Cycling to Ukraine: Students and staff at Sheffield Hallam get on their bikes to raise money for humanitarian aid

Written by Safi Bugel

Students and staff at Sheffield Hallam University are cycling the distance between South Yorkshire and the Ukrainian border to raise money for those affected by the ongoing conflict. 

The 1,070 mile journey will be traced on spin bikes on the Collegiate Campus site, with over 70 people completing hour-long slots until Thursday. 

The campaign was initiated by members of the Department of Law, but participation has spread across levels, departments, and backgrounds. Among those cycling is the university’s Vice Chancellor Sir Chris Husbands, who started cycling at 8am this morning. 

Husbands said: “I was delighted to be part of a genuine community effort at a time when so much seems under threat.

“The need in Ukraine is huge, the scale of the damage already enormous, that we all need to do what we can to help.”

Cycle to Ukraine to support Ukraine.

Like many of those involved, co-organiser and Senior Lecturer in Law Gillian Pastuch has a familial connection to Ukraine, which was invaded by Russian troops last month. Her late grandfather was born there, before moving to the UK after the Second World War.

She said: “I know I have other colleagues in the same position and a lot of us still have friends and family in the country.

“We wanted to do something with our students where we could all work together and have a bit of a united front to do something positive in a really horrendous situation.”

After exceeding the initial target of £5,000, the campaign team is attempting to raise £7,500 for Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an organisation working to provide shelter, food, and medical assistance to Ukrainian people.  

Alongside the sponsored cycle is a charity sale, with cakes, candles, and ribbons bearing the colours of the Ukraine flag on offer. 

According to DEC, every pound donated will be matched by the UK government up to £20 million. 

Pastuch, who completed her stint earlier this morning, added: “I’m sure we all feel the same in that whatever we do is not enough in this situation, but it is something. And as well as being a tangible help in that it’s raising money, it’s also just improving peoples morale in a really difficult time. 

“We’re all very proud of it.” 

For more information, visit the online fundraiser page: https://www.justgiving.com/team/sheffieldhallamlaw 

Written by Safi Bugel

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