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Ukraine Appeal Update

Huge thank you to all of our clients and contacts who donated so generously to our appeal to support the continuing refugee crisis spiraling out of the conflict and aggression in the Ukraine.

I know so many of you wanted to do something to help and felt pretty helpless, as I did, watching the terrible situation unfold.

We were absolutely inundated with donations – coats and other warm clothes and boots, little backpacks for children filled with clothes, books, crayons and chocolates, much needed toiletries, feminine hygiene products and nappies.

Then as we worked closely with the Stockport Ukrainian Club to see what they most needed, you responded so amazingly to our more specific requests buying and dropping off first aid kits, bandages, brand new children’s coats and thermals, tin mugs, brand new sleeping bags and blankets.

Honestly, we were blown away, and pretty emotional with your generosity!

The IN Team all got involved and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to sort the donations, by quality, by product type, by age and more before filling cars (and I mean filling to the brim!) to drop to the Stockport Ukrainian Club.

The Stockport Ukrainian Club were themselves turning well wishers with donations away but welcomed us with open arms as they knew the effort we had put into sorting items and prioritising what they really, really needed. Unfortunately some people appeared to have used them as effectively a cheap alternative to a trip to the tip!!!

So we sent Matt and James down to the Stockport Ukrainian Club for a day to help the team there unpack and repack into different, itemised and transport compliant containers.

We ended up reluctantly turning people away ourselves as no-one was taking any more donations of second hand clothes, and the Stockport Ukrainian Club’s lorry was already full.

In fact so much so, that we ended up storing about 60 full sacks of excellent quality second hand clothing here at our offices for over a week until Jenny found a local Scout Group in Fallowfield who was doing another run and still taking donations.

We filled Matt’s car up on Wednesday morning (I wish I’d taken a picture – it was hilarious, and a little precarious) and sent him off on a mission. If you haven’t met Matt yet, he’s one of our trainees and has such a nice manner – he has been picking, packing, sorting and delivering always with a smile!

There were apparently some issues then and the Stockport Ukrainian Club had to arrange alternative transport with the amazing team at Haywood Transport Services in Bredbury, so they left with their on Sunday 13th March and headed to the Polish boarder – a mammoth 1300 mile expedition (and that’s just one way – they still had to get back!)

I’d encourage you to head over to the Facebook pages of both organisations (linked in their first mentions above) to see the whole rest of the story, and I challenge you not to well up at least a little!

But the short version is, that despite numerous issues at borders, they made it to the Polish border by Tuesday morning, and by about midnight they had finally got directly to a refugee center and unloaded the precious and much needed cargo. They were almost turned away as the goods hadn’t been palleted, and indeed this was why they couldn’t unload at the first distribution center the reached. So they managed to get directly to where it was needed and with some local help manually unloaded more than 500 boxes of aid!!

Hats off to you lads – impressive work! I know they were driving back to Germany for a much needed break and a very, very hard earned and well deserved beer, which I hope was the best they ever tasted!

I’ve no idea if they are back home yet, but I am sure you will join me in wishing them a safe journey and thanking them for all they have done!

Finally on this if anyone is wishing to participate in the Homes for Ukraine scheme and sponsor a named Ukrainian or Ukrainian family, we do have contacts who can help you find that individual or family to support, so please don’t hesitate to ask for an introduction.

Thank you once again to everyone involved – you made a difference!

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