In pictures: incredible response from Hucknall schools to Dispatch's Letters of Hope for Ukraine

The big-hearted nature of Hucknall residents has been fully on show after a call went out to help and show unity with Ukrainians devastated by the invasion of their homeland by Russia.

Firstly, through the incredible #Sleep1000 appeal launched by well-known Hucknall man Ben Marshall and run out of the town’s West Hucknall Baptist Church.

This focused on collecting sleeping bags and thermal blankets for displaced refugees seeking safe haven in Poland.

And secondly, through Your Dispatch’s Letters of Hope scheme designed to allow local schoolchildren to show solidarity with their Ukrainian peers through letters, poems and colourful pictures.

What’s more, the two initiatives also joined forces with the Dispatch also collecting donations for #Sleep1000 and those behind the scheme transporting our Letters of Hope to Ukrainian youngsters.

Incredibly, overall, more than 1,500 sleeping bags were collected, along with 450-plus blankets, more than 5,000 bandages, 250-plus torches and 160 flasks.

Along with hundreds of colourful Letters of Hope, everything was delivered to Krakow in two vans this week in a journey of 28 hours each way.

Countless Hucknall residents, businesses and organisations took part in #Sleep1000 – as well as Nottingham Forest through one of their star men, Hucknall’s own Joe Worrall.

While the schools to take part in Letters of Hope were Holgate Academy, Edgewood Primary, Butler’s Hill, Holy Cross Primary, Flying High Academy, Leen Mills Primary, Broomhill Junior and Bestwood Village’s Hawthorne Primary.

They submitted efforts ranging from heartwarming postcards to colourful Ukrainian flags as you can see from these photos.

Dispatch editor Martin Hutton said: “It’s so hard to put into words how impressive the efforts have been.

"People can say what they like about Hucknall – and it does come in for some criticism. But when people are in need, that’s when the town comes together. It doesn’t matter if that need is on your doorstep of thousands of miles away.

"I’m particularly impressed by the youngsters of our schools. From colourful posters to children of Edgewood writing messages in Ukrainian. They went above and beyond. They, teachers and parents should be very proud.”

In regard to #Sleep1000, special thanks have been given to Applegarth Day Nursery, B3 Cricket, Duplex Business Services, Duplex Management, Artist Management Services, Howard Marshall Engineering, Hucknall Van Hire, Ronald Tideswell and Grandson, MPL Contact, Pump Services, Midland Metal Windows and R&B Fencing.

A post on the #Sleep1000 Facebook page: “These businesses have been so kind as to support this project in the form of sponsoring the vehicles, fuel and tunnel crossing, meaning that every single penny donated has been spent on resources for those that need them in Krakow.

“They stepped up when we needed them and we appreciate them so much.”

More thanks were given to those who acted as volunteer drivers.

In another post, the campaign declared: “Thankyou once again to everyone for their generosity, without which this trip wouldn’t have happened. Still can’t believe the support we’ve had.”

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