Couple paint their house the colours of the Ukraine flag to show support during the war
A Cambridgeshire couple have painted their home the colours of the Ukrainian flag to show their support for the war-stricken country.
Michael Platings spent all of Sunday (27 February) repainting the semi-detached house in Cambridge he shares with wife, Rend, blue and yellow as a show of solidarity.
Software engineer Michael said: “We’ve got friends in Ukraine, they’re really lovely people, very brave people, and it’s a very small thing we’ve done.
“We just wanted to express our support for them and let them know we’re not forgetting about them, and they’ve expressed their appreciation.”
Rend is from Iraq and has first-hand experience of living through the horror of war.
She said: “My brothers were conscripts in the Iran-Iraq war; that was not their choice and there was a long time we were separated and I didn’t know if they were alive or dead, it was very worrying.
“Most problems seem very trivial at the moment; most things are not really that bad when you sit and analyse them.
“But war is one of those things, from my experience, that the more you sit and analyse it, the more horrendous it is,” she reflected.
“That experience has made my heart bleed for the people in Ukraine right now who are facing this assault in their home.”
As well as having friends in the Eastern European country, charity founder Rend received fertility treatment in Kyiv after she struggled to access IVF services in the UK.
Their strong connection to the country motivated Michael to repaint the front of their home, with help from a neighbour, while Rend was at a rally.
He used two five litre pots of paint costing £76 to create the thought-provoking paint job.
The couple say that most neighbours have been supportive of the colourful addition to the community.
“Most people get it, they get why the house is suddenly blue and yellow, but some people, particularly older people, say ‘that’s nice and bright!’,” says Rend.
“We’ve had people beep their horns and lots of people stop and take pictures – we’ve had really warm responses.
“You can’t necessarily paint your house blue and yellow, it’s not practical, but just having a Ukrainian flag on your window and showing some support that way can make a big difference.
“It shows a degree of public concern and support, how it’s not just Ukrainians but the whole nation wants to help Ukraine as much as we can.”
She added: “I know I’m not alone and there are lots of people who don’t know what to do, and this is a simple thing they can do to show they stand with Ukraine.”
The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.