After an initial, rather humble, call for donations, the Lewisham Polish Centre in Forest Hill has been inundated with all kinds of items for the people of Ukraine fleeing the war, writes a local volunteer.
“Its been absolutely nonstop – streams of people coming with a couple bags of items, queuws of cars full of items parking on the busy South Circular road, and even truckloads from as far away as Brighton”
“One woman delivered mountains of things she collected from three local libraries. Others organised collections at local schools. It’s been amazing.”
Several times a day lorries have been collecting dozens of boxes of donated goods. They then drive to Poland and the border area with Ukraine.
Some items are going to the main railway stations in Poland where most of the refugees are arriving. Other have been sent to orphanages in Poland.
The Polish Centre has been coordinating with people working in Poland on the delivery of the goods.
The response has been totally overwhelming.
“No one anticipated this scale of donations, and it hasn’t slowed since the start of the conflict. Dozens of volunteers are turning up in shifts each day to help sort and pack the items.”
It’s been an incredible experience.”
The centre has now CLOSED to donations, as there is no longer any storage space left.
So far it has sent seven trucks, eaqch with 7-8 tonnes of supplies, there is another 5 tones redy to ship, and it has collected £20,000 in donations.
The centre has requested that people donate online to their Justgiving Ukraine appeal or the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).
These monetary donations will reach organisations working on the ground. They remove transport delays and should go further as many items can be purchased more cheaply in Poland.