The Friends of Buxton Station (FoBS) were keen to show support for Ukrainian folk settled here in Buxton as well as those still involved in the conflict.
The Friends wanted to allow Buxton people to do something positive and welcoming, so hit upon the idea of hosting a community Christmas tree in a public area at the railway station. Anyone can pop along to hang a Ukrainian-themed decoration or Christmas wish upon the tree to show their support of this humanitarian gesture.
Speaking about the idea, Dave Carlisle, Chairman of FoBS said: “It is an awful time of year to be far away from home. We want Ukrainian families forced to relocate to Buxton to feel welcomed and valued, we want them to feel ‘at home’ here. We know the wonderful welcoming people of Buxton will want to show their support too and this project provides a simple way to do just that.”
And the idea has been embraced by community group, Buxton Friends of Ukraine (BFU), who offer a warm, caring and supportive welcome to Ukrainian people as they arrive. So far, over 100 adults and children from Ukraine have come to the Buxton area.
Jess Smith, BFU Co-ordinator added: “Thank you FoBS for coming up with this lovely seasonal way for the Buxton community to express their support to people seeking safety here. The Ukrainians in BFU have told us how much they appreciate the smiles and friendliness of Buxton folk, in these difficult times, that means so much.” FoBS are grateful to Morrison’s and their Community Champion, Rob Harrison for donating the community tree.
Rob said: “We at Morrisons have been working with BFU for most of the last year and realise how important it is to provide a sense of belonging. This project does just that and makes the environment look much nicer too.”
With the help of local community Artist, Gordon MacLellan of Stone & Water, FoBS and BFU held a crafting session in the Pump Room on 28 November so that some of the Ukrainian settlers could make their own decorations out of recycled materials.
The community groups were gifted use of the Pump Room by the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust. Their Event Manager, Kerry Fox explained: “Through the generous funding from the Bingham Trust, the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust are honoured to provide the visitor centre to facilitate the work of Community groups such as FoBS. FoBS are currently working with Buxton Friends of Ukraine and being at the heart of the Town Centre the Pump Room was used to make decorations with Ukrainian settlers to help celebrate Christmas and make our guests feel welcomed.”
Gordon said: “Stone and Water sets out to work with the community to celebrate the people, landscapes and wildlife of the peaks. It is good to be able to welcome new people to our town and to the Peaks by sharing ideas, art and laughter.”
The community tree will be available from 6 December until the first week of the New Year. It will be to the left of the main station building in the public car park.
Notes to Editor
The attached photograph, taken by David Carlisle and provided with permission of the child’s Mother shows Milanka Klimenko holding up the decoration she has made for FoBS Member, Will Blake in his Christmas “penguin” costume (left to right).
FoBS is an unfunded voluntary community group working to make Buxton Station more welcoming, cheery, interesting and comfortable. It has also worked within the wider Buxton community and was rewarded with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2021.
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