Manchester is showing its solidarity with the people of Ukraine by celebrating their Independence Day with a host of events – as well as lighting up buildings in the city centre.

24 August 2022 marks 31 years since Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union and six months since the country was invaded by Russia.

To mark the occasion, Manchester City Council is supporting the Ukrainian Cultural Centre’s vibrant family fun day on Wednesday 24 August from 12.30pm to 9pm.

Attendees will be able to immerse themselves in Ukrainian culture and sample Ukrainian food and dance to traditional Ukrainian music. There will also be lots of entertainment for children and young people, such as a bubble man and a special visit from the children’s entertainer, Louby Lou. The Independence Day festivities will educate residents and revellers on the history and culture of Ukraine, as well as demonstrate Manchester’s solidarity with the international Ukrainian community.

The family fun day event is part of the Council wide ‘2022 Our Year’ initiative. ‘2022 Our Year’ is a yearlong campaign that aims to amplify the voices of children and young people across the city and give them opportunities they missed out on due to the pandemic. Manchester City Council have been hosting events throughout the year, with young people in mind, to help them reach their goals and have fun.

In addition to the family fundday, Manchester City Council will light up Central Library and the 40m Tower of Light landmark in yellow and blue – the colors of the Ukranian flag – to show the city’s solidarity with the country.

In tandem with this, for those wanting to support the Manchester Ukrainian community the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund is open and has been accepting donations since March. With £68,000 raised to date, the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund has the goal of funding charities and voluntary sector groups, providing assistance – such as small grants for essential items, and advice – to families and individuals relocating to the city. To donate to the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/MCRUkraineWelcome

People from across the country will be showing their solidarity with Ukraine through the #SunflowersForUkraine social campaign. With the sunflower being the national flower for Ukraine, the nation-wide campaign aims to encourage the public to show their solidarity with Ukraine through growing, crafting and sharing pictures of sunflowers for Ukrainian Independence Day.

Councilor Joanna Midgley Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“Manchester stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian community, and our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones in the war and those still living through the conflict. Manchester has a large Ukrainian community, and the city is proud to stand with them.

“Over the last six months, we have shown our continued solidarity with our Ukrainian friends by opening the MCR Ukraine Welcome Fund, hosting the #stopwar concert in March and many of our residents have generously welcomed Ukrainian refugees into their homes. Now, with Ukrainian Independence Day this month we will continue to stand by and celebrate the community.

“Whether you donate to the fund, share a picture of a sunflower or attend the community event, I’d encourage all residents to celebrate Ukrainian Independence Day and support the community.”

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