A vacant unit next at Castlepoint shopping centre has become a donation centre for Bournemouth residents who want to help Ukrainian refugees. The community, called Help from Bournemouth to Ukraine, has come together to raise funds and donate necessities required by the refugees.
Help from Bournemouth to Ukraine is led by Karol Swiacki, a member of BCP’s Polish community. The group began by a single Facebook post, and now has expanded into a centre of donations that attracts people, communities, and institutions who want to help. The movement grows bigger, thanks to the tight relationship with organisations, charities and communities from cities and towns in Poland and Ukraine border. This enables Karol to tailor what items are essentially needed by the refugees and relay the message to the donors.
To ensure speedy sorting process, the organisers put labelled trolleys at the front door, so the people who come on-site to donate can separate the items according to the label. The items are then boxed and labelled, loaded onto pallets and then put together in the warehouse. These boxes are then put in queue to be picked up and transported to the Ukraine or Poland border.
The community has over 100 volunteers who are receiving and sorting donations every day, who come from the BCP area and even further. Their job is to make sure that only required items are sent to the contacts who are waiting, both in Ukraine and Poland. They have warehouses based at Hurn Airport and in Poole, where the pallets are loaded onto trucks.
The volunteers might have their own reasons to help, but all unite for the same mission. They believe that this is a strong method to truly help the refugees. The Breaker had an amazing opportunity to hear the stories first hand from Karol and other volunteers, who had devoted their time and energy to assure that they are doing their best to help during these difficult times.