By Anne-Marie, Surrey Stands With Ukraine volunteer
On the 24th February, when Russia invaded the Ukraine, I can honestly say, it was not a country I knew much about. However, 9 weeks later, it is a different story.
I walked past Surrey Stands With Ukraine hub with my 11 year old daughter, who wanted to do something to help. My husband took her along the next day, and then went again with our 7 year old daughter and then helped to load a van with our 14 year old son.
As Chair of a local schools PTA, I am always thinking of fundraising ideas…this was where I could help. I sent a few ideas over, one being a bike ride. I had sat wondering one evening…How far away is the Ukraine? How many miles? This lead to how do we portray that to the public? Living in Surrey, we have a lot of cyclists…lets cycle to the Ukraine!! When I first mentioned it, there were a few raised eyebrows and questions of safety…I forgot to mention I was thinking of a virtual bike ride!
We approached Anytime Fitness gym and they were very happy to lend us a static bicycle for the event. I asked one of my new Ukranian friends where we should cycle to, and her first response was Independence Square in Kyiv. She told me how beautiful it is, and that one day she would show me. The distance was worked out at 2504 km and the only thing left to do was to start pedalling!
The event is linked up to our Crowdfunding page and the more we raise the more aid we can send directly to where it is needed.
I started by saying that I didn’t know much about this beautiful country…I now have many new friends, am learning to speak a new language and hope to visit one day.