Melton fundraiser to support Ukrainians taken in by families in Polish twin town

A mercy mission to help Ukrainian refugees by people in Melton’s twin town in Poland has prompted a fundraising Race Night to be organised at the borough council offices.

By Nick Rennie
Friday, 8th April 2022, 4:47 pm
Refugees from Ukraine are seen walking on the platform upon their arrival by train at a railway station in Poland
PHOTO Getty Images EMN-220804-163026001
Refugees from Ukraine are seen walking on the platform upon their arrival by train at a railway station in Poland PHOTO Getty Images EMN-220804-163026001

The link between Melton Mowbray and Sochaczew was established back in 2005 and although the cultural visits back and forth have not been held in recent years contact has continued between the two communities which are 1,000 miles apart.

One of the visits by Melton people included a trip to the Ukraine town of Horodok and its Mayor and Mayoress reciprocated by coming here to Leicestershire.

Women and children from Horodok, which is on the west of the country, have fled over the Polish border since the Russian invasion in February and Sochaczew residents have welcomed many of them into their own homes as places of refuge.

Melton's visit to Polish twin town Sochaczew in June 2011 by the then Mayor, Councillor Alison Freer - also pictured with Polish delegates is the then leader of Melton Council, Malise Graham EMN-220804-160729001

Melton borough councillors Malise Graham and Pam Posnett, who both took part in visits to both the Polish and Ukrainian town, decided to raise money to help with the upkeep of the Horodok people.

So, together with Councillor Robert Child, they decided to hold a Race Night on Friday April 22.

Councillor Graham, who has twice been Mayor of Melton, told the Melton Times: “Pam and I both went to Horodok in September 2008.

“It has a population of around 15,000 so it is smaller than Melton but the people there were incredibly hospitable.

Polish visitors from Melton's twin town of Sochaczew pictured in October 2012 presenting a gift to Melton Carnegie Museum - also pictured are the then Mayor of Melton John Illingworth and Deputy Mayor Marilyn Gordon EMN-220804-160832001

“It is very expensive for the people of Sochaczew to take in the Horodok families so we want to do what we can to help.

“Every penny raised from our Race Night will go towards supporting the upkeep of the Horodok people staying in Sochaczew.”

The link with Sochaczew enabled many Melton students and business people to benefit as well as a fostering a warm relationship between the towns.

“When the war started we, of course, contacted our friends in Sochaczew to ask what constructively we could do to help,” said Councillor Graham.

“The reply was that residents of Sochaczew had gone to the Ukrainian border and collected the women and children refugees from Horodok and were putting them up in their own homes.

“Their desperate need was money and this would be managed in a special fund by their city council.”

A dedicated bank account has been set up for the fundraising proceeds in Melton and tickets are now on sale for the Race Night.

Email [email protected] to buy a ticket for the event at £10 or to buy a horse for the night at a price of £5.