental properties, after a year. However, we are hoping that local people can continue to be as generous as they have been, so far.  

“Our Ukrainian families have quickly settled in and, with the support they have received, many are now working and are settling into their own homes in the Valley, as well as elsewhere in the UK. On behalf of all the Ukrainian families I want to say a huge thank you to Rossendale.” 


Support has come from Rossendale Borough Council, as well as churches, businesses, volunteers and community organisations from across the borough plus Lancashire County Council all working together.    

With the conflict now a year old, host sponsors and private landlords are still being sought to aid the Ukrainian families as they take their steps to independent living.  

Those who can offer to host a family in their own home can register under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and will receive financial support of £350 a month to help with any extra costs. 

For more information on hosting, offering a home to rent for our existing families, or donating items, please contact the communities’ team at 

photo caption: 

The picture of the bombed-out apartments and shops is in Borodyanka, near Kyiv. This was the home and business of a Ukrainian woman, who now lives in Rossendale.

Kay Street Baptist Church support group

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