Edinburgh community: Free family event at Union Canal to raise funds for victims of Ukraine floods

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Edinburgh event to help people from Ukraine who were forced to flee their homes

A free community event to raise funds for people forced to leave their homes in Ukraine is taking place on Saturday, July 1, at Polwarth Parish Church, with activities including boat trips on the Union Canal, dumpling making sessions,clothes stamping and live music.

Organised by a group of Scottish and Ukrainian volunteers the event will celebrate Ukrainian history and culture, with the fun-filled afternoon hosting several workshops teaching guests about Ukrainian food and traditional craft making techniques alongside a number of children’s activities, from face painting, an egg and spoon to sack races. Guests will also be able to try Borscht (beetroot soup) and learn to make dumplings by a professional Chef, Maryna Zvarych.

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Originally set out to celebrate Ukraine’s Constitution Day – when the country’s constitution was written into law in 1996 – all proceeds from the free event will now be donated to Rescue Now UA, a Ukrainian charity providing crucially needed psychological and humanitarian support to those affected by the flood in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Prominent Edinburgh-based campaigner, Zhenya Dove said the event will help those affected by the floods in the Kherson region of UkraineProminent Edinburgh-based campaigner, Zhenya Dove said the event will help those affected by the floods in the Kherson region of Ukraine
Prominent Edinburgh-based campaigner, Zhenya Dove said the event will help those affected by the floods in the Kherson region of Ukraine

Co-organiser, Zhenya Dove, who comes from Kherson said people’s ‘hopes are disappearing every day’ after ‘the area was devastated’ earlier in the year. Zhenya said: “Half of the area is under Russian occupation’ and while the Ukrainian controlled area had the help of volunteers rescuing people on boats, the occupied area had no help whatsoever.

“There were reports that Russia is not letting people evacuate unless they had a Russian passport which a lot of people don’t get out of principle so they were pretty much just sent to their deaths. And unlike the Ukrainian controlled territory there are no statistics, no accountability so it’s really sad for that part of the Kherson region.”

The free event is reliant on donations so organisers encourage all those attending to give what they can. Cash is preferred as there will be limited facilities for card payments and people can also make a donation on the group’s justgiving page or the event website.

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Canal Cruise

Zhenya Dove, who comes from Kherson said people’s ‘hopes are disappearing every day’ after ‘the area was devastated’ by floods earlier in the year. All proceeds will be donated to Rescue Now UA, a Ukrainian charity providing humanitarian support to those affected by the floods in southern Ukraine. Photo: Rescue Now UAZhenya Dove, who comes from Kherson said people’s ‘hopes are disappearing every day’ after ‘the area was devastated’ by floods earlier in the year. All proceeds will be donated to Rescue Now UA, a Ukrainian charity providing humanitarian support to those affected by the floods in southern Ukraine. Photo: Rescue Now UA
Zhenya Dove, who comes from Kherson said people’s ‘hopes are disappearing every day’ after ‘the area was devastated’ by floods earlier in the year. All proceeds will be donated to Rescue Now UA, a Ukrainian charity providing humanitarian support to those affected by the floods in southern Ukraine. Photo: Rescue Now UA

Experience Ukrainian culture and traditions while viewing the picturesque sites of Edinburgh on a majestic canal cruise. Running every hour, an additional voyage at 12pm has been added due to popular demand.

Live music lineup

A range of local artists will be performing on Saturday, July 1. MITCH will perform from 1.30pm to 2pm. OLGA will be on stage from 2.15pm, while ALEXANDR’s set starts at 3pm and Iain Trio at 3.50pm.

Varenyky (dumpling) Workshop

Maryna Zvarych, a professional chef who works in one of Tom Kitchin's restaurants, will be on hand to teach guests how to make Varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings)Maryna Zvarych, a professional chef who works in one of Tom Kitchin's restaurants, will be on hand to teach guests how to make Varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings)
Maryna Zvarych, a professional chef who works in one of Tom Kitchin's restaurants, will be on hand to teach guests how to make Varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings)

With a professional chef on hand, attendees can learn how to make these tasty little pockets of flavour, learn about their history, about serving suggestions and be shown a selection of decorative folds. It takes place at 12pm and 2pm.

Create camouflage nets for Ukrainian soldiers

Join local group, Edinburgh Spiders, and learn how to weave camouflage nets that help protect soldiers and strategic targets from Russian drone attacks. Edinburgh Spiders, who have sent over 100 camouflage nets for Ukraine, as well as clothes and food will provide expert advice on how to create these valuable enormous nets and how they work.

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Market stalls

The event is sure to have something for everyoneThe event is sure to have something for everyone
The event is sure to have something for everyone

Perouse through a range of Ukrainian crafted gifts, traditional Ukrainian clothes, jewellery souvenirs, and many more items at the Ukrainian bazar.

Face painting and games for children and adults alike

Entertainment for children as we have a special play area with a unique programme designed for kids.

Artistic Clothes Stamping Workshop

Get creative stamping your personalised t-shirts, hoodies, shopping bags, kitchen towels and more. Learn about the technique used by the Ukrainian people since the 18th century and create your own custom clothing article using our stencils and designs. Bring one of your own articles of clothing to stamp or stencil. One article of clothing per person.

Meditation sessions

Take a meditative trip to the centre of the labyrinth and back. This guided trip will allow you to slow down, relax your mind, let go of your worries and bring out your inner peace. The event will be held on Saturday, July 1, between 12pm and 5pm at the Polwarth Parish Church, 36-38 Polwarth Terrace, EH11 1LU. For more information visit the event website.

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