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7th Jul, 2022

Sending aid: New Redditch drive to help the people of Ukraine

“ONCE again the people of Redditch have stepped up to the mark.”

That’s the comment of Nicki Farnes, manager of the Ecumenical Centre as it joined efforts by the town’s Polish community to help refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

That got underway earlier this week thanks to the efforts of Redditch resident Katarzyna Tuchowska-Zysk of the town’s Steam Detailing and Valeting company on Windsor Road.

However Nicki said a personal message to her husband Jeff, chair of Redditch Royal British Legion, had further spurred their efforts.

“Jeff works at Bromsgrove School and he was contacted by one of his former pupils, who is Romanian and who now works for a christian charity there,” she said.

“He said they needed help coping with all the refugees crossing over from Ukraine and into Romania.

“I was already helping with WOSP (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Poland) with Bill Hartnett and Katarzyna, and so we’re pulling together.”

She added the response from local people has been tremendous.

“Once again the people of Redditch have stepped up to the mark,” she said.

“People have been turning up and dropping stuff off, it’s been amazing.

“We’ve even had people who have nothing to give ordering blankets and things on Amazon and sending them to us.”

The centre is appealing for warm clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, tents, batteries, soaps, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, sanitary towels, baby food and baby clothes, plus medical and first aid supplies.

“All we’d ask is that people come along in the mornings to drop off their donations,” said Nicki.

A key issue is organising transport to the region.

“It’s two days travel to get there, and we’re hoping to sort it out soon, but if anyone can help then we’d be grateful if they could get in touch,” she said.

Meanwhile schools across the town are also doing their bit to help the refugees, from Inkberrow Primary School to St Augustine’s High School, all are appealing for goods to send out to help the people of Ukraine.

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