A fundraising event has been arranged for tomorrow as residents on a housing estate look to play their part in supporting war-stricken Ukrainians.

Lizzi Hollis, who is 31 and lives on the Kingswood Heath housing estate in Myland, Colchester, has organised a table top sale, raffle, and refreshments to raise money for the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

She was worked alongside other residents on the estate – Natalie Summerson, Nathan Gladman, Tim Hayward and Sarah Hayward – to set up the event which will begin at 10am at the housing estate’s war memorial.

Ms Hollis said she had initially felt powerless watching on as Ukrainians suffered in the aftermath of the Russian invasion and decided she had to do something to help them.

She said: “I was just feeling really heartbroken with the situation as I did when everything was going on in Afghanistan last year.

Read more:

• Work begins on Colchester Northern Gateway Leisure Park

• Crusaders to help Colchester cancer patient

• Tendring Primary School set to expand to take on more pupils

“But I felt I had more of an opportunity to do something about this situation because there are fewer restrictions in place than there were last year.

“I noticed on our estate Facebook group what an amazing community we have, and I thought ‘Why don’t we bring everyone together so everyone can feel like they’ve done something to make a difference?’”

As head of major gifts and communications with Richard House Children’s Hospice, fundraising and events are very much Ms Hollis’s speciality, but key to the fundraiser this weekend will be uniting the community in support of Ukraine.

Gazette: Bombed - damaged vehicles and buildings in KharkivBombed - damaged vehicles and buildings in Kharkiv

Some extraordinary efforts have already been put in by volunteers around Colchester, such as a retired fireman driving a lorry full of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as well as an army veteran putting his own money into buying ambulances to take across the continent.

But for those who are unable to put in the time or effort of a similar magnitude, fundraising events are the next best way for people to make a difference.

More than £1,000 has already been raised from donations for tomorrow’s event.
“It’s been a quick turnaround,” Ms Hollis said.

Gazette: Ukrainian firefighters work by a destroyed apartment building in Kharkiv, UkraineUkrainian firefighters work by a destroyed apartment building in Kharkiv, Ukraine

“My one concern is that the weather will be awful – but at the moment it’s looking like it’s going to be nice.”

Donations to the fundraiser can be made via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kingswoodheathhelpukraine.