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Cook For Ukraine Group

UM supports Cook for Ukraine fundraiser

Posted on 27 April, 2023

UM Group has boosted the fundraising efforts of a junior rugby team which held a cake sale in support of the charity Cook for Ukraine.

Children and parents involved with Haywards Heath Under 11s ran the cake stall during a junior rugby festival hosted by the club in March and involving teams from across Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

They wanted to do their bit to support the UNICEF-backed food charity as a result of three Ukrainian refugees having joined their team after being displaced from their homeland since the conflict started over a year ago.

The three youngsters, twins Margot and Serafym and Volodymyr (Vlad) have been welcomed into the local community, attending local primary schools and getting involved in the rugby club.

The cake sale raised over £200 and the UM Group Charity Committee matched with a donation of £500.

The connection with UM Group is James Ramsden, Commercial Director – United Molasses Marketing, and the team manager of the Haywards Heath U11s.

James said: “As soon as we heard that the three Ukrainian youngsters were keen on other sports like athletics and judo, we invited them along to our training sessions.

“The children came with their mothers from near Kyiv, but due to martial law their fathers were not allowed to leave Ukraine.

“Settling down has been difficult for them, not least with them not speaking English, so the rugby has given them a chance to do some exercise, burn off energy and get involved in a team sport. Most importantly, their involvement with the rugby club has enabled them to make lots of new friends.

“The cake sale also provided an invaluable opportunity to raise awareness of the conflict with our own children, highlighting the predicament many Ukrainian families such as those at our club have found themselves facing. Best of all, it was a chance to show solidarity with their new buddies!”

The children helped make and bake and bought goodies with their own pocket money, all of which contributed to the success of the sale.

Prior to the conflict breaking out, UM had been involved in the export of molasses from and via the ports of Ukraine for decades and has a strong network of colleagues and contacts across the country.

James added: “It has been extremely sobering to hear the stories of work associates having to flee their homes and, in many cases, assume military roles following the invasion.

“Fortunately, thus far, the people we know or have worked with have not been killed or injured.

“I am delighted that, although a relatively small gesture, our junior rugby squad, supported by UM Group, has been able to do their bit to raise funds for the Cook for Ukraine charity.”

For more information about Cook for Ukraine or to make a donation visit

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