Student with family in Ukraine inspires school in Spilsby to help refugees

|The plight of the family of a Spilsby teenager who are living in war-torn Ukraine has inspired students in a way teachers have found 'overwhelming'.

Anya Dennis, 16, says she can't help but worry about her family in the Ukraine, who run a farm in a little village east of Kyiv.

"My mum comes from there and my grandparents, aunts and uncles and two cousins live there," she said. "We are in contact and at the moment they are OK and they have a basement to shelter in.

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"But something new seems to happen every day - it's sad and really worrying.

Students at King Edward V1 Academy in Spilsby held a non-uniform day in aid of Ukraine refugees.

"I am so grateful to the school for allowing us to do something to show our support."

King Edward V1 Academy in Spilsby sprung into action within two weeks of the start of the conflict and were able to send donations of essential items via a transport lorry from Duckworth Motor Group in Boston.

Students then did another fundraiser and on Friday held a special non-uniform day where students and staff wore blue and yellow for donations of more items.

"When I walked in and saw how many donations there were in the foyer it was overwhelming," said Penny Prince, head of sixth form at King Edward V1 School.

Logan Redford and Bethan Simpson packing boxes of donations.

"The crisis in the Ukraine and watching families fleeing the country with their animals rather than "stuff" has really had an impact on the school, especially as one of our students has family out there who are staying because they have a farm and don't want to leave their home and animals."

Mrs Prince said their campaign had grown bigger than they ever expected.

After the first collection, Year 13 students - Logan Redford, Bethan Simpson and Megan Blanchard - spent £115 pounds of their own money on sweets and ran a giant tuck shop, raising £340.

Further donations meant they had £400 to spend on essential items.

Logan and Bethan collecting more donations.

Lincolnshire World caught up with the students on Friday as they boxed up the latest donations.

"I am so proud of them," said Mrs Prince. "It has all got bigger than we expected. Our first collection was in the first two weeks of the conflict and it's grown from there.

"We had so many donations on the non-uniform day that we have had to go out and buy more tape to box it all up. The students are doing a terrific job."

One of the students, Logan Redford, said he was pleased to be able to do something to help.

Lower school pupils with their donations.

"It's quite frightening and unrealistic to see the footage of families having to flee the Ukraine," he said: "We just wanted to do something to help."

The school now needs to find a transport company to take the items to the Ukraine.

"We have a couple of ideas but would welcome any offers," added Mrs Prince.

If you can help, contact Mrs Prince at King Edward V1 school on 01790 753260.

Year 13 students sorting boxes of donations.