A councillor has received an award for making significant personal contributions and giving support to a region of Ukraine.

Elton representative Jack Rydeheard has received an award of gratitude from the head of the Transcarpathian Council, Volodymyr Chubirko.

The accolade notes Cllr Rydeheard’s “significant personal contributions to the implementation of humanitarian support of the Transcarpathian region, strengthening interregional connections, and active involvement in charitable and volunteer activities".

Transcarpathia is a vital Ukrainian region in the conflict. Ceded to Ukraine in 1945, it shares a border with Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland and is a vital point of entry to Ukraine.

Cllr Rydeheard said: “I’m beyond humbled by this. It means an awful lot.

Bury Times: Cllr Jack Rydeheard holding the award from the Head of the  Transcarpathian Council in Ukraine

 “We spent so many hours in the Polish Centre in Bury collecting, organising and co-ordinating the distribution of food, clothes and medical supplies to Ukrainian refugees, who have had their peaceful lives ripped away from them by this horrendous invasion.

“The absolute highlight for me was seeing the impact that Bury’s efforts had, with Alicja telling me so many stories of how Bury’s supplies have helped the most vulnerable.

“Bury Council and I might be the ones with the expressions of gratitude, but this award is completely down to the people of Bury.

Bury Times: The award from the Head of the  Transcarpathian Council in Ukraine

“To everyone who donated their clothes, food, medical supplies or time to help, thank you so much.”

Shortly after Russian forces escalated their 2014 invasion of Ukrainian Crimea, the Polish Integration Centre, led by Alicja using Bury’s Polish Club’s premises, responded through an appeal for clothes and other humanitarian products.

The resources were sent to refugee camps on Ukrainian borders, helping those most in need of support.

Cllr Rydeheard was commended for his role in the effort, along with the council and others who also played a vital role in the co-ordination of the effort.

Bury Council recently played host to the Transcarpathian Regional Council on a diplomatic visit, with both borough MPs, councillors and volunteers welcoming them to the town.