20th December 2023 | Royal Visits to Surrey


The Lighthouse in Woking hosted a Christmas Party for over 200 local Ukrainian refugees. It was a very special and joy-filled event that included music from the Ukrainian band Atmasfera, a visit from Sviatyij Mykolai (Saint Nicholas), a Ukrainian puppeteer, loads of food, games, pampering and treats.

The charity’s patron, The Duchess of Edinburgh, was also there to volunteer and meet some of the refugees. The Duchess joined in the festivities, serving lunch whilst the Ukrainian refugee choir ‘Kalyna’ (formed in The Lighthouse Ukrainian hub) sang Christmas carols for all the guests.

Irina Garmash-Creeger, who heads up the refugee hub team said, “It was wonderful to see families who are parted from loved ones experience a taste of home and festivity. We wanted to celebrate their resilience and courage at this time of year, and seeing the children smiling and laughing was fantastic.”

The Lighthouse is an inspirational example of the power of volunteering, where local people come together to support and make life better for those around them. The Duchess of Edinburgh has personally volunteered at The Lighthouse several times over recent years , working alongside other volunteers to make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling.

The charity’s co-founder, Rebecca Jespersen, said, This has been a very special day, working together to bring some light and joy at a time that is so distressing for displaced refugees who are far from their loved ones at home.”

The Lighthouse will be supporting around 4,000 local people who will find Christmas tough this year. Its Christmas Kindness appeal includes food hampers, toy vouchers for children, winter warming items, clothing, toiletries, a meal on Christmas Day, plus much more.

You can find out all about the work of this local charity, including its refugee support hub, on its website www.the-lighthouse.info

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