Herne Bay Sailing Club welcomes Ukrainian family

Richard de Lisle, Commodore at HSBC, takes up the story: “We gave club membership to the Ukrainian family and their host family. One son from the Ukrainian family and their host’s son came together with the latter acting as interpreter.”

Adrian Pinn, the club’s Cadet Coordinator adds: “We offered the families free membership to facilitate the boys’ sailing, and we have watched them improve over the last couple of months on our cadet coaching days.”

The outcome hasn’t been quite as hoped as the host family’s mother writes: “I’m afraid we won’t settle down here: Britain is a beautiful and great country and the people here are wonderful, but we will probably go back. It is too difficult for me and for children to adapt to a completely different culture and language. Thank you for your kindness! I was happy to meet you all and very grateful to you for everything.”

Richard continues: “We have enjoyed having the family at the club but understand it must be so difficult for a single mum with three boys under 14.

“The family has many difficult choices to make and they have my empathy. I am sure their mother will do her best for her family and we all wish her well. We hope she will stay in touch and that we will meet again and her life will be better. 

“We are in contact with our local school to see if there are others we can assist, as we would like to help another family, and we are aware we are in an area with many refugees.

“I think this all brings the dreadful circumstances of the conflict in Ukraine to our attention and gives our cadets an appreciation of their good fortune; we think our cadets will gain something by sailing alongside the Ukrainian kids. We feel we are supporting the Ukraine in fighting an unjust war and hope for support for our approach.”

HBSC celebrated its centenary in 2021, and is an RYA Recognised Training Centre

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