UKRAINIAN families and their sponsors from across the Braintree district have enjoyed a festive get-together in the lead-up to Christmas.

With this festive season being the first Christmas time Ukrainian refugees will be away from their homes and families, Braintree Council, in partnership with Braintree Community Centre, hosted a Christmas party.

The event was an opportunity for families to enjoy some food, drink and music and spread some Christmas joy.

The event was part of a programme of monthly community catch-ups which started in June, as a way for families who have fled from Ukraine to the Braintree district, to positively engage and integrate into their new communities.

Braintree Council's communities boss Frankie Ricci said: “It’s heart-warming to see how appreciative Ukrainian refugees and their sponsors have been for these community events and seeing them come together as a community to celebrate the festive season.

“I am incredibly proud of the work the council and partners are doing to support our Ukrainian guests and we will continue to work together to ensure they have our support for as long as is needed.”

Braintree and Witham Times: United in Kind coach Jayne Laken gave free Christmas gifts to each guest which were donated by members of the communityUnited in Kind coach Jayne Laken gave free Christmas gifts to each guest which were donated by members of the community (Image: N/A)

Braintree and Witham Times: A gift from United in KindA gift from United in Kind (Image: N/A)

United in Kind coach for the Braintree district Jayne Laken said: “It’s been a pleasure to support these events with United in Kind, as well as the wider community supporting with donations and gifts.

“To be able to come together, meet one another and socialise in a safe space, allowing them to make new friends and find out services, has helped make their stay a happy one.”

Brenda Baker, from Braintree Community Centre, said: “Braintree Community Centre has been very happy to be able to support the Ukrainians who have had to move to the UK over the last few months.

“Many people have been involved in these activities and we would like to thank all of them for their support. The Christmas get-together was a happy success for everyone.”

Additionally, a community club is beginning on Friday, January 20 which will offer a free chance to both keep warm and have coffee and company.

The monthly community events will continue from January 2023, with the first on January 20 from 11am-1pm.

Dates are available at