Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 5 March 2022
HUNDREDS of Hinckley residents headed down to the Argents Mead park with their candles in a silent candlelight vigil last night (4 March), to show their support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, following the recent Russian invasion causing a war in their country.
A donation drop-off point was set up in the middle of the park, with donations going to Feed the Hungry UK – and the first few bags were placed into the drop-off point almost half an hour before the vigil started – even more were still being loaded in when it had finished.
Many candles were lit and subsequently placed on to a table inside of the Diamond Jubilee bandstand inside of the Mead during the silence.
The bandstand was even decorated with blue and yellow lights, which are the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
A spokesperson for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) explained that the vigil was taking place to give everyone a chance to come down and show their solidarity.
It has been estimated that a crowd of approximately 200 to 300 people shown up to take part in the silent vigil with their candles, according to a report from BBC East Midlands Today, which was broadcast live from the park last night (4 March).
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s Council Leader, Stuart Bray, commented on why the decision was made to hold the vigil.
He explained: “A number of citizens from the area are both shocked and horrified at what is going on in Ukraine, and some Council staff even have family over there.
“This is being held for the chance to show solidarity through silent reflection, and the drop-off points will kick-start the charitable collection for Feed the Hungry.”
Deputy Mayor, Dawn Glenville, said: “We’re standing with the people of Ukraine and we know that God is with them.”
Miron Ivan Serednycky, a first-generation Ukrainian, who now resides in Leicestershire, was in attendance, paying respects for his country – and explained that it was a ‘humbling’ turnout of attendees.
He said: “I have came on down as it is all I can do. I think it’s a great turnout, and it’s humbling to see English people of all nationalities showing their support.
Miron continued: “I am a first-generation Ukrainian, and my parents came over here and settled in the UK after the war (World War II), as they could not return home.
“During the war, my parents were in slave labour, and my uncle fought for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).”
Cathie Gibbens described the vigil as ‘incredible, deep, respectful, and put together very well’.
Coun. Michael Mullaney, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people came on down. It shows that the people of Hinckley and Bosworth are showing care and concern for the victims affected by the Russian invasion over in Ukraine.
“Throughout the night, a large amount of donations of food and other items which were requested to help Feed the Hungry have been donated.”
People had the chance to drop off items at either the Hinckley Hub during office hours, as well as inside of the park.
The Ukrainian flag had also been raised in both the Mead and the Hinckley Hub.