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Church organisation that raised £20,000 in a week to deliver therapy packs to children in Ukraine

by Sophie Drew
Ukraine refugee children.JPG - Banner image

A Christian organisation in Bradford is taking therapy packs to Poland to help Ukrainian refugee children navigate the trauma of the war.  

With the help of local churches, Reach Beyond UK managed to raise £20,000 in one week, allowing them to purchase medical equipment.

Volunteers will be driving vans to Poland, where they will deliver an array of urgently-needed medical supplies, plus 100 therapy packages.

These parcels contain an array of utensils and toys to help children talk about their experiences and describe their emotions. 

The packs have been designed by Sarah Watson, who works in schools across Yorkshire offering psychological support and play therapy to young people. 

Tim O'Brien, who works for Reach Beyond and will be driving one of the vans, told Premier Christian News of Sarah's work.

He said: "She wanted to put her professional skills to good use, by putting together packs of items that really allow the children to process their experiences - and process them in a way that they have time to do so, without being pressured or questioned or anything like that. 

"It includes materials that they can use to express themselves, like paper, and pencils, and so on, but also various toys like little finger puppets that can act out scenes to themselves that will allow them to process those experiences. 

"It also contains a card written in Ukrainian that gives advice to parents or other carers as to how these packs should be used, and how the children can gain from each of the items it contains. 

Despite filling their vans with medical equipment for the physically wounded, the charity is keen to highlight the psychological impact of the war.

"I think it's important to remember in any conflict, casualties come in all shapes and sizes," he continued. "So from our perspective, the emotions suffered by those children needs as much attention, I guess, as the physical harm suffered by others.

"They might well carry the scars of this conflict a long time into the future."

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