COLCHESTER residents have rallied to help the people of Ukraine as their lives are thrown further into peril each day due to the Russian invasion.

Across the nation, more than £100 million has been raised to provide aid for the country in crisis in what has been described as an “amazing show of support” from the UK public.

And the sentiment has been echoed in north Essex, as residents do their bit to support those in need.

Footage of the heart-wrenching scenes coming out of Ukraine inspired Anna Blewett to do what she could to help, as she opened up her house for people to enjoy a delicious bite to eat.

Raising £926 in total for her efforts, Anna decided to host a coffee and bake sale at her home in Longcroft Road, Colchester.

Gazette: Frida Blewett, 7Frida Blewett, 7

She said: “It’s beyond depressing witnessing what’s going on, I’ve felt a sense of helplessness and a real rollercoaster in terms of emotions.

“You see the incredible scenes of resistance and then you see what they are up against and a feeling of complete bleakness just takes over.

“It’s been emotionally difficult to watch, I’ve felt a sense of guilt to be someone who’s living a comfortable life not in the firing line.

“What really galvanised me is footage of women who had such a sense of action and others who were being so strong and active; it made me feel it was important we all took action.”

Undeterred by the rain, David Dawes, Simon Aldridge and Terry Crouch, also known as Those Colchester Buskers, decided they wanted to play their part in a slightly more musical fashion.

The musicians donned their guitars and played in Culver Square as crowds gathered to take in the poignant scene which raised more than £1,200 to support Ukrainians.

Gazette: David, Simon and TerryDavid, Simon and Terry

David, who has been busking in Colchester for about seven years, said: “It has been all over the news and I think what touched me was being able to help while doing something I love.

“My wife and I were horrified watching all these poor Ukrainians hidden under tunnels with their dogs and children running out of food and with nowhere to go.

“When I suggested to the boys we should try and raise some money they said it was an absolutely fantastic idea.

“We thought we’d be lucky in the bad weather to make £200 to £300 but it was mindblowing to see how much we ended up with. It goes to show how generous the people of Colchester are.”

Children from Colchester’s Camulos Academy also played their part when they took part in a 5k walk on Sunday.

Gazette: Camulos AcademyCamulos Academy

The big-hearted youngsters and their families laced their walking boots, with more than 40 people giving up their day to raise £2,140 for the Save the Children’s Ukraine appeal.

The children were rewarded with a chocolate medal for their efforts, but the smile on their faces was more because they had smashed their fundraising target of £2,000.

The school’s headteacher Lisa Frith-Sly said: “Mabel - our school dog - and I had a wonderful time on the walk.

“The Camulos Community is strong. It is powerful for pupils to feel they can make a positive difference, and this is very much part of our school ethos.”

Pupil Harrison Gibb added: “It was really fun and everyone enjoyed it. I found it moving we knew we were doing it for children who are in danger in their own country.”