CHAIRMAN'S BLOG

18.08.17


Since my last blog there has been a fair few issues to deal with over and above our daily tasks within the Association. 

On 14th July at around teatime, we were advised that a fire had ignited at our branch building in Carlisle. As you are aware, the branch has been closed for just over 12 months. The fire was started deliberately and was confined to the upper roof lounge of the main building. The fire service brought the fire under control very swiftly. Contrary to face book comments and reports which I can only class as “fake news”, we are fully insured and the branch was closed with mutual agreement of the last AUGB member in Carlisle. More surprising was the fact that AUGB members and organisations who use our facilities/buildings seemed to “like” the fake news being posted.  We are currently working with the local police and our insurers who have been to visit and we await the next steps. 

The last issue of Dumka sadly went out but our work was not complete. Ludmila and Fedir compiled and sent out personal letters of thanks to those loyal subscribers who had supported the newspaper for many years. The letters gave the option for a refund of the half year subscription remaining. From the numerous telephone calls we received, the overwhelming majority donated their overpayment towards the cost of producing future AUGB publications.  Everyone understood our reasons for stopping the paper and wished AUGB every success in future projects regarding the sharing of information. We now have a period of consultation and reflection to decide on how best to keep our members informed of news within our communities and from Ukraine. Please continue to send community news so we may post this on our website and for those who do not use the internet a periodic newsletter can be compiled for our former subscribers. 

As planned, we held our first video conference with branch Chairs on 26th July, with a few teething problems! The meeting went well and was deemed a success by those who logged in. Although most of this first meeting was Fedir and me taking up airtime relaying information, we have asked branch chairs to forward agenda items for the next meeting to be held 20th September 2017 as we do wish to hear, discuss and share issues that our branches have.  We hope that this regular exchange will help strengthen communication with our branches.

During July I visited Bedford, Gloucester and Reading. 

Bedford – We are moving forward to try and develop the building into a new stream of income for AUGB. A meeting with contractors is now scheduled to price the work required. 

Gloucester – I met the branch chair Mykhailo Pryszlak, who showed me around the building and the improvements that have been made to accommodate the newly formed Ukrainian School. The school’s second year starts in September with 20 children enrolled. There are also plans to develop a new library and meeting room. All this work has been carried out by volunteers and donations of materials. It’s great to see the community getting behind the plans that have been made to revitalise community life.

Reading – The redevelopment of Reading is almost complete with the branch volunteers working hard towards the Grand Reopening date 2nd September 2017, which many of us are looking forward to attending. (Check out their FB page for updates and photos). 

I would like to send a big well done to both Huddersfield and Bradford for greeting and entertaining the children from the Chornobyl area who are visiting the UK with the kind help of The Chornobyl Children’s Life line. Check them out on the branches’ Facebook pages. 

Finally! Summer Tabory (CYM & PLAST) are underway at both Tarasivka Derbyshire and Verkhovyna North Wales. I wish you all a good summer of Tabory, meeting new friends and educational enlightenment with a lot of fun thrown in. CYM for the third year running have brought over children from families who have been affected by the continued unrest and conflict in the East of Ukraine, and Plast too are welcoming plastuny from Ukraine.  A large Slava to all the volunteers who give up their time to organise and help run both camps. All who have experienced these summer camps are aware of their value to our new generations and our community as a whole.  

Petro Rewko
Chairman

 

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