Bridgwater Supports Ukraine

The Ukraine flag flies in Bridgwater

Today we raised the Ukrainian flag from Bridgwater Town Hall. We do this as a symbol of our solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are the victims of a major aggression by a military superpower and with the many brave Russian people who are standing up and opposing the war in the most difficult of circumstances. The war must end, and any differences must be solved without further bloodshed and by returning to talking and by agreeing a peaceful way forward. Until that time there is and will continue to be a humanitarian crisis and the people of Bridgwater, as everywhere, are stepping up and playing their part. There are at least three different groups collecting for Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing to Poland. These groups are going to send vans to east Poland where lots of refugees arrived and so collection points around Somerset are now being publicised so that people can contribute.

Town Hall caretaker braves the 19th century balcony to fly the flag

A spokesman for the Polish community in Bridgwater said “The respond of Polish people is huge and every single town is engaged. Now, it is all about those who decided to stay in Ukraine. They need medicine, bullet proof vests, torches, blankets, helmets, etc. Two Polish community groups in Somerset are collecting necessary resources to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland.”

If you would like to support them, please contact:

  1. Dominika Chwiejczak (077134 43102) – Taunton area here.
  2. Mariusz Gogolin (07599 704978) – Bridgwater area here.

The British Red Cross and Hope and Aid Direct  are also  running financial fundraisers. “Everyone needs our support at the moment” was the heartfelt message from the Ukraine Red Cross. People can donate to their appeal here or here.

Home office guidance

The flag is attached to the flag pole

The Home Office made an announcement about visa changes for Ukrainian nationals: Here.

There is guidance regarding support for family members of British nationals in Ukraine here.

Somerset County Council  has also updated their refugee and resettlement website:

Ankah Niedzielska at the Engine Room cafe, High street,Bridgwater says “Due to the situation in the east, we decided to organize a collection of the most necessary things for refugees from Ukraine. Things that we manage to collect will be sent by courier to the Polish and they will be handed over to refugees who stayed in Lublin, Zamość and Hrubieszów. The most necessary things are personal hygiene products, clothes for women and children, products for children and babies, e.g. diapers, milk bottles, pacifiers, creams for burns, etc. Things can also be brought during the day to the Engine Room 52 High Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3BL between Monday and Friday between 10-15. Between 1-10 March 2021. You can also contact us by email,, messenger or at the phone number 07599704978- Mario or 07599704977- Gosia. Thank you in advance for your support for those who need our help.”
The flag catches it’s’ first gust of wind

Collection Points

Kate Gardner at the Purplespoon says that her café based at the YMCA is also a collection point “Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, we are collecting toiletries and nappies  on behalf of  Polish Integration Support Centre (PISC).Please just drop into the cafe, and we will get it to where it needs to be so it can be transported to Poland.”

Tanya Camberwell, the Engagement Officer at Healthwatch Somerset says that NHS Somerset has also put out the following statement “Just in case you hear of any refugees trying to register with a doctor for medical care, the NHS states that you do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number. We have cards that people can take to GP surgeries, please let me know if you need any and ask people to let us know if they have been refused as we are aware this is happening at some surgeries and the more we document it will help us identify any issues.”  More information here.

Vigil for Ukraine

the flag flies in solidarity with victims of war everywhere

On Thursday 3rd March at 6.30 PM a group of people will be assembling at the Towns memorial in Kings Square for a vigil of solidarity with Ukraine.

Town Council Leader Brian Smedley said “This is the first time we have flown a flag in solidarity with the victim of an act of military aggression, but it’s not the first time we should have. There have been wars of aggression through our lifetimes around the world.  War should be avoided at all cost and every effort should be made to solve international disputes peacefully, but when there is a blatant act of aggression in breach of international law and people bravely stand up to that aggression and resist then they need support. Ukraine are not the first and only victims in the world and won’t be the last, so we’re flying this flag on behalf of all victim nations and the people caught up in these wars. Today, the focus is on the Ukraine and people rightly want to know what they can do to help. We can be inspired by the resistance of the Ukrainian people to stand up to aggression, the bravery of Russian people opposing the war on the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg  and we can take a lesson from their and our Polish neighbours who are taking the lead in organising humanitarian aid for them. “

The Ukraine flag has been raised in Bridgwater and our Czech twin town Uherske Hradiste

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