Day of the Nightingale raising £1m for Ukrainian child refugees

Привіт (pr. Pryvit). That’s ‘hello’ in Ukrainian.

I am sending a more personal email today, the Day of the Nightingale. I wanted to say thank you to all the wonderful partners who have supported my initiative.

I started Solovey, a Ukrainian charitable campaign brand, almost two years ago to raise money for War Child. The purpose is to take pride in the Ukrainian spirit of courage, creativity and hope. The campaign has an almighty goal of raising £1,000,000 to support the over 2.8 million Ukrainian children who continue to need humanitarian assistance, with more than half of the country’s children displaced. We are approaching a tenth of the way there, so some way to go.

To drive the campaign, I’ve decided to rename the 24th February, the day of the invasion, as the Day of the Nightingale (Solovey means nightingale in Ukrainian). It’s not official, but I hope over time it becomes so. The idea is to root the day in positivity, celebrating Ukrainian people and culture. The nightingale, Ukraine’s national animal, symbolises spring, hope, and renewal. It has its origins in Ukrainian folktales.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been supported by JCDecaux with a nationwide digital billboard campaign, featuring Ukrainian refugee families thanking the UK public for their support (picture above). The photography was done by the award-winning Daniel Castro Garcia (@foreignerdigital).

Solovey was always meant to be a vehicle to drive meaningful story-first collaborations. The first one was with East London Liquor Co to plug the gap left by the hospitality industry not wanting to use Russian vodka. I’ve been proud to partner with the most innovative hospitality brands in the UK in creating cocktails that engage their guests and teams, including Loungers, Hawksmoor, Swingers, Boxpark, Little Door Group, Mr Fogg’s, Cahoots, The Prince, Pergola on the Wharf, Flat Iron Square, LW Theatres, Market Halls, Upham Inns, Hubbox, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Wolfpack and Morty & Bob’s. I would like to invite more hospitality venues to join the campaign.

I also want to thank our partner brands who have collaborated to tell more great stories and drive a positive impact. In each case, they have created rich stories that intertwine closely with their purpose and business model. Charitable partnerships are essential to get right. They need to make sense, otherwise they feel jarring.

  • Rabbie’s are offering free seats on their buses countrywide for refugees and collaborating with Luxury Cottages to take Ukrainian families for free on their first holidays to explore their new home country. Ancient + Brave and Neom will be providing products to make the mothers’ experience even more fulfilling.
  • Bruce’s have teamed up with the animal charity Blue Cross to support their Ukraine Dog Welfare Fund. Alona, who features as one of the mothers in the campaign is also a dog trainer, is coming in for a dog training experience at their Cobham centre and to share her story with the team.
  • Mous have collaborated with Ukrainian pop-act, Bloom Twins, to create a beautiful Ukraine-inspired phone case with profits going to War Child

We’re soon to launch other wonderful collaborations with Double Dutch, Daily Dose, COAT, Free Soul and Samurai. We’ll share them with you from next week.

If you are reading this and want to explore a collaboration or just brainstorm ways of getting involved in the campaign to help reach the goal, please email me You can follow the campaign on Instagram @soloveyspirit. If you want to support personally, you can buy a bottle of Solovey.

Дякую (pr. Dyakuyu). That’s ‘thank you’ in Ukrainian😊.