Sunderland for Ukraine, a local charity, has partnered with the University of Sunderland to raise crucial funds for children in Ukraine.

The initiative, named Sunderland to Kyiv, challenges students and staff to virtually travel the 2,500 km distance from Sunderland to Kyiv by engaging in activities such as cycling, walking, rowing, and even walking their dogs.

The University’s CitySpace gym has supported the challenge, which aims to raise enough money to provide a generator to a school in Ukraine. Participants, including staff, students, and the wider community, are encouraged to raise £1 for each km they complete, and the collective goal is to cover the distance to the Ukrainian capital. CitySpace is also providing seven days of complimentary gym membership to incentivize people to participate and raise funds.

Virtual Challenge Sunderland to Kyiv Aims to Raise Money for Ukraine
Rob Hunt, Career Development Consultant from the University of Sunderland (right) joins Katarzyna Posink, Founder of Sunderland for Ukraine ahead of the fundraiser challenge pictured with Rowan Sample, Sport Fitness and Wellness Assistant Picture: DAVID WOOD

Rob Hunt, Career Development Consultant at the University, is working with local charity Sunderland for Ukraine to organize the challenge. He says: “We hope to raise at least £2,500, the cost of a large generator suitable for a school, and other aid such as medical kits.

“We’re asking for those taking part to raise at least £1 per km and hoping that together we’ll reach 2500 km – the distance to Kyiv from Sunderland.”

Sunderland for Ukraine was founded in April 2022 by Katarzyna Posnik. The charity supports Ukrainian families in Sunderland and surrounding areas and those who are helping directly with humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Katarzyna is working with Ukrainian and English volunteers who have pledged to contribute to the challenge. One volunteer, Peter Holmes, has already covered a distance of 52.61 km.

Katarzyna said: “Many people are making new year pledges for a health kick, Ukrainians in contrast just hope to make it through the winter.

“We would like to harness those new year’s health kicks to help Ukrainians get generators for heat and electricity.”

If you would like to take part in the Sunderland to Kyiv challenge you can sign up here.

To support those taking part you can go to the Sunderland to Kyiv Go Fund Me page here.

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