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Nurses rally to send vital aid to refugees fleeing Ukraine violence

Nurses’ initiative sees outpouring of community support, with lorry set to leave packed with donations for refugees fleeing across Ukraine border
Nurse Deborah Edwards (right) at a church in Doncaster where donations are being collected to send to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland. Also pictured (L-R) Sandra Walczak, Father Njoku (priest), John Carberry (parish chairman), Sandra Leach (community

Nurses’ initiative sees outpouring of community support, with lorry set to leave packed with donations for refugees fleeing across Ukraine border

A group of nurses in Doncaster are working round the clock to send vital medical supplies to refugees fleeing Ukraine across the border to Poland.

Respiratory nurse Deborah Edwards and Polish nurse Marzena Filipiak, along with colleagues at the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, have collected hundreds of donations of clothing, baby food, babies’ nappies, blankets, medical dressings and baby prams.

Nurses’ initiative sees outpouring of community support, with lorry set to leave packed with donations for refugees fleeing across Ukraine border

Nurse Deborah Edwards (right) at a church in Doncaster where donations are being collected to send to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland. Also pictured (L-R) Sandra Walczak, Father Njoku (priest), John Carberry (parish chairman), Sandra Leach (community hall manager) and a volunteer
Nurse Deborah Edwards (right) at a church in Doncaster where donations are being collected to send to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland. Also pictured (L-R) Sandra Walczak, Father Njoku (priest), John Carberry (parish chairman), Sandra Leach (community hall manager) and a volunteer

A group of nurses in Doncaster are working round the clock to send vital medical supplies to refugees fleeing Ukraine across the border to Poland.

Respiratory nurse Deborah Edwards and Polish nurse Marzena Filipiak, along with colleagues at the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, have collected hundreds of donations of clothing, baby food, babies’ nappies, blankets, medical dressings and baby prams.

The ‘amazing’ outpouring of community support has also seen a Polish lorry driver volunteer to drive the donations directly to a refugee centre in Warsaw. He will make the trip on Thursday morning.

Donations for refugees at a Doncaster church, donated in response to an initiative by local nurses
Donations for refugees at a Doncaster church, donated in response to an initiative by local nurses

According to the United Nations, more than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine following an invasion by the Russian military on 24 February.

Volunteers will coordinate the donations once they arrive

Ms Edwards told Nursing Standard: ‘As a nurse, caring and compassion always comes first. We are all working together for the same purpose, and that’s humanity.

‘Nurses are practical, so I just didn’t want to watch this all unfold on TV and send a donation, I knew I wanted to do something. The response has been amazing, no matter what race, colour, religion or creed.

‘We had one lady whose family are stuck in Ukraine, she came to make the donations and stayed all day to help. She told us it is desperate over there and infrastructure is being destroyed.’

The nurses are collecting donations at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Bentley, Doncaster. Ms Filipiak, from Chorzów in southern Poland, told Nursing Standard that friends from her home country had organised to coordinate the donations once they had safely arrived.

The nurses and other volunteers are continuing to appeal for donations until Thursday, calling for items including medicines, paracetamol, sanitary products, sleeping bags, roll mats, toiletries, energy bars and rucksacks. So far the group have received parcels from all over Yorkshire.

In the meantime, colleagues at the trust sent out calls for donations on its staff bulletin and intranet.

Ms Edwards added: ‘Sadly this is not going away anytime soon. Women, children and the elderly are displaced from their homes and it could be months or longer before they can go back.

‘As nurses, our instinct is to care, and although we have all been so busy and burnt out from the pandemic, we have seen that instinct is still as strong as ever.’

Donations can be dropped off at the Bentley Church for those living locally or made via the British Red Cross website.


Find out more

British Red Cross website

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