Tons of vital aid for the Ukraine refugee appeal have been transported to Poland thanks to donations from generous Blackmore Vale residents.
A fortnight ago, we reported on how Blandford resident Svetlana Parkinson, whose family live in Ukraine, appealed on Facebook for local people to donate as much as they could to help refugees fleeing the war-torn country.
Since then, local people have sent in hundreds more items of much-needed goods to collection points across the Vale, including The Exchange in Sturminster Newton and the Ginger Viking in Blandford. The aid was transported by local companies who put their hands up to help out, including Riverside Taxis, to a depot at Southampton, for Polish lorries to take to the Ukraine-Poland border.
And over the past few days, storage units at Armishaws Removals’ Wincanton office have become an impromptu sorting depot and staging post for hundreds more items that have been kindly donated. There, around 3,000kg of aid – filling five enormous pallets – was recently loaded onto a lorry by community volunteers and staff, ready to be transported all the way to Poland.
Local people and most of the rest of the world continue to be touched by the upsetting news and images coming out of Ukraine, as Russia’s dictatorial president Vladimir Putin continues to wage war on the country.
In less than two weeks, two million Ukrainians have had to flee their homes – and that number keeps rising.
The local appeal to help these refugees continues apace, and anyone wishing to donate items can still make a huge difference…
There are a number of items particularly needed (full list to the right). However, the team sorting the donations have asked people to carefully consider what they are planning to donate. That’s because some of the donations have included flips-flops, high-heeled boots, bikinis and other impractical items which cannot be sent. Toys, food, toiletries, new underwear and thermals are particularly needed.
Companies can also get involved. If you want to make a company donation, food supplies (long-life), nappies and medical supplies are all welcome. Alternatively, companies can pay for a pallet to be delivered.
Led by local efforts, two vehicles were initially loaded in Sturminster Newton. Since then, Armishaws have been boxing up donations at their depots across the South West and the Surrey/Hampshire border.
Pat Carter, the company’s general manager, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and strength of feeling from locals, wanting to help the Ukrainian people in any way they can.”
The company’s contacts in Poland have said men’s clothing is currently not required. That is because Ukrainian men of conscription age (18-60) are banned from leaving Ukraine and urged to defend the country from the invading Russian forces.
• Baby food
• Long-life/instant food – dried foods, pasta, milk etc
• Warm clothes for women and children, including underwear
• Nappies, wet wipes
• Toiletries and sanitary products
• Toys, pens and colouring books
• First aid supplies
• Thermos flasks
• Blankets/sleeping bags
Donations are welcome between 8.30am – 4pm, Monday to Friday, to prevent items being left out in wet weather.
Wincanton Business Park
By Kye Harman and