People across North West Hampshire are coming together in support of Ukrainian families.
Individuals and businesses from around north Hampshire are donating items to assist those facing attacks in Ukraine.
More collection points are being sought around North West Hampshire in an effort organised by residents Rainy Carter, Edyta Janiso-Szkutkowska and Bogusia Rachwal-Komorska.
Edyta who runs Delicatessen 13 on Junction Road told Love Andover, “This only started on Friday and we have already had so much support including a lorry to take collected goods to the border.
Edyta and Bogusia linked with Rainy Carter at the weekend and have organised for transportation of collected goods to the Poland/Ukraine border from this coming Friday. Collection points currently include The Station Inn in Andover and The Red Lion in Overton.
The arranged lorry will leave north west Hampshire to go to the Polish border area on Saturday.
Edyta who has run the Delicassen on Junction Road for 11 years adds, “We have been overwhelmed with peoples’ support. We are grateful to those who are offering to be collection points, as we are a small store in Andover”.
Rainy Carter of Overton says, “The support we’ve got from people around Hampshire is amazing.
“I worked with a Ukrainian girl at a nursery and since we discussed this on Saturday it has gone out of control. It’s so emotional.”
Items initially requested for donation included baby wipes, baby milk, hygiene products and basic first aid assistance. However, as the situation evolved on the Russian/Ukrainian border, requests are now being made for blankets, tents and warm (wet-proof) clothing.
Rainy adds, “It’s just snowballed. The amount that we have already collected is too much for my car and I am grateful to Micheldever Tyres who have offered a man and van to assist on Friday. They totally rescheuled their work to make this work”.
As the UK Government has recently advised against Britons travelling to Russia for any reason today, Edyta from Delicatessen 13 has arranged for private carriage from Total Transport in Srem (Poland) to deliver donations to the Krakow/Ukrainian border area.
Victoria Harber at the Red Lion in Overton is no stranger to collecting goods for those in need. Before leaving the Queen Charlotte Inn in Andover, from March last year she orchestrated the collection, storage and delivery of tens of thousands of ‘aid packages’ for those most in need during the lockdown around north west Hampshire with the Love Andover Isolation Help Group.
Victoria, now in Overton adds, “Within minutes of a Facebook post from Rainy we had people dropping off baby products. We now really need blankets and items that would support people in cold weather; sleeping bags and tents would be of the most benefit. We are a community pub of benefit to all and we are proud to assist this amazing local effort”.
The Station Inn on Bridge Street in Andover is a drop-off point. An emotional Romana Gillies told Andover Radio, “As a drop-off point, it’s the least we can do. Edyta started this and we are open all the time and we have space to collect items.
“I feel privileged; I sleep in a warm bed and there are now people out there who really need help.”
Romana’s husband, Station Inn landlord Alex added, “I have donated my old army sleeping bag and if anyone can be more useful then we need more cold weather clothing and protection from the cold and rain. Anything like that would be very welcome.
“Anyone can drop off needed items when we are open.
“I’d also like to find another transport company to help. If not, I’ll find a vehicle and drive the supplies over there myself”.
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“This is a brilliant community” adds Rainy. “It’s harrowing to watch the news, it makes you feel sad, and the support of local people these last couple of days feels like you’re doing something that matters.”