How you can help people in Ukraine - more volunteers needed at Halifax's Dean Clough

A fresh appeal for Halifax volunteers is being made to help sort donations of aid for Ukraine.

By sarah fitton
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 12:02 pm

A second lorry of vital supplies for the millions of people in Ukraine whose lives have been devastated by the Russian invasion is due to leave Calderdale tomorrow.

More people are needed at Dean Clough in Halifax, where donations are being sorted and packed up.

Volunteers have been giving up countless hours to sort through the many thousands of items donated by people and businesses across the borough to help those fleeing Ukraine as well as the many still living there despite constant bomb attacks.

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Some of the donations for Ukraine at Dean Clough in Halifax

Friday saw the first lorry of aid leave The Leo Group in Halifax, who have teamed up with Halifax Ukrainian Club to organise the biggest collection in Calderdale.

They had to pause accepting items for a short time last week after being swamped with donations but have since made a new appeal with an updated list of what is needed most.

Now they need supplies to be brought to Dean Clough in Halifax, where the next lorry will leave from.

Organisers say they have been overwhelmed by how keen people have been to help but still need volunteers.

More volunteers are needed to help sort and pack donations at Dean Clough in Halifax

Danny Sawrij, Chief Executive Officer of The Leo Group, said: "While the response has been incredible there is still so much more to be done.

"Towards the end of this week a team representing Leo Group and the Ukrainian community will travel to Poland to secure a large warehouse from where our aid will be distributed into the border countries but also directly into Ukraine.

"We understand the huge pressure on the Red Cross and have been advised storage is an issue, which we aim to resolve.

"We will continue to speak with The Red Cross on a daily basis but also directly with people in Ukraine, many of whom are friends and family of those who have supported the aid effort so magnificently in and around Halifax.

"It is a major undertaking and I would like to thank all suppliers, volunteers and our logistics team who have risen to the challenge.

"Any group needing help with logistics and customs can use our expertise by harnessing the man power now based at Dean Clough.

"Although the situation is heartbreaking, the strength of the human spirit has once again shone through."

Briony Dean, one of the collection co-ordinators, said: “In an ever-changing situation the support by volunteers who have come to our new centre at Dean Clough has been incredible but we do need more.

“We need sorters, packers, box-makers and loaders. The hub is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am until 8pm for both volunteers and donations.

“Thank you to Dean Clough for making this incredible facility available and thanks to all those who have helped so far.

“This country and this community are just wonderful.”

More than two million people have now fled Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations.

Donations for the collection should be dropped off at D Mill in Dean Clough, Monday to Friday, between 9am and 8pm. Donations should not be taken to the main reception but instead the entrance at the end of the cobbled road, by Stod Fold. Marshalls will be on site to direct people.

They are now looking for battery packs for phones, tool and socket sets, armoured vests, first aid kits, burn cream, dressings and bandages, wound spray and cream, diarrhoea tablets and sachets, antiseptic or alcohol wipes, tents and sleeping bags, torches and head torches, binoculars and night vision binoculars, empty sandbags, video-enabled drones (not the ones linked to mobile phone).

The only clothing they can now accept is new or nearly new men’s warm outerwear, fleece jackets and camouflage jackets, war men’s boots and other footwear in size 9 to 11, men’s warm socks and gloves and men’s knee pads