London synagogue shows support for Ukrainian refugees with Winter Fair

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London synagogue shows support for Ukrainian refugees with Winter Fair

Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue members lay on a fun and practical Sunday for new arrivals ahead of the cold weather

The HGSS Hub Winter Fair for recently arrived Ukrainians living in north London
The HGSS Hub Winter Fair for recently arrived Ukrainians living in north London

Organisers hailed a “hugely successful” Ukrainian Hub Winter Fair at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue (HGSS) on Sunday, with the shul promising to continue supporting Ukrainian refugees “for as long as they need it”.

It was described as “an incredibly heart-warming occasion” thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters, with 200 Ukrainian women and 100 Ukrainian children attending, together with some Ukrainian men – most are still in the war-torn country.

The fair was staffed by around 50 volunteers from the HGSS community, many of whom regularly offer their time at the Hub, the cashless shop the shul has created in Hampstead to provide clothing, CV support, and friendship.

The shul provided new, high quality winter coats, hats, and scarves as well as toiletries and make-up, with experts providing both fashion advice alongside practical guidance on issues such as housing and medicine from council and NHS teams.

Recruitment consultants offered advice on the jobs market, while children were entertained by HGSS volunteers.

Cosmetics were offered at the HGSS Hub Winter Fair for Ukrainians in London

“The room buzzed,” said vice-chair Katherine Isaacs. “Over time we have got to know quite a few of the Ukrainian women who continue to seek our help. The event highlighted to our own community the very real ongoing needs that they have.”

She added: “The Winter Fair cemented old friendships, helped our Ukrainian guests meet others in a similar position, and connected them to the wider community. The warmth and positive atmosphere of the event was felt by all, as people shared their journeys and stories with laughter and a few tears.”

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