A special concert at Malmesbury Abbey has raised more than £2,000 to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Concert for Ukraine saw 12 groups of musicians and dancers come together to perform. Malmesbury Concert Band opened by playing the Ukranian national anthem, while the event closed with a medley of Ukrainian folk music performed by several Ukranians now in Malmesbury after being forced to leave their homes.

More than 300 people packed Malmesbury Abbey, making a voluntary donation to be there. More money was raised by selling traditional Ukraine cakes and lapel ribbons. In total some £2,286.74 was raised.

The concert was put together by local teachers, Sally I ‘Anson and Debbie Cambray-Smith, working closely with support group Malmesbury Stands With Ukraine.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Organisers Debbie Cambray-Smith and Sally I'Anson. Photo: Robert PeelOrganisers Debbie Cambray-Smith and Sally I'Anson. Photo: Robert Peel

Debbie said: "It was a monumental day and organising it was the biggest thing I have ever done. It was an incredibly special afternoon.”

Convenor of Malmesbury Stands With Ukraine, Cllr Gavin Grant, added: "Debbie and Sally approached us with the idea for a concert idea and provisional date. I thought it was impossible.

"So we were amazed at how quickly such a diverse group of musicians, singers, actors and dancers came together to perform a stunning afternoon and all in such a short period of time."

“Everyone worked hard on their own performances and in a tremendous spirit to support everyone else. To have our Ukrainian guests perform and raise this huge sum of money was the icing on the cake, and plenty of those were purchased on the day as well!

“We hope news of this concert will raise spirits in Ukraine and the money will make a real difference to those working to save lives on the frontline."

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photo: Robert PeelPhoto: Robert Peel

All photos by Robert Peel, click the gallery at the top of the page to view more. 

The next event being organised by Malmesbury Stands With Ukraine is the planting of Sunflowers in Solidarity outside The Old Bell Hotel at 11am on Saturday.

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The sunflower is the national symbol of Ukraine and these have been grown by local schools, care homes and residents.

They will be planted into troughs lent by Malmesbury Town Council. The sunflower seeds were donated by Derek Tilney from the Malmesbury Branch of The Royal British Legion.

This will be followed by a Ukrainian Talk and Treats speaker event at Malmesbury Town Hall at 7pm on Thursday, July 14.