Published Friday 29 April 2022 at 15:55
Blackburn Rovers have invited members of the local Ukrainian community to attend Saturday’s final home game of the season as a further gesture of support to those affected within the local area.
The guests will be welcomed pitchside at half-time as a welcome from the club and there will be an opportunity for fans to donate to the relief effort for the people of Ukraine.
Gary Robinson, Chief Executive of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, said:
Our fans will want to show their support and to give a full and warm welcome to help integrate our Ukrainian friends right into the heart of our community.
Football is for everybody and we know that football is huge in Ukraine. We want to help make it an enjoyable experience for them and to feel at home here.
It’s also an opportunity for them to meet new friends and meet each other for the first time and we hope this will play a small part in helping them to settle and become part of the community.
The club have also invited Housing Needs Officer Sasha Johnson, who has been supporting the sponsors and evacuees on their arrival into the borough alongside Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Mayor, to meet and greet the families and their sponsors.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Denise Park, said:
We know that football has the power to unite and this is a wonderful initiative organised by Blackburn Rovers Community Trust. I thank them for putting this in place to make our Ukrainian guests feel so welcome.
The Council is working with partners from across the public, private and voluntary sector, in a truly united effort to support families and their sponsors who come to stay here in Blackburn with Darwen.
Sasha Johnson, who has been visiting sponsors and Ukrainian families to help ensure they are settled in and will herself be sponsoring a Ukrainian family due to arrive in the UK this week, added:
All the evacuees that I have spoken to are really thankful for this gesture and find it extremely humbling that everyone is being so welcoming and supportive.
They really are going above and beyond to help ensure all of our Ukrainian evacuees are safely integrated into our community and to ensure that they receive the services and support that they need.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are collecting donations to help the humanitarian effort and buy essential items that will be taken to Holland for distribution to Ukrainian families. Anyone can donate here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/onerovers