THE community across Dorset has rallied amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has shocked the world.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Vladimir Putin's forces are committing war crimes as Russian troops step up the bombardment of Ukraine's cities.

The United Nations' refugee agency believes around 874,000 people have fled Ukraine but that figure is soon expected to reach a million.

READ MORELyme Regis landlord travels to Ukraine - to help refugees

Dorset Echo: A Dorset village school is accepting donations in support of Ukraine Pictures Google MapsPAA Dorset village school is accepting donations in support of Ukraine Pictures Google MapsPA

Weymouth Rotary Club has sent an urgent call for volunteers to help them to collect donations from four locations throughout the town as part of their Ukrainian Fundraising Appeal in the hopes residents will be able raise money needed by Ukrainian refugees.

Club president Jerry Way said: "This idea was raised by one of our members Alan Burt, who started the plan to raise funds for the refugees who are fleeing the increasing danger in their home country.

"These families - mostly women and children - have left all of their worldly goods behind them and fled for safety.

"We decided we would raise money to help their plight in four locations - three supermarkets and a town centre stand.

"We hope to be setting up in these locations by the end of this week, and to have the campaign carry on for the next few weeks."

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact Mr Way at for more details.

Dorset Echo: Vigil to show solidarity with Ukraine at Jubilee Clock Tower this FridayVigil to show solidarity with Ukraine at Jubilee Clock Tower this Friday

Meanwhile, a vigil will take place at the Jubilee Clock on Weymouth's seafront to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Weymouth Town Council is asking members of the public to attend the vigil tomorrow which is from 6pm-7pm.

A spokeswoman from Weymouth Town Council, said: "This quiet period of reflection allows our communities to come together to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

"Everyone is invited to attend and we're encouraging people to walk or catch public transport.

"Please ensure you take any candles and other items home with you."

Cheselbourne Village School near Dorchester is welcoming aid packages for Ukraine up until 3.30pm tomorrow.

The school has made a plan to transport packages to the Prince of Wales School in Dorchester. According to headteacher Mr Perry the school has already received plenty of clothes and bedding - however all donations are welcome.

Items currently needed include toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, instant/canned food and energy bars, instant milk for babies, wipes, nappies, torches and bed linen, and dry sanitary products.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth Rotary. Picture Weymouth RotaryWeymouth Rotary. Picture Weymouth Rotary

Leader of Dorset Council, councillor Spencer Flower said: "Our thoughts are with those affected by this conflict.

"We recognise that there will be people within our own community affected by this situation.

"We're working closely with voluntary and community groups to provide support. I particularly want to thank Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) for their work supporting local communities who are facing prejudices, and who are also helping to organise donations.

"Many of us want to know how we can help, and it's wonderful to see the incredible generosity of Dorset residents in making donations to support the people of Ukraine.

"The advice from local and national charities is that the best way to help is to make a cash donation to an organisation such as the British Red Cross or Save the Children who are responding to the humanitarian crisis.

"These organisations are already working on the ground and can direct support in the quickest and most appropriate ways.

"As shown with the recent conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, councils across the country have a proud history of welcoming refugees. We stand ready to work with the government to support any scheme helping those fleeing the conflict.

"To show our solidarity with the people of Ukraine we will shortly be flying the Ukraine flag from County Hall and also lighting up County Hall in yellow and blue. Thank you to our contractor, Turrell, who have agreed to do this at no charge to show their support.

"We pray for the people of Ukraine that this conflict will end soon and our hope is for peace and for an end to so much unnecessary suffering."