Hundreds of people from across Reading came together last night (17/2) in celebration of Ukrainian culture.

The benefit concert was organised by officials from the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre alongside Reading Borough Council with the aim of helping communities and soldiers on the front line following Russians illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The concert attracted people from all over the county and took place in Reading Concert Hall which was packed to capacity.

Matt Allright, presenter of The One Show, introduced many Ukrainian and diverse acts including Cossack Dancing, a rendition of ‘You’ll never Walk Alone’ and a beautiful violinist which moved audience members to tears.

Berkshire officials that attended the event included the mayor of Reading, Rachel Eden, Cllr Clive Jones, Sir Alok Sharmer, and Beth Rowland the deputy mayor of Wokingham.

An audience member from Wokingham who attended on the night said: “It was quite a somber event but everyone was there for a good cause to help soldiers on the front line.

“Rachel Eden was brought up on stage to join the Cossack dancers which was such a joy to see last night.

“However overall it was quite emotional for everyone that was there.”

Mayor of Reading, Cllr Rachel Eden, said: “Good evening we're from Ukraine' was a very special evening showcasing and supporting Ukrainian culture, although with war still raging this was not a celebration.  

“The Reading Ukrainian Community Centre has been a focus for all in Reading who wish to show solidarity.  But as well as raising vital funds for my Mayor's appeal, it is also important we recognise Ukraine’s vibrant and beautiful culture, which Putin wishes to destroy.

My appeal remains open and, a year on from the full-scale invasion, all donations are needed more than ever.”