Ukrainian refugee joins Romford ice skating event which raises £5,000
- Credit: Sandra Rowse
A 10-year-old Ukrainian refugee joined about 100 youngsters on the ice rink in Romford to raise thousands of pounds to help those affected by the war in Europe.
The Skate for Ukraine event at the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre on May 21, saw a disco, sponsored skate, figure skating competition, tombola and raffle raise £5,000 for Poland Welcomes.
This charity was set up by Kamil Prusinowski and Patrycjusz Gawel at the beginning of the Russian invasion and has helped more than 500 Ukrainian people in three months.
Director of communications Neil Midgley said the idea came about because he is learning to skate with Maggie Barrow at the centre.
He said it went "really well": "A big thank you from the charity because when we are in Poland, it can feel like we are very much working against the odds and when people internationally connect with us and raise money for us, it helps to show the volunteers in Poland and our Ukrainian refugees that people in other countries are thinking of them.
"It's not just the money, it's the sense of community."
Oleksii Pluita, a 10-year-old budding ice skater who fled Ukraine, joined the event and competed in the Hop, Skip and Jump figure skating competition.
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Neil said the centre is giving the youngster free time on the rink to practice his skills.