Three Ukrainian students who study at a West Cumbrian school have captured the hearts of their local communities as they work with their peers to collect donations for those in need back in their homeland.

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Ahafiia, Mariia and Diana are boarding students at St Bees School and joined forces with their fellow students to launch an appeal which saw donations coming in from all corners of the county.

After hearing about the atrocities occurring in their homeland and worrying about the safety of their family and friends, the three girls, who are currently in Year 8 and Year 10 at the school, wanted to do all they could to support their country and its people in any way they could.

In collaboration with the School Council and Headmaster, Mr Silk, the Ukraine Appeal was launched to the public, asking for donations of essential items such as warm clothes, toiletries and non-perishable foods.

The response from the community was incredible, with over 25 bags full of donations arriving at the school less than 24 hours after the appeal was launched on social media.

More donations flooded in after the weekend and many attending the school’s Ukraine Vigil in their chapel brought donations along with them.

The girls also created their own Ukraine ribbons so that people could show their support for the country while making a small donation towards relief and humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Mariia was overwhelmed at the response, saying “It was very emotional to see all the donations coming in from the community. We just wanted to help the people of Ukraine since we were so far away from home and felt helpless, but the number of donations has been a lot more than we expected!”

Diana agrees “It’s inspiring! We didn’t expect to reach so many people with a small idea and the local community have been so generous with their donations.”

“We are very proud of the Ukrainian people and we want to inspire more people to help those who are still in the country and who cannot leave. We asked our Headmaster Mr Silk and the School Council for help in putting this appeal together and we couldn’t ask for a better support system”

Ahaffia, Year 8, was thrilled to see so many donations coming in.

“I just want to say thank you to the Cumbrian community on behalf of the three of us – this support will help those most in need”

While the donation appeal now closed, anyone who would still like to support the school’s efforts can donate to their online fundraiser at or drop cash donations in at the school reception.

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