Swanage responds to Ukraine crisis

Spurred to help Ukrainians fleeing from the Russian invasion, essential supplies are being sent from Swanage and Purbeck, to those who have left behind their possessions to escape the bombing.

Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia are seeing a big influx of refugees from Ukraine, and according to the EU more than seven million people could be displaced as a direct consequence of the Russian military action.

St George's Church, Langton Matravers
Colin Garner

St George’s Church in Langton Matravers near Swanage

Collection point at St George’s Church in Langton Matravers

St George’s Church in Langton Matravers is opening its doors from 9 am to 5 pm on Tuesday 1st March 2022 as a collection point for supplies to be sent out to Ukrainians displaced by the conflict.

These are the items requested:

  • Blankets
  • Sheets
  • Clothes
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tins and packets of food
  • Toiletries

Rev James Mercer said:

“If you are able to supply any of these, please place them in the back of St George’s Church, Langton before 5 pm on Tuesday 1st March. The church will be open between 9 am and 5 pm.

“We can collect items from local addresses if you are unable to take them to the church yourself.”

Purbeck Helping Ukraine

In response to the humanitarian crisis, Swanage resident and owner of The Ocean Studio in the Daisy May Arcade, Maria Munn set up a Facebook group called Purbeck Helping Ukraine.

Within hours, she was receiving offers from Swanage residents of clothes, blankets and other essentials, which she was able to deliver to a collection point in Bournemouth.

From there, the supplies are being sent out directly to the refugees on the Poland/Ukraine border.

Maria Munn said:

“I set up the Facebook group so that our community could easily communicate collection points and items needed urgently with each other across Purbeck. I’ve been completely overwhelmed to see such kindness.”

Donations from Swanage delivered to a Bournemouth collection point
Maria Munn

Donations from Swanage delivered to the Thrive Health and Wellness Shop in Bournemouth, which is acting as a collection point

Fundraising by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary is also springing into action. As part of an international organisation, its emergency response is being coordinated across the UK and around the world.

While still in the early stages, the charity is planning to fundraise to help the Ukrainians.

Rotary’s international chair, Maggie Hardy said:

“We need to get it authorised, but if we can, we’d like to do a fundraising street collection to raise money for Ukraine. The Swanage Blues Festival weekend is coming up, so the town will be busy.

“We’re also providing refreshments at The Centre – one of the Blues festival venues, so all proceeds from the catering provided by Rotary on Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm will go to help Ukraine.”

Ukraine flag flying in Swanage
Robin Boultwood

Ukraine flag flying in Swanage

Red Cross emergency appeal

Dorset Council is urging those who wish to help Ukraine, to donate to the Red Cross emergency appeal, as it says the Red Cross can mobilise what’s needed from countries close to the Ukraine border.

The Red Cross said:

“We are gravely concerned about the intensification of fighting in Ukraine over the past few days. People are losing their homes and lives; families are being separated.

“Essential services, like water and healthcare, are under threat. Please donate today if you can.”

Donate via the Red Cross website

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