Ukrainians living in Huntingdonshire treated to a "full English seaside experience"

Buckden volunteers and Ukrainians living in Huntingdonshire enjoyed a trip to Hunstanton

Buckden volunteers and Ukrainians living in Huntingdonshire enjoyed a trip to Hunstanton - Credit: Buckden Ukrainian Community Support Group

Ukrainian refugees living in Huntingdonshire were treated to a "full English seaside experience" when they were given the opportunity to travel to Hunstanton beach.

Volunteers at the Buckden Ukrainian Community Support Group (BUCS) wanted to do something positive for the Ukrainians, and when Platinum Tours Ltd offered a 51-seater coach trip free of charge, they jumped at the chance to utilise it.

Forty-eight Ukrainian women, children, and three volunteers made their way to Hunstanton beach on July 25 to enjoy a day at an amusement park, go to the arcade and swim in the sea.

BUCS volunteer and trip organiser Lisa Sheehan said: "It was lovely. It was a really good day, and I think it is something that will stay with them forever. I’m happy that we were able to do that for them.”

Ukrainians in Huntingdonshire preparing to get on the coach to Hunstanton beach.

Ukrainians in Huntingdonshire preparing to get on the coach to Hunstanton beach. - Credit: Buckden Ukrainian Community Support Group

"Throughout the day, we saw lots of smiling, laughing, happy Ukrainian children and adults."

Buckden residents helped out and donated beach toys, spades and buckets for the group to build sandcastles, and Nisa Local collected £98 worth of loose change so the children could have fun at the arcade slots.

The library handed out activity sheets for the bus journey along with sun cream donated from the chemist and food and drink from Tesco in what was "a real community effort".

Lisa said: “We felt the Ukrainian people have been through so much turmoil and trauma, we just wanted to give them something to look forward to.

Ukrainian families enjoyed the full seaside experience, which included Mr Whippy ice creams 

Ukrainian families enjoyed the full seaside experience, which included Mr Whippy ice creams - Credit: Buckden Ukrainian Community Support Group

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"This trip to the beach was just a change of scenery and a day of escapism. It was an opportunity for them to create some happy memories."

All the Ukrainian friends and families made the most of the trip, braved swimming in the cold sea, and explored all that Hunstanton had to offer.

The trip culminated with the whole bus in unison singing on the way home to round the day off perfectly.

Lisa added: "We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to this trip. It would not have been possible without the generous help and donations from the following companies and people."

If you would like to provide financial aid to the BUCS group, email Buckden Towers Claret Centre at claret_centre@claret.org.uk. 

Donations will go into the Claretian Missionaries Trust, which stores the groups funding centrally.