Millions more smiles! Mail Force offers extra places on summer camps to Ukrainian children following overwhelming demand from fleeing families
- Mail Force is expanding its £1million summer camp project for Ukrainian children
- We are offering free places on activity weeks to welcome thousands of families
- The camps help children learn English, make friends and give mothers a break
- Do you know a Ukrainian family whose child would like to attend a summer camp? Go to https://www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/
Mail Force is today expanding its £1million scheme to fund summer camps for Ukrainian children in the UK after its phenomenal start.
To offer a warm welcome to the thousands of families who have fled the horrors of the war, we are offering free places on activity weeks.
HOW TO APPLY
Do you know a Ukrainian family whose child would like to attend a summer camp?
Browse any of the providers listed to find camp locations and dates that suit.
Note that all camps are day-visit only, not residential, and transport is not included.
The educational summer camps will help children learn English, make friends and have fun, and give their mothers a break at the same time.
More than 86,000 Ukrainians have fled to Britain since the start of the war – and thanks to the incredible generosity of Mail readers, thousands of places on activity weeks have been filled.
Today the Mail Force charity, set up by the newspaper, is announcing a new partnership with Activate Camps, which has 31 venues across England for children aged five to 14. Tom Swainston, head of camps at Activate Camps, said: ‘We are delighted to be offering funded places to Ukrainian children this summer.
‘We have a variety of sport-specific and multi-activity camps, offering children the opportunity to experience a summer camp in a sport or activity they already love, or try something new.’
He added: ‘Our coaches are fantastic at using body language to provide clear visual demonstrations and instructions, to help all children be comfortable. And kids are amazing at helping each other and those who may not speak English.’
The new company joins Kings Camps, Premier Education, Barracudas, Smile Club in Northern Ireland and St Mary’s Ukrainian School in London, which have all been inundated with inquiries. St Mary’s is now completely booked out.
Mariia Rubtsova and her ten-year-old daughter Yeva, found summer camp at St Mary’s London a welcome distraction from their memories of fleeing their home in Cherkasy, in central Ukraine
For Mariia Rubtsova and her ten-year-old daughter Yeva, summer camp at St Mary’s will be a welcome distraction from their memories of fleeing their home in Cherkasy, in central Ukraine.
As a man of fighting age, Mrs Rubtsova’s 36-year-old husband Oleksandr had to stay behind. Mrs Rubtsova, 33, and their daughter have ended up in the peaceful Yorkshire village of Oughtibridge, just outside Sheffield, where a British family are putting them up.
‘I had to find the best place for Yeva, where she would be safe to go to school and be able to have a normal life,’ Mrs Rubtsova said. ‘I have nine-year-old and 16-yearold nephews in Ukraine and I see how they sit in the basement when there are sirens. It is so difficult.’
The educational summer camps will help children learn English, make friends and have fun, and give their mothers a break at the same time
Mrs Rubtsova – who ran a digital marketing agency in Ukraine – and Yeva have been living with their hosts for two months and have been touched by the kindness of people in the village. ‘I meet so many great people who want to help with Yeva and bring presents for her,’ she said.
The pair have settled into life in Oughtibridge, and Yeva has made new friends at school and improved her English. The little girl has signed up to take part in a week of activities at the Sheffield King’s Camp in August. Mrs Rubtsova hopes Yeva can pursue the hobbies she enjoyed in Ukraine, including swimming and singing.
Mail Force launched its Ukraine Refugees Appeal within days of Russia’s invasion, and it became the fastest newspaper fundraiser in history. Donations flooded in, kickstarted with £500,000 from the Mail’s parent company DMGT at the personal request of Lord and Lady Rothermere.
It’s great! Ellina just loves to play
Seven-year-old Ellina Chekmarova and her mother, Iryna
Twirling and laughing in an English country garden, Ellina and her mother are safe at last from Vladimir Putin’s bombs.
Iryna Chekmarova fled Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, after three horrific nights under bombardment in February.
Mrs Chekmarova and her seven-year-old daughter are staying with a kind-hearted couple in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, but had to leave behind husband Nikolay.
The 35-year-old said: ‘We were awoken by explosions and the sounds of fighter jets. We were very scared and didn’t sleep for three days at all.
‘Most of my friends left Ukraine. I chose the UK, because I learnt English at school.’ A baker in Ukraine, she has now found a job in a local restaurant.
And thanks to Mail Force and the generosity of Mail readers, Ellina is looking forward to attending a summer camp close to her new home.
Mrs Chekmarova said: ‘It will be very good for her. She loves to play.
‘We have a really good and nice family here, Alice and Len. They found us on Facebook and wrote to me. We love this family.
‘We feel support from a lot of British people. But it’s really difficult to be without Nikolay. We are missing him so much.’ She added: ‘Russia separated a lot of Ukrainian families. But now the main thing is that our child is safe.’