More than a million people have fled from the fighting in Ukraine, following the Russian invasion, with many crossing the border into Poland with nothing expect the clothes they had one and a few possessions.
In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, a group of Hucknall businesses – Damo’s, The Red Lion, Guilt Free Pleasures, Scentre of Attention and On Hand Training & Security, worked together to collect items ready to be sent to Poland at the weekend.
The organising businesses acted as collection points for items and on Sunday, March 6, everything was taken to the central distribution point in Leicestershire, at the Polish Club in Loughborough, ready to be put on a flight to Poland that day.
And organisers have thanked the people of Hucknall for their efforts.
Posting on the Damo’s Facebook page, Damien O’Connor, Damo’s owner, said: “Firstly shout out to everyone who dropped in to help out and take the drive down to the distribution centre in Loughborough.
"The response to our call out was incredible and by 11.30am we had already packed up and were on the road so apologies to those who turned up to see that we had already loaded up and departed.
“Special shout out to venues and businesses who collected items on behalf of the cause – Scentre of Attention, The Red Lion, Guilt Free Pleasures, On Hand Training and Security, Short Stitch, Tesco Extra Hucknall to name but a few.
“Shout out to MG Electrical and Pluming, Waller Decorators, Hucknall Rotary Club, and all those who made the trip with us and donated vans, cars and hands to help with loading and unloading.
To every person who donated regardless of size, thank you.
“Your efforts and contributions are now in the hands of those who will be helping more than one million Ukrainian refugees who have fled the conflict into Poland.
"Hucknall really has got a great community and a massive heart.
“We're proud to be at the center of it and to have helped towards something that over the past two weeks has touched so many.”
Organisers were specific about the items they needed and didn’t need and this unfortunately led to some friction when items were turned away.
Damien continued: “Our efforts at times were questioned as to the authenticity of the project and we've unfortunately been shouted at for refusing out-of-date foods, inappropriate clothing and unwanted goods.
“I've personally been called out on as well for using this as a publicity stunt to gain followers, likes and boost my popularity as a venue – all of which are untrue.
“We do things like this for the greater good, for humanity and because we live in a country where we still have a voice, a choice and can live life freely, without fear and consequence.
“Our hearts go out to the people of the Ukraine and to those who are currently fighting for their freedom, democracy and for their lives and the lives of their fellow countrymen and women."