North East Connected

Going the extra mile for children in Ukraine


The University of Sunderland has joined forces with local charity Sunderland for Ukraine to raise vital funds for children in the Ukraine. They are challenging their students and staff to raise money by ‘virtually’ travelling the 2500 km from Sunderland to Kyiv by cycling, walking, rowing – or even walking your dog.

The University’s CitySpace gym has helped set the challenge, Sunderland to Kyiv, to raise enough money to supply a generator to a school in Ukraine. Staff, students and the general public are taking up the challenge to raise £1 for every km they walk, swim, row or cycle, with the aim of covering the distance from Sunderland to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. To encourage people to raise funds CitySpace are offering seven days free gym membership to anyone taking part.

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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