Tears were shed when a group of Ukrainian refugees were treated to an emotional performance by their national opera thanks to the efforts of local charities and businesses.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest teamed up with Harlow Playhouse Trust and Integration Support Services Harlow to offer 45 tickets and transport for the refugees living in Epping Forest and Harlow to see a performance of Madame Butterfly by the Ukrainian National Opera at the Harlow Playhouse.

Sawbridgeworth computer leasing business Hardsoft sponsored a pre-show reception held in the Gibberd Gallery at the Civic Centre, Harlow, for guests before they made their way to the theatre.

A memorable performance with full orchestra was rounded off with a highly emotionally-charged rendition of the Ukrainian National Anthem sung by the entire company which brought the entire packed house audience to its feet and left many in tears.