UKRAINE refugees have been taking part in an event in Dorchester to mark the second year since the invasion of their homeland.

Charity, Help and Kindness, with Dorset Council's Ukraine Response Team and Dorset Together arranged the gathering at the Brownsword Hall featuring a range of speakers and a tradition Ukraine lunch.

Said a spokesperson: "Since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago, Dorset has welcomed more than 1,000 Ukrainian refugees. But sadly, as the Russian missile attacks on the country and civilians continue, for many refugees, returning to Ukraine continues to be an impossible dream.

"The news and pictures we are all seeing across our TVs and social media are difficult to process, and something that we hoped never to see in our lifetimes.

"Dorset continues to stand in unity and solidarity with the people of Ukraine."

Representatives from groups working with refugees across the county took part in the event, including those from Shaftesbury, Weymouth, Purbeck and Dorchester.

Of the refugees for Dorset 359 are currently being hosted with local families, 344 are in rented accommodation, 167 have returned home and 149 are classed as being in 'other' accommodation.

Seventy five per cent of the Dorset host families have been involved for between 1 and 2 years with 91per cent saying they would recommend being a host with payments available from the Government and Dorset Council, together with support from a dedicated team of staff.

Host families continue to be needed - for more information contact HelpandKindness on 01305 595958, Dorset Council on 01305 221000 or email or