A well-known Selborne farming family have launched a new ‘KIDZ 4 KIDZ’ appeal calling on children and schools across East Hampshire to support Ukrainian children who have been deprived of proper education for 19 months because of the war with Russia.

Simon Butler, along with his brother Nick, are farmers based at Hartley Park Farm and run the businesses Barn-Store Alton and The Lavender Fields alongside the main farm.

As part of their commitment to giving back to the community, the Butlers have initiated the KIDZ 4 KIDZ appeal, aiming to rally local schoolchildren to aid their counterparts in Ukraine who continue to suffer from the effects of the war.

Charity CCLL – The Helping Hand for Ukraine (formerly Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline), a tenant at Hartley Park Farm, has been working tirelessly to support children and their families affected by the long-lasting consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.

However, the charity’s resources have been stretched thin, particularly in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. Many Ukrainian children are now facing a severe lack of access to education, caused by power cuts, school damage and a scarcity of basic resources.

Crucially, CCLL operates without government funding, relying solely on the generosity of its supporters and donations received. As Simon points out: "These children are the future of Ukraine and will be the people who have to rebuild their country. Surely an education is the minimum they deserve?”

To address this pressing issue, School In A Bag, a UK charity known for providing essential school supplies in a backpack, has joined forces with CCLL.

School In A Bag has generously pledged to donate nearly 500 rucksacks filled with school supplies, clothing, torches, basic medical supplies and other essential items for Ukrainian children.

The Butlers have kick-started the KIDZ 4 KIDZ appeal with a £1,000 donation to support the transportation of these vital supplies to Ukraine. 

The initiative plans to undertake several trips, with the funds raised intended to cover fuel and other related expenses to ensure that the donated items reach their intended destinations.

Simon and his team are now reaching out to the 58 schools in East Hampshire, urging them to contribute to the cause. Each school is encouraged to raise £100 or more if possible, though any donation, regardless of size, is greatly appreciated.

Moreover, schools are invited to send banners and school mascots with the supplies, with the promise of photos and documentation of the deliveries, and the appeal’s progress, to be shared through local media, online platforms and the Butlers’ websites.

Simon added: “Any amount, no matter how small, is going to make a difference. We are not going to tell you how to organise your school event as I am sure you have more experience of this than we do, but we would ask if you would consider making this cause a beneficiary of your fundraising efforts.”

The KIDZ 4 KIDZ appeal has already garnered support through its JustGiving page – justgiving.com/page/simon-butler-kidz4kidz-school-in-a-bag-ukraine-easthants – where donations can be made to aid the cause.