Scottish Borders rally to collect Ukraine refugee aid

Locals throughout the Scottish Borders have come together in a massive outpouring of generosity with a collection of items to provide relief for refugees escaping the Russian invasion of their country.

By Hilary Scott
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 12:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 12:58 pm
Jacek Zwizchlewski, owner of A1 Border Moves haulage company, is gathering supplies such as bandages, first aid kits, personal hygiene items, batteries etc, and setting up collection points like the Bingo Hall in Hawick. While we were there, Galashiels man Bruce Dodds arrived with a van load of aid from his store, Home Produce. Photo: Bill McBurnie.
Jacek Zwizchlewski, owner of A1 Border Moves haulage company, is gathering supplies such as bandages, first aid kits, personal hygiene items, batteries etc, and setting up collection points like the Bingo Hall in Hawick. While we were there, Galashiels man Bruce Dodds arrived with a van load of aid from his store, Home Produce. Photo: Bill McBurnie.

Droves of people took to social media this week to say they felt “helpless”.

Yet, there has been a heartfelt instantaneous response from communities giving aid to various collection points throughout the region.

The devastating attack has shattered peace in Europe, and has resulted in refugees of the war fleeing to Poland, with only the clothes on their back.

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Harrowingly, some of the items on the aid lists are pain medicine, bandages and dressings, for wounded civilians.

Polish businessman, Jacek Zwizchlewski, described the attack on Ukraine as “truly heartbreaking”.

He said: “These people are having to run away looking for safety leaving most of their belongings behind and only taking what they can carry.”

After calling the Embassy of Ulkraine to get an insight of what items are most needed, he made an appeal on his personal Facebook page.

The owner of A1 Border Moves and Storage Limited in Hawick, is covering the transportation costs to drive to Poland with the donations.

Speaking to The Southern, his daughter, Wiktoria, said the response from the community has been overwhelming.

"My dad put the post on his Facebook page on Saturday, and there’s been over 300 shares, it’s just been great.

"There’s even been groups saying they’re happy to help sort through all the donations that need to be organised before being loaded into the lorry.”

Cavalry Transport Ltd in Peebles, is collecting items for a lorry that will be deployed to Poland next week.

The appeal was sent out on behalf of organiser, Marcin Bonne, who said: “We wanted to do what we could to help the awful situation the Ukrainian people are facing at the moment.

"We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and want to thank everyone for their help.”

Vast amounts of clothing have been donated, but items still needed can be found on the companies’ Facebook pages along with details of drop-off locations.