PICTURES: Hailsham vigil for Ukraine

Hailsham residents, Ukrainians, and host families gathered for a vigil to mark three months since the start of the Russian invasion.

The vigil took place at Hailsham war memorial last night (Tuesday, May 24) at 7.30pm.

Mayor Paul Holbrook was present and lit a candle in memory of those who had lost their lives in Ukraine.

He said, "The Ukrainians are putting up such a good fight.”

Prayers were led by David Griffin of Hailsham Parish Church. He said, "We pray that the Russian tanks stop."

Lubka Leszniwskyj, who is helping to coordinate the local response, was selling ribbon badges and a collection was made in aid of those arriving in the community from Ukraine.

One Ukrainian, who is living with a local host family, arrived last Thursday (May 19) from Kharkiv and said 'only God knows' when the invasion will come to an end.

Her host family said they had connected through Facebook and also criticised the government's sponsorship scheme for being ‘slow and difficult to navigate’.

The family said, "On the government site, you have to know the name of a Ukrainian before you can sponsor them. There are lots of people who would like to come, but there is a very long wait."

Attendees repeated 'Slava Ukraini' – meaning ‘glory to Ukraine’ – in unison.