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AAT Lecturer receives Parish Award for Ukraine humanitarian efforts

Eastleigh College lecturer James Read has been recognised in the local community for his outstanding support to Ukrainian refugees.

Over the past year Ukraine has faced a humanitarian crisis, causing mass displacement and an exodus of over eight million Ukrainians to Europe. These refugees have been dependent on the aid of support workers and volunteers in order to survive in their new countries. James Read has been at the forefront of such efforts, orchestrating local supply collections and visiting refugee camps regularly in Poland to personally deliver these supplies to those in need. Each visit involves renting a van and fundraising money for fuel and channel crossings in order to make this three-day trip possible. He has now made seven visits and delivered thousands of supplies to refugee camps, including food, medication, clothing, bedding, sanitary products and many more essential items.

James has worked at Eastleigh College since 1996, mainly as a sessional tutor in AAT, providing accounting support to learners for 27 years. However he admits this has been a whole new scale of challenge: “These trips can be very draining and every visit brings a strong emotional toll. But from the start of this war I knew I had to do what I could to help out and the way that villagers and the surrounding community have rallied around these collections and fundraisers has been amazing. There are normally at least a couple of thousand people at these refugee camps and they are always so grateful for this support – it has made such a positive impact in what has been a truly traumatic period for them all.”

Jacqueline Beavis, Head of Delivery for Business and Logistics at Eastleigh College, commented: “We have all been inspired by James’ contribution to the Ukraine relief efforts, and this Parish Award is clearly very well deserved. His story demonstrates the respectful and resilient values of our College community.”

Eastleigh College are committed to providing a welcoming and nurturing environment for those who are fleeing war and, following our recent College of Sanctuary accreditation, have welcomed over 200 Ukrainian learners to campus since the start of the Russian invasion. For many of these individuals, further education colleges are where they begin life in the UK, and our specialist ESOL and SLUKY courses are designed to equip learners with the skills to integrate successfully into life in the UK.

James’ next delivery trip will be to Ukraine, where he will be supporting efforts to help in local hospitals.   

If you would like to support James with his collections, please contact him at

For any further queries, please contact the College at