Father and daughter duo from Gosport deliver aid to Ukraine in bid to help ‘desperate families’

TWO GOSPORT family members from Jacob’s Well Care Centre have returned safely to the UK after providing essential aid to Ukrainian refugees.

By Elsa Waterfield
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 1:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 1:34 pm

Gosport charity workers Stuart Pottinger, 74, and his daughter Lorraine Pottinger, 51, returned to the UK on April 2, after delivering essential items to refugees of the war-torn country.

The father-daughter duo transported four artic lorries and three vans full of aid collected by Portsmouth and Gosport residents to refugees in Ukraine and Romania.

Stuart and Angela Pottinger originally set up Jacob's Well Care Centre in 1992 to provide free furniture to those in need in Gosport, and today it runs various community projects.

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Families sharing a shelter in Ukraine.

Stuart and Lorraine set off on March 28 and returned to the UK five days later, having visited churches and refugee shelters in Ukraine, which have opened their doors to those fleeing the conflict.

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Lorraine, who has recently taken the reins of the family charity, said: ‘The trip to Ukraine was definitely an eye opener and we are very glad we went.

‘We met some amazing church leaders who have opened up their churches for refugees.’

A young refugee in a shelter in Ukraine.

The pair brought the aid collected by local residents to a Baptist Church in Sighet, Romania and worked with them to help distribute it to four churches and various homes housing ‘desperate families.’

‘They have people everywhere cooking, sleeping, cleaning,’ she added.

‘There were tears and sadness, but overall great relief to be in a safe, for now, homely environment where they could rest and recover.’

The pair flew over to meet their lorry in Romania, crossing the border into Ukraine, working with churches and meeting one pastor sheltering over 30 children in his own home, after his church overflowed with refugees.

Jacobs Well Care Centre in Toronto Place, Gosport, is taking donations for food, medicine, clothes, and other essentials. Pictured is: Rogan Morrill (12) with some of the food donations.

‘The children I found were the most difficult to comprehend, the ones I saw had been traumatised and jumped at the slightest sound,’ Lorraine said.

‘Some had been taken to safety by their grandparents, leaving parents behind to fight - others arrived in their mums’ arms… the lack of men was obvious and sad to see.’

Local residents rallied round the Gosport-based charity in support who sent their last load last Saturday, and are now planning their next.

‘God Bless everyone who has supported Jacobs Well for this much needed Ukraine Mission,’ said Lorraine.

‘This work is both needed and increasing.’