First pallets for refugees ready as Redditch community pulls together - The Redditch Standard

First pallets for refugees ready as Redditch community pulls together

Redditch Editorial 4th Mar, 2022 Updated: 7th Mar, 2022   0

LORRIES from Redditch are set to take to the road following a massive appeal to help the people of Ukraine.

The borough-wide effort, led by the town’s Polish community and the Ecumenical Centre, has seen schools, community groups and individuals rally round to help refugees fleeing the Russian onslaught on their country.

The Redditch response has proved so great that last night Birmingham TV dropped in on the heart of the operation, led by Katarzyna Tuchowska-Zysk and her husband Andrzyej Zysk at their business, Steam Detailing and Valeting, at Phoenix Works on Windsor Road.

There they witnessed a dozen volunteers from the Polish community as well as Redditch community champions like Bill Hartnett and Joe Baker helping to get the donations packed and palleted up ready for transportation out to help the refugees.

“People are coming in and dropping donations off every 10 to 15 minutes – it is really heart warming,” said Katarzyna.

“We have 15 pallets ready to go out now and we are waiting on Oakland International to come and collect them.

“We don’t know when that will be because they obviously want to know which town they are to go to in Poland and who will be there to receive the goods.

“So I’m just waiting to confirm that with them and then we’re good to go.”

She added that the appeal wouldn’t end with the first shipment.

“When we decide to do something, we do it, and this will not end here.

“Our neighbour has kindly given us space in his premises because ours is already full so we are keeping everything going.”

Bill Hartnett added:  “The response has been overwhelming.

“The premises were full of donations, which is utterly fantastic.

“The people of Redditch have truly responded, so much so that Nicki Farnes manager at the Ecumenical Centre doubted if it would all fit on one lorry!”

The appeal goes on: Donations can be dropped off at Steam Detailing and Valeting, Unit 6, Phoenix Works, Windsor Road, Redditch B97 6DJ, phone number 07702114500.

Alternatively people can leave donations at the Ecumenical Centre in Evesham Walk on weekday mornings where they will be palleted up and taken to help refugees streaming across Ukraine’s border with Romania.

Also lending their weight to the campaign are Redditch Borough and County Councillors Mike Rouse and Emma Marshall who run the Support Redditch Emergency Network.

“As a charity we have been working with Oakland International and we are co-ordinating and co-working with groups across the town on fundraising initiatives,” said Coun Rouse.

“This is because we have been in contact with the Polish embassy who have advised the Polish border regions are now being overwhelmed with goods. They have asked for the focus to switch to sending money instead.”

In addition Dormer Plant Hire on Hewell Road, run by the Leader of Redditch Borough Council Matt Dormer, has offered to act as an overflow drop off point too for charity goods for Ukraine.


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