In just over a week pupils and their parents from Medina Primary School gathered ‘huge’ piles of clothes, bedding, nappies, medical items and much more, to be transported to the city of Lviv.
Collecting the goods today (March 18) was Ukrainian-born Dmitry Kukuruza and his colleague Charley Francis, from Astra Recycling, which already has a clothes recycling bin at the school for textile donations.
They are planning to take the items to a warehouse in Waterlooville where they will be housed with more donations raised by other schools and groups in the area, for a lorry from Ukraine to collect next week.
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For Copnor resident Dmitry, 40, it was ‘amazing’ to see the response from the children.
He said: ‘It’s been overwhelming. I know people in Ukraine are so grateful to everyone helping.’
Charley agreed. She said: ‘It’s incredible what people have donated so far. We’ve had things like hand knitted baby blankets and brand new tents with the tags still on.’
Dmitry’s family, including his parents and brothers, are currently living in Dnipro, in central Ukraine.
‘I am worried for them,’ he added.
‘The city has recently been shelled. I try to speak with them as often as I can.’
Among other items gathered by the school children were brand new sleeping bags, steel capped boots and torches that Dmitry had specifically requested.
Headteacher Howard Payne said: ‘I was completely amazed by not only the generosity but the variety of items being donated.
‘We’ve had parents who I know are not very affluent going into shops and buying nappies for themselves but then also buying extra to donate.
‘And then others have been going on eBay to buy torches and things like that.’
Year 6 pupil Emily Horn, 10, collected some items with her younger brother to donate.
‘We got a bin bag of old clothes and blankets that we didn’t need because we wanted to help,’ she said.
‘We want people in Ukraine to be safe.’
Her friend Lila Pitman, 10, added: ‘I really wanted to help. People in Ukraine are not so fortunate as us.’
To find out more about Astra’s Ukraine drive visit astrarecycling.co.uk.