The ceasing of the Foyle Friends of Ukraine project

Regretfully we must announce that the Foyle Friends of Ukraine project has come to its conclusion and that our organization is ceasing operation.

After the surprise outbreak of the War in Ukraine 2 years ago. The UK Government - like many around the world. Set up a relocation program to help displaced Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war known as the “Homes for Ukraine” program. The program allowed for UK Families to ‘Sponsor’ Ukrainian Families by offering them a spare room within a house.

Foyle Friends of Ukraine was then set up - after our original founder himself personally went through that process and found it difficult to navigate. Additionally - a lot of pressure was on the host family to help the Ukrainians set up for their stay in the UK. Many of these families had no belongings, no ability to speak English, no savings.

Foyle Friends of Ukraine worked to make that process easier on everyone involved. Originally set up as a 3-month project… throughout our 18 months of operation, We helped 192 individuals successfully relocate and set up an interim life in the UK. This work involved transport from Ukraine, navigating the Visa Application Process, setting up bank accounts, places in schools, GP appointments and so on. Everything needed for life to exist.  

We also delivered English Lessons and a Childrens Club, we arranged for outings, cultural celebrations and activities for Children among other deliverables Most of these relationships are still ongoing - and most Ukrainians are set up very successfully for their stays in the UK. Many of which are now contributing taxpayers to the UK economy.

Unfortunately, due to changing circumstances such as the heartbreaking outbreak of additional international conflicts, changes by both the UK and Ukrainian governments to the Visa application processes, and a lack of new additional sponsors among several other factors, we no longer have enough relocation work to justify the continuation of the project's operation.

We’d like to thank a few people who made this project possible.

Our full-time staff Carrie, Maryna, Svitlana and Dina who worked tirelessly to help both sponsors and guests set up successfully - Olena and Masha who ran the children's club and English language groups.

Our original founder and funder Aaron Donaghey. Richard Moore and Children in Crossfire for their mentorship and support. Our private funders - who contributed over 90% of the projects funding. The Hypixel Studios and the COUP teams for their help in the early days while the project was standing up.

Mayors Sandra Duffy, Patrica Logue and the Derry City Council staff. Ryan McCready and all members of public organizations who showed gracious hospitality and willingness to help in often complicated circumstances.

Most importantly, Foyle Friends of Ukraine would like to thank those sponsors who offered rooms from their own homes to those Ukrainians in desperate need - the vast majority of which are women and young children. This program would not have happened without you - and we wish you all the continued successes with your guests for however long those arrangements remain. 

Those human stories of resilience in the face of adversity. The moments of finding joy even in the darkest of times are what motivated us to continue the project for 15 months longer than we originally planned.

We wish you the very best and we hope that the War in Ukraine alongside all international conflicts will end soon. It was our honor to serve you.

The Foyle Friends of Ukraine team

March 05, 2024

The Christmas festive

The Ukrainian community had the opportunity to gather in a close circle of friends and celebrate the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays together at the Guildhall in Derry-Londonderry.

A wonderful cosy atmosphere, the Christmas lottery, and Santa set the hearts of all Ukrainians in a festive mood.

December 17, 2023

The Independence Day of Ukraine

We gathered together Ukrainians and celebrated the Independence Day of Ukraine in the warm atmosphere of our community. We thank all local people for their support and the opportunity to be safe every day and bring the victory of Ukraine closer

August 24, 2023

Support the Ukrainian hockey team

Foyle Friends of Ukraine organised a trip to the SSE Arena in Belfast for visiting a hockey match Belfast Giants vs Dnipro Kherson and support the Ukrainian team. All visitors had a great time and received an excellent experience.

April 19, 2023

The community had a meeting with a representative of the NI Housing Executive to discuss the most important questions about the Homes for Ukraine`s scheme housing opportunities

April 04, 2023

Visit us in the new office at 15A The Diamond, 1st and 2nd floor, Derry-Londonderry BT48 6HW (by appointment only). More contacts are here 

March 06, 2023

We began The Kids Club  a free weekly activity club for Ukrainian children. Find out how to join your children  here 

March 04, 2023

The Ukrainian community of Derry/Londonderry joined the all-Ukrainian rally in Belfast dedicated to the anniversary of the russian war against Ukraine.

February 25, 2023

We started the Ukrainian community coffee time. More details are here 

February 8, 2023

We continue free English lessons for Ukrainians. Find out how to join it here 

January 14, 2023

Ukrainian Women Settling Into New Lives In Derry

News of North West Regional College, February 8, 2023 

Surgeon Maryna Recalls Horror Of War Treatment;

 News of North West Regional College, February 8, 2023