Wimbledon 2022: 1,000 free tickets given to Ukrainian refugees and their host families

The All England Club has invited around 1,000 refugees and their adoptive families to the iconic tennis tournament.

Wimbledon is giving out free tickets to Ukrainian refugees and their host families based in Merton and Wandsworth.

The All England Club has invited around 1,000 refugees and their adoptive families to the iconic tennis tournament.

It also pledged to donate £250,000 to those affected by Russia’s invasion.

Merton council has welcomed 400 Ukrainian refugees since Russian invasion

Free tickets have been made available for refugees on the middle Sunday (July 3).

They are expected to be joined by local residents and NHS and social care workers as well as a variety of schools, charities and community groups.

Around 82,100 refugees have arrived in the UK from Ukraine since June 21, with 400 refugees welcomed into Merton council through both the Homes for Ukraine and Friends and Family schemes.

Ukrainian refugees and their host families in Merton and Wandsworth boroughs have been given free tickets to Wimbledon.

Some of the tickets were given on Thursday at a pre-championship tea organised by Merton Council, the All England Club and local charity Polish Family Association to welcome the new residents to the borough.

This comes as Wimbledon organisers have banned Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament amid the invasion of Ukraine.

Cllr Eleanor Stringer, deputy leader of Merton Council said: “We’re delighted to be able to put on this event and share some of the excitement of the Wimbledon Championships with our Ukrainian guests.

“I’ve been so proud of the outpouring of support and goodwill from our borough’s residents: from those who opened their houses to host refugees, to those volunteering at the Merton Hub or working with Polish Family Association, through to people donating money to help the effort.

“We’d also like to recognise the generosity of AELTC and the Wimbledon Foundation for the gift of these tickets and their donation of funds to Polish Family Association, who have been indispensable in their efforts working with refugees both in the UK and in Poland.”

Sally Bolton, chief executive of the All England Club, said: “I’m delighted that Ukrainian refugees hosted across Merton and Wandsworth will be joining us for play on middle Sunday at Wimbledon.

“We hope this will be a great day for the local community, with thousands of tickets also distributed to our Covid heroes from the NHS and social care, local residents, schools, charities and community groups.”

Paige Murphy, head of the Wimbledon Foundation, said: “As the charity of an international sporting event, it is important to us that we are supporting people not just in our own local communities but also internationally, particularly in times of crisis.

“Having previously supported Polish Family Association’s work with East European & Polish communities in Merton and Wandsworth, we were aware of their incredible response to the situation and wanted to support their efforts in caring for those forced to flee their homes in Ukraine.”