Ukraine: Update on local fundraising and events by Maytech, The Forum, Pushkin Antiques and the Sewing Crow-Bees

The team from Corker Outdoor, Award sponsor Jason Varney (Thomson, Snell & Passmore) & Eamonn Holmes

Body Armour for Ukraine

Tunbridge Wells-based file-sharing and data security services company Maytech is raising money to send body armour to Lviv in western Ukraine, where some of the company employees are based.

“It is an incredible, vibrant city with amazing people who John is proud to call his friends and colleagues,” said company Directors John and Clare Lynch, on their JustGiving page.

“Our wonderful friends are currently providing humanitarian aid to those who have flocked to the region,” they said.

“In addition, many people in the area are preparing to fight and we have been told the greatest need is military grade protective equipment.”

The company set out to raise £50,000 to buy Grade IV body armour, with one vest costing approximately £550.

Maytech also sourced a supplier and organised passage through the Polish border.

The fundraiser reached its target in three days, and donations have continued coming in even after the first 150 body armour vests were despatched to Ukraine on Monday March 7.


Boogie Nights fundraiser at The Forum for RefugEase

Boogie Nights for Ukraine has been organised for this Friday (March 25)

The Forum has handed over its upcoming ‘Boogie Nights’ event on March 25 as a fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees, benefitting the Rusthall-based charity RefugEase.

All net proceeds will support Ukrainians who have fled their country due to the war that started on February 24 – 95 per cent of whom are women and children.

RefugEase founder Valentina Osborn said: “We are supporting displaced Ukrainians with emergency supplies as they arrive across the borders, and we are incredibly grateful for our community’s generous financial donations that have enabled us to purchase the supplies that are really needed at this desperate time.

“We know there will be more and more Ukrainians crossing the borders in the coming weeks who will need our support.

“We are very grateful to the team at Boogie Nights and The Forum for hosting ‘A Night for Ukraine’ on March 25 to raise funds for RefugEase.

“Every person who buys a ticket or donates on the night will help to raise critical funds so we can be there for those in need.”

Boogie Nights DJs Richard ‘Scanty Sandwich’ Marshall and Markus Holler are giving their time free of charge, as are guest DJs Mr Brico and Louis Gillespie, and all net proceeds will support Ukrainian refugees.

This is not the first charitable cause helped by Boogie Nights, which was founded in 2015, and has previously raised funds for Syrian refugees, Hospice in the Weald and Nourish Community Foodbank, as well as offering help in kind by mentoring displaced, unaccompanied asylum seekers interested in DJ-ing.

Jason Dormon, Director at The Forum, said: “We are really proud to host this event at The Forum to support the Ukrainian refugees.

“We have supported RefugEase from the day they set up the charity and hosted Valentina’s first Facebook donation event in 2015, which went viral and collected four double-decker buses of donations.

“We are dedicated to helping bring together our community for events like this, which can make a real difference to people in need.”

Tickets £10 (plus £2 booking fee), with the ability to name an additional donation, available from:


Antiques auction to help fleeing Ukrainian refugees

FUNDRAISING: Alexander Pushkin and wife Olga have organised an auction for April 2

Alexander Pushkin from Pushkin Antiques has announced a fundraising auction on April 2 to help the fleeing refugees.

He explained the event in his antiques column in this week’s Times of Tunbridge Wells:

“You might have seen in last week’s post [on Facebook] a simple yet symbolic image of a burning candle representing solidarity towards the victims of the war in Ukraine.

“Since the conflict began we have been lost for words with regards to the ongoing events currently taking place in Ukraine.

“With a weekly column we just couldn’t bring ourselves to write the habitual post about a topic relating to antiques.

“Instead, we wished to take a moment of silence and reflect on the lives lost. In response to the crisis, within 24 hours we launched a website with a list of vetted charities to make donating easier.

“In light of this, we have also decided to host a fundraising auction on 2 April to help the fleeing Ukrainian refugees.

“We will personally donate 10 lots, which will include a vintage James Bond poster, a stylish cocktail shaker and a few other novelty items.

“Our friend Joseph Trinder, an auctioneer at Gorringes Auctions, will auction the items on our behalf for this important cause.

“We have also invited Paul Fowler for your entertainment pleasure – a leading magician in the UK and a member of the Magic Circle.

“We will be serving a fine selection of cocktails and canapés provided for you by our friends and neighbours at Lago restaurant.

“The event will be hosted on Saturday 2 April from 6pm until 9pm. Entry is free of charge, however we do ask that all those attending make a donation and/or bid generously at the auction.

“We look forward to seeing you!”

The Pushkin Antiques Team


Sewing ‘bees’ sow Ukrainian sunflowers in Crowborough

Sunflowers and Ukrainian flag colours have brightened Crowborough High Street in recent days, raising funds for UNICEF’s Ukraine appeal.

The Sewing Crow-Bees have put up a selection of their crafted knick-knacks on a new blue and yellow flag-coloured board outside Zest Contemporary Gifts, in exchange for donations.

Each item is in a bag with a QR code to donate directly, but people can also make their donations at Zest, WE Cro & Sons and Guest’s Shoe Services in the High Street, or through the Sewing Crow-Bees’ fundraising page.

Sewing Crow-Bees launched in 2020 to start making scrubs and non-medical masks, as well as raising money for Friends of Crowborough Hospital. They are also known to provide knitted postbox toppers.

“They have been terrific in the past,” commented Roger Bishop, of the Crowborough Community Association, which runs the village’s community centre.

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