Ukraine aid appeal - first lorry due to set off with donations from across Calderdale

Donations are pouring in from all over Calderdale to help Ukrainians fleeing from the Russian invasion.

By sarah fitton
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 8:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 8:36 pm

The biggest collection, organised by The Leo Group and Halifax Ukrainian Club, will see its first lorry setting off tomorrow packed full of clothes, medical supplies and other essentials.

Volunteers are spending hours sorting through and boxing-up thousands of items after being inundated with donations from people desperate to help in any way they can.

At The Leo Group's base in Boothtown yesterday, there were queues of people waiting to hand over boxes and bags of everything from clothing and blankets to medical supplies.

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Volunteers packing up boxes for Ukraine at The Leo Group in Boothtown, Halifax

Organisers estimate they have had around 6,000 nappies donated alone.

Over a million people are thought to have fled Ukraine because of the Russian invasion so far, and the EU has estimated that four times that could still try to leave.

Many have gone to neighbouring countries to the west, such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova. Smaller numbers have gone to Russia and Belarus.

Most will have had to escape with just what they could carry and will be facing severe winter weather.

Chris Powell, who was one of those packing up boxes, said warm clothing is one of the essentials they have been appealing for.

"There was a woman here this morning who has family in Kyiv and she'd managed to speak to them. They were down in the cellars and just bunked up. It's horrendous.

"We're all human. The people in Russia don't want this but they have no choice."

More containers full of aid are planned by the team. The Leo Group's Managing Director Danny Sawrij, whose father was Ukrainian and has family in the country fighting on the front line, has said he will continue to send aid until Putin has left Ukraine.

They have asked people to hold on to donations for now but will announce more drop-off dates and times. For updates, check Halifax Ukrainian Club's Facebook page.

Rotary Halifax Calder is holding a collection for Ukraine at The Woolshops in Halifax town centre on Saturday, March 5.

Members will be outside Marks and Spencer between 9am and 4pm and are appealing for toothbrushes and toothpaste, toiletries, children's nappies, wet wipes, nappy cream, sanitary products, new ladies and children's underwear and socks, medical supplies such as bandages and plasters, and children's writing materials, books, drawing utensils and colouring books.

Focus4Hope, based in Brighouse, has had to pause accepting donations while it sorts through items as it has been inundated but the charity says items can be dropped off at Brighouse Central Methodist Church on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sunday mornings.

They are looking for baby and children's clothes, nappies, baby wipes, baby milk, men and women's clothes, footwear and hygiene products.

Calder Valley Skip Hire, in Sowerby Bridge, is collecting toiletries, nappies, wipes, sanitary products, warm clothes, hats and gloves until Tuesday morning.

Their office is open 8am until 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8am until 11am on Saturday, For more information, email [email protected] or call 01422 833333.

On Tuesday, March 8, Todmorden Town Hall will be open between 10am and 4pm to take donations of urgently needed items for the Ukraine.

They are appealing for baby and children’s clothes, nappies, baby wipes, baby milk, footwear, hygiene products, men and women’s clothing and non-perishable foods such as tinned items, pasta, rice and UHT milk.

On Sunday, March 6 Hebden Bridge Trades Club will host a gig by band The Ukrainians in aid of Ukrainian refugees.

It takes place from noon until 4pm and tickets are £10.