Ukrainian Events in London: first anniversary of the website launch

August 20, 2015 • Articles • Views: 2019

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Text by Anna Morgan, Project Manager, Ukrainian events in London

We thought that our first anniversary deserves a separate article. If you are interested in how we created and developed this website, please read the text below. If you have any comments, suggestions, feedback, please write to ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com. We’d be super grateful for your emails!

Before the launch

The idea of the website originated with Sergiy Burnus, who had been an active member of the Ukrainian community in London for several years. In June 2014 he teamed up with London newcomer Anna Morgan and IT developer Bohdan Maksak to create the website ukrainianlondon.co.uk.

Website: up to 9000 visits a month

On 20th August 2014, the first Newsletter was released by Ukrainian Events in London inviting the followers to check the website. In the first month, the website was visited over 2000 times. In a year, we have grown to over 9,000 visits a month, coming from over 150 countries. Most of our readers are based in the UK (65%), Ukraine (10%) and the US (6%).

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Content: over 500 posts

During the first year the website announced over 500 Ukrainian events happening in and around London. Our volunteers have visited many events and written over 60 articles, post-event reports, reviews and interviews. Some of the articles were translated and printed in the London-based community newspapers (Ukrainian Thought, Pulse and Angliya); some were quoted by Kyiv Post, ceel.org.uk, vidia.org and some others.

Several articles attracted considerably more attention than others. Here are the top 3 publications from the first year:

5,944 hits: Interview by Anna Morgan with the rock band “The Ukrainians”.

3,065 hits: Article by Darya Malyutina about a Russian propaganda exhibition in London.

2,203 hits: Report by Darya Malyutina on how Russian propagandist Graham Phillips tried to break into the London Bandera museum.

We are grateful to our volunteer contributors of the website content: Darya Malyutina,  Agne Dovydaityte, Karyna Silina and a few others who wish to remain anonymous. Special thanks to our most long-standing post drafter – Nata Kendira, and also to Albina Stukalkina, Innokentiy Ivanov and other volunteers who helped with website updates. Separate appreciation is expressed to those who helped us with proofreading of the articles: Ian Morgan, Stephan Ciapryna and Maria Montague.

We welcome other volunteers to join this joint work and write articles for the website, make posts, proofread texts. If you are interested to join and contribute please drop us a line to ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com with the subject line “Volunteer: website content”.

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Social media

Our Facebook page is 3 years old now and has over 6,450 likes. More than a half of those were gained since the launch of the website. Our Twitter account has grown from around 70 followers last year to over 750 as of today. Our LinkedIn page was launched recently and has 49 followers. We also opened profiles on Instagram and Google+. Please join us on your favourite social media.

We are grateful for considerable contribution to our social media pages development to Ivan Botoucharov, Galina Boggis Rolfe, Diana Mess, Liubov Fodor, Oleksandr Pryymak, Lesja Wiewiorka and others.

If you want to join our team and be responsible for updates of one of the above social media channels or would like to create a new one, please write to ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com with the subject line “Volunteer: social media”.

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Newsletter: 20 issues

Our bi-weekly Newsletter now has almost 2000 subscribers. Being a subscriber means to be the first one to hear about new events, promotions, contests for free tickets, special offers from our partners. Subscription is fast and easy (via home page of the website).

We are grateful to the artists and photographers who allowed us to use their artwork for the covers of our newsletters: Olga Brown, Romano Dowbuzs, Diana Mess, Katrychenko sisters, Lerochka Rarebird and others.

If you want us to use your photography, embroidery or other images in our Newsletters, please write to ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com with the subject line “Newsletter cover”.

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Printed GUIDE: 4,500 copies

The first GUIDE was printed in September 2014 and had 12 events in it. Since then, we’ve published 6 issues with a circulation of 500-1000 copies each, covering over 30 events per release. A digital copy of the GUIDE is available for downloading from the website. A printed copy can be found at the Ukrainian Embassy and Consulate, Ukrainian Cultural Centre, Ukrainian Institute, the Ukrainian restaurants Prosperity and Galicija, Ukrainian cathedrals at Acton and Binney Street, in some East European shops around London, universities, offices and other venues where we have our friends and supporters. If you want our GUIDEs in your office – please drop us an email ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com with the subject line “GUIDE distribution”.

We also mail fresh printed copies to those who donate any amount to our Paypal.

Special thanks to our designer and publisher Michael Hopkins from MyPrinternet. He spent many sleepless nights designing our GUIDEs, newspaper posters, and website banners.

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Ukrainian calendar in printed newspapers: over 20 prints

We regularly submit the calendar of upcoming Ukrainian events to the printed newspapers Angliya and Pulse. In the past year, there were over 20 editions of these newspapers with our calendar in them.

We are grateful to the editors Ilya Goncharov and Tatiana Chuvatkina for cooperation. Special thanks to Diana Mess and Michael Hopkins for designing the calendar every two weeks!

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Financial support

We have raised almost 2,500 pounds for our website, prints and publications. We are enormously grateful for all donations that we received throughout the year. In particular:

Sterling and Law Associates LLP, Ukrainian restaurant “Prosperity”, Iryna Kulych from Ukrainian Tours, Tetyana Klymenko from OUZ, Tatiana Vovnyanko from Ukraine Aid, Igor Makar from Ukraine Charity, Peter Solowka from The Ukrainians, Victor Lysyuk from European Frontier Foundation, Margarita Bagrova, Olga Kerziouk, Sergei Ovcharuk, Olha Pryymak, Iryna Pyrtko-Moroz, Karyna Silina, Innokentiy Ivanov, Ghisline Denissenko, Malcolm Dickson, Rob O’Connor, Marianna Bahlay, Bohdana Bahlay, Anna Slobodyanuyk, Ariadna Bakhmatova, Marina Borozna, Igor Seits,  Oleksandr Varodi.

If you want your name on our list of our Glorious Supporters, please make any donation that you find affordable. We will use the funds to develop the website and publish more GUIDEs to Ukrainian events in London.

Feedback

We would love to hear from you. Please send your reviews, comments, suggestions on how you would like our website to develop to our email ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com

A few comments that we’ve received so far:

Andy Hunder, President of American Chamber of Commerce in Kyiv, former Director of Ukrainian Institute, London

The Ukrainian Events team have been doing a brilliant job over the  past year. My sincere congratulations to all – a great one-stop hub for all things Ukrainian in London.

Oksana Kyzyma, Press Secretary, Embassy of Ukraine to the UK

The first year of the amazing work the Ukrainian Events in London have been doing marked with a valuable contribution to the promotion of Ukraine in the UK.Started by enthusiastic Sergiy Burnus, who was joined by many creative volunteers including bright editor-in-chief Anna Morgan, the project tuned into one of the driving forces of the Ukrainian culture diplomacy abroad. These guys keep on showing that it is love for Ukraine which shapes the new face of national identity different from the post-Soviet one. Due to the project Britons are always aware and well-informed about the cultural, business, social and charity events relating to Ukraine. Happy first anniversary! Many thanks for the work you are doing for Ukraine.With the best wishes for many new creative ideas!

Rory Finnin, Head, Department of Slavonic Studies, Director, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies programme

Ukrainian Events in London is not only an outstanding asset for the very active Ukrainian and Ukrainian Studies communities in Great Britain; it is an important symbol of the diversity and dynamism of contemporary British society. Your site and newsletter are attractive, energetic, creative and highly informative. I have always been so impressed by your efforts to be inclusive and comprehensive — and now I really cannot imagine what we did without you for so long!

Sarah Hurst, journalist, independent film-maker

It’s so exciting that there’s a website where people can find out about Ukrainian events in London, because this is a thriving and dynamic culture that everyone needs to learn more about. For far too long we’ve focused on Russian culture and ignored Ukraine. I really appreciated being interviewed for the website about my film ‘The Way to Ukraine’, and the interview was seen by hundreds of people. I have enjoyed working with the website and look forward to more cooperation in the future!

Hannah Croft, Research Event Officer, RUSI

Ukrainian Events in London was a vital source of knowledge and experience when RUSI was coordinating a conference on Ukraine this year. Those who run the site were extremely helpful in providing suggestions for invitations, as well as marketing the event on their website, which made a real impact on its success.

Rob O’Connor, website follower

I am an Englishman who has visited Ukraine a few times and have fallen in love with the country and the culture. Since visiting Kyiv a couple of months after Maidan I’ve been following events in Ukraine closely and trying to support the cause where I can. From the Ukrainian London website I have found out about a number of great events that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise – I’ve tried making pysanky at a couple of events and attended a really great play. Best of all, I’ve made some good friends thanks to Ukrainian London!

Olesya Khromeychuk, Molodyi Teatr

Ukrainian Events in London is an amazing resource. It is hard to believe that it has been around for one year only. How did we manage without it before? The website is easy to access; the social media pages are always up-to-date, and the UEL team are very nice to deal with. What an excellent project! An absolute asset to all Ukrainian Londoners and people interested in Ukraine!

Molly Flynn – PhD candidate in Slavonic Studies, University of Cambridge, Freelance Performance Curator at GRAD

I have found Ukraine in London to be a valuable resource for anyone in London with an interest in East European art and culture. The site not only provides the most comprehensive listings on Ukrainian cultural events in the city, it also fosters an important community of artists, activists, and academics dedicated to the promotion of cross-cultural dialogue.

Olha Pryymak, London-based Ukrainian artist

Big thank you the Ukrainian Events for bringing out the best there is in Ukrainian culture and arts to the UK audience. It was particularly nice to see you guys holding the flag up high when the dramatic events of the last two years were attracting more attention to Ukraine then ever. Your work is very much in need. Please keep it up!

Iryna Kulych and Orest Andrijiw, website followers and organisers of Ukrainian Tours

We value greatly your achievement throughout the past year. It has been a great pleasure working with you. Throughout this past year we have felt wonderful support from Ukrainian Events in London for which we are hugely grateful. We wish you all the very best for the future and will continue to help and support you in any way possible. Great work and Good Luck!

Iryan Pyrtko-Moroz, UK Branch International Educational Cultural Company

The Ukrainian events is a unique platform for Ukrainians in UK and those one who are interested in Ukraine! High professionals and friendly atmosphere are internal part of their team! It’s a pleasure to follow their updates, as that’s definitely the best way not to miss out on anything  what is connected with Ukraine in UK! Sincerely thank you, guys!

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