Friday, 19 August 2022

Villagers rally round with donations for Ukraine appeal

Villagers rally round with donations for Ukraine appeal

TWENTY volunteers from Kidmore End collected and packed up donations of aid for Ukraine.

Villagers Jocelyn Lynch and Jane Mather organised the collections and hundreds of people donated bedding, medicine and tinned food.

The goods were delivered to the parish hall in Wood Lane to coincide with the Conversation Café, which was founded by Mrs Mather in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were loaded into a van which was driven to Poland as part of an aid mission organised by a Ukrainian couple from Wantage.

Mrs Mather, who lives in Horsepond Road with her husband James, said: “It went extremely well.

“We asked the village for help and within two or three days we had a collection point.

“Hundreds of people delivered things and we spent a whole day packing it all up before it went to a collection point for someone to drive to Poland. It was very, very busy.

“We haven’t heard anything since but I think that’s because the emphasis is more on money now.” Villagers have now formed a “coalition” with residents of Gallowstree Common to support housing Ukrainian refugees.

About 30 households have signed up to the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme but are unable to take anyone yet as the first phase is only for people with a name of a Ukrainian or family in need.

Mrs Mather said: “We’re just whistling into the wind at the moment as we need to be able to name people.

“I’ve cleared a spare room but I think it will take weeks.

“We’ve started a community group and it’s all coming together to provide things such as a taxi service and other services.

“The battle now is to tell the village groups to keep smiling and keep pushing and not to get disheartened.

“I have written to Henley MP John Howell more than once and I think the Government needs a kick up the backside.”

Villagers also took part in a one-minute prayer for Ukraine earlier this month.

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