Future Talent Learning’s response to Russia’s war against Ukraine

“The situation in Ukraine is both horrific and very worrying. This is a war that is directly affecting some individuals who work for Future Talent Learning, learners on our programme, and people who work for our clients and partner organisations.

I spent the end of last week listening to these voices, as well as seeking sources of information from Ukrainian nationals – both in the Ukraine and living in the UK. Their message is clear: they need our support.

We have put together a list of ways in which each of us can show this support, and have also compiled information about how we can look after ourselves at this difficult time.

As the situation unfolds, we will be updating this page. If you find the information useful, please share it with others in your network.

In the meantime, stay safe and well.”


Jim Carrick-Birtwell, CEO, Future Talent Learning


Ways to support Ukraine and Ukrainian people


Witnessing a crisis unfold from afar can make us feel helpless. However, there are practical ways to support Ukraine during this time:

1. Offer financial support

Every penny will make a difference for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Donations, big or small, will be welcomed by both UK-based charities and charities working directly in Ukraine.

The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator recommend that money is donated to established registered charities with experience in delivering humanitarian aid in challenging environments.

Donate to UK based charities

If you are a UK taxpayer, please use Gift Aid. Donating through Gift Aid means charities can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra.

  • With Ukraine has been established by the Embassy of Ukraine in the UK to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine’s civilian population.

  • Ukraine Charity, London: humanitarian appeal is raising money for the current crisis. The Ukraine Charity is a UK-registered charity which supports underprivileged children in Ukraine and undertakes other charitable initiatives in the country.

  • The UNHCR Refugee Agency has stepped up its operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. This emergency appeal will help ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe.

  • The Red Cross has established a Ukraine Crisis Appeal to provide food, water, first aid, medicine, warm clothes, and shelter.

Support Ukrainians in Ukraine

There are lots of Ukrainian organisations working on the ground. Use the links below to find out more about their work and how you can support it:

Defend Ukraine has produced a list of charities and donation links to support the military, journalists, children, refugees and medical efforts. There is also information about how to donate using cryptocurrency.

The Ukraine Crisis Media Center has published a list of ways you can “Keep Calm and Support Ukraine”. This includes a list of charities and tips on what information to share and language to use.

2. Share accurate, fact-based information

Counter disinformation by sharing accurate, fact-based information about the situation in Ukraine with our friends, family and social media followers.

We’ve put together a list of Ukraine-based social media accounts to follow in the ‘Voices in Ukraine’ section below. 

For BBC Newsround, specialist disinformation reporter Marianna Spring shares tips on how to spot inaccurate information and disinformation.


3. Choose to boycott goods and services from Russia and Belarus

Echo the recent sanctions announced by governments by not spending money on goods and services from Russia or Belarus for the time being.


4. Write to your MP

You can find a template letter here and details about how to contact your local representative here.

5. Join a demonstration

Follow Ukraine Solidarity Campaign and Euromaidan London for information about demonstrations within London. If your local area isn’t yet holding demonstrations, consider organising one yourself.

Use this template for printed leaflets and posters.

6. Sign a petition

Show your support by signing one of these petitions.

7. Donate items to a local collection point 

Many people are collecting items so that they can be driven to Ukraine via Poland. Use your local networks to find your nearest location collection point. 

Remember that all donated items need to be checked by volunteers, grouped into categories, then packed up and shipped. This is a time-consuming process so please only include brand new, unopened items from the list. This will help speed up things for the volunteers.


Information about Ukraine

It has been difficult to make sense of what’s currently happening in Ukraine. The links below provide insights into how the situation has escalated and what we can do to keep up to speed.

Keeping up to date with what’s happening in Ukraine

English-language news outlets 

The Ukrainian Institute London is a centre for Ukraine-related educational and cultural activities. It works to highlight important contemporary and historical issues affecting Ukraine. It recommends gaining information from the following for English-language reporting from Ukraine: The Kyiv Independent and The New Voice of Ukraine

Voices in Ukraine  

  1. Nika Melkozerova: @NewVoiceUkraine executive editor.
  2. Christopher Miller: a correspondent @BuzzFeedNews who is reporting from Ukraine. 
  3. Illia Ponomarenko: a defence reporter with The Kyiv Independent. 
  4. Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon: a PhD student with expertise in race and blackness in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and German Democratic Republic (GDR). 
  5. Terrell Jermaine Starr: host of the #BlackDiplomats podcast and freelance correspondent in Ukraine. 
  6. Olga Tokariuk: a freelance correspondent in Kyiv.

Understanding modern Ukraine

What has caused the current situation?

Watch this BBC video to gain an understanding of the recent relationship between Ukraine and Russia.

The impact of the war on people of colour

There have been reports that people of colour are facing significant difficulties boarding transport leaving Ukraine and getting into many of the EU-bordering countries.

 The narrative around this is complex. Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon provides analysis of the difficulties for this group.

 You can support Afro-Caribbean students leaving Ukraine by donating to this fundraiser

The impact of the war on disabled people in Ukraine

European Disability Forum, an umbrella organisation for persons with disabilities, estimates that there are 2.7 million people with disabilities registered in Ukraine. 

The forum’s contacts in the country report that the situation for people with disabilities is extremely difficult. For example, shelters in Kyiv are inaccessible, so people with disabilities have to remain in their homes and are therefore more at risk. In addition, those with disabilities living in institutions are at risk of being abandoned and forgotten. 


Self-care tips


Looking after yourself

It is important to look after ourselves at this time. Here are some self-care tips for maintaining wellbeing.

  1. Take a break from social media and the news. It can be overwhelming to consume too much content, so make sure you take regular breaks away from traditional and social media.

  2. Make time for yourself. Set aside time daily to do something that makes you feel happy.

  3. Exercise. Get out for a walk or run in the fresh air or do a home workout. Exercise is a great way to calm your mind and lift your mood.

  4. Pay attention to the present moment. This includes your thoughts and feelings and your body.

If you need extra support, make sure you reach out and talk to a family member, friend or one of the helplines below:

  • To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24/7. Call 116 123 (free from any phone), email jo@samaritans.org or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm-11pm every day).

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). You can call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) if you are struggling and need to talk. If you prefer not to speak on the phone, you could try the CALM webchat service.


Looking after your children: places to get expert advice 

It is understandable that children and young people are distressed at this time and may seek reassurance. Here is a list of resources for caregivers that will help you support your children: 

  1. The British Physiological Society is providing advice and guidance on how best to support children who are anxious about the escalating conflict in Ukraine.

  2. Experts at Save the Children share five tips for talking to children about conflict in Ukraine

  3. BBC Newsround has advice for children upset by the news

  4. The Education Hub is a site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system. It offers help for teachers and families to talk to children about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and how to avoid misinformation.


Future Talent Learning is not responsible for the content of external sites.


Written: 28 February 2022

Updated: 3 March 2022


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