Balcombe Friends of Ukraine – we need your support

Group launches to help those fleeing war-torn Ukraine

Families and individuals in Balcombe have come together to find out how they, and the village, can help people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Some 11 families that we know of have so far offered to host Ukrainian guests, and around 30 other individuals have volunteered additional support.

Visa applications for 10 adults and children are currently being processed, which would bring four small families to our wonderful village. All the families come from close to Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city and one of the most heavily bombed regions of the country.

We have now formed Balcombe Friends of Ukraine, within which we have a wealth of experience to offer our families, including language and translation skills, cookery, sport, education, trauma and psychological expertise.

In the months ahead, we may also need toys, clothes, high chairs, pushchairs, furniture, kitchen equipment etc. We will likely want help with administration, English language teaching, play dates for children, group outings, transport and so on. 

As a group, we know others in the village may be looking to help relieve the suffering being experienced by the people of Ukraine, and we would love to hear from you.

If you are considering hosting a Ukrainian family or would like to support Balcombe Friends of Ukraine in any other way, please do get in touch with Max Preston Bell by emailing

St Mary’s Church, Balcombe Parish Council, Balcombe School and other key organisations in the village and surrounding area are also working with us to make a difference.

We are sure that Balcombe will do what Balcombe does best – open its arms to these innocent people, young and old, who have suffered such unnecessary trauma. As a group in our village, they can help each other too.

There is no doubt, they will need all our support to come to terms with life away from their extended families, friends, homes – many of which are now being bombed – and former peaceful existences in their homeland.

We all want to help them adapt to a new life, whether temporary or longer term, while enabling them to make choices to return to their homeland should they wish to when the war is over.