THE Rotary Club of the Forest supported Ukrainians both here and at home in Ukraine over the festive period by donating Christmas gifts and vital supplies.

Club members bought St Nicholas - or Santa - to the St Briavels Assembly Rooms via dog sled on Sunday, December 13, to deliver around 70 gifts to Ukrainian children staying with host families in the district.

A spokesman for the club said the families, club members and St Nicholas “enjoyed Ukrainian carols and refreshments together” at the festive meeting of the Forest’s Ukraine Community Hub.

The event followed a donation by the club of ten electricity generators, which were transported to Ukraine by Bob and Jason Morgan of Cinderford as part of their ‘Forest Run to Ukraine’.

The club spokesperson said of the event: “The Rotary Club of the Royal Forest of Dean arranged this as a joint project with the Ukrainian Support Hub, which operates weekly from the Assembly Rooms.

“We donated £3,000 to support this party and some follow up work for future activities.

“Special thanks go to Rotarian Malcolm Paterson, and to Sherry Philips as his logistical Elf.”

Hub organiser Karen Cockfield thanked the club on behalf of the Ukrainian families for their “amazing generosity”.

Bob and Jason Morgan from Winner Garage in Cinderford set off on Sunday, December 18 with supplies to help with the humanitarian crisis and arrived back in the Forest on Thursday (December 22).

The Rotary spokesman said: “The Rotary Club of the Royal Forest of Dean has bought 10 electricity generators to support the Forest Run to the Ukraine.

“This project has been organised by Bob and Jason Morgan of Cinderford, with the support of some local businesses, the Forest of Dean Motor Club and ourselves.

“Bob and Jason drove a large van and trailer over to Ukraine to deliver these and other much wanted items to help keep people as warm as possible as temperatures in Ukraine are already well below freezing, day and night.’’