Calderdale lets people of Ukraine know they are not alone as Halifax's Piece Hall lights up for Stand With Ukraine event

There were tears, singing, and a unified spirit at Halifax's Piece Hall this evening as scores gathered to show their support for the people of Ukraine.

By sarah fitton
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 10:48 pm

Candles were lit, verd de gris arts choir One Voice performed and the historic building was lit up blue and yellow - the colours of the Ukrainian flag - in solidarity with the country currently under invasion by the Russian military.

Tetyana Lyuta, who moved to Halifax from Ukraine in 2009, was there with her seven-year-old daughter who had made a flag especially for the event.

She has close family in the country who she is desperately worried for. She said the streets she used to play in as a child now have tanks in them.

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Youngsters show their support for Ukraine at Halifax's Piece Hall

"It's devastating," she said. "It's like something from a World War II film."

She added that events like the one this evening and even small acts, such as changing profile pictures on social media to add the Ukrainian flag, matter a great deal to the people of Ukraine.

"It's very important that people do these little things to show they stand with Ukraine, to show support and that they are not alone," she said.

"It's not just our war, it's a war with Europe."

Scores of people gathered at The Piece Hall in Halifax this evening for the Stand with Ukraine event

Friends Peter Antemes and Peter Lucak, both from Todmorden and children of Ukrainians, were video calling a loved one in Ukraine to show her the strength of support in Halifax this evening.

Mr Antemes, who wiped away tears as he made the call, said friends there had sent a clear message that they were putting up a fight against the Russian forces, and that they wanted more weapons to do that.

Many members of Halifax Ukrainians had travelled to other solidarity events in Manchester and London today but there were some at The Piece Hall and they performed the Ukrainian national anthem for the gathered crowd.

Loretta Cooper, Chair of Halifax Ukrainians, said they had been boosted by the support they had received, adding she had received messages from people she did not know voicing their backing for the people of Ukraine.

Tetyana Lyuta and her daughter with a Ukrainian flag they made for the Stand with the Ukraine event at The Piece Hall in Halifax

MP for Halifax Holly Lynch was also at The Piece Hall this evening. She commended the courage of the Ukrainian people and said the international community must do all it can to help them.