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Communities across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon unite to help refugees of wartorn Ukraine

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon showed a united front as the first lorry set off for Ukraine with essential supplies this week.

Donations have been pouring in to various outlets across the borough since war in Ukraine broke out and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council decided to step in and help coordinate.

First call was to Trevor Turkington of Turkington Windows & Conservatories who was glad to offer a warehouse so the items collected for refugees could be sorted and boxed.

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Then Manfreight stepped up and made transport available to take the goods to those in need. The first lorry has set off for the Ukrainian border packed with essential supplies.

Last week the council activated a central-hub to assist community groups, businesses and individuals to with the collection, logistics and transportation of supplies to those directly in need.

Lord Mayor, Alderman Glenn Barr said: “The response has simply been amazing, with donations pouring in. We’ve had queues of people waiting to hand over boxes and bags of everything from nappies and toiletries to blankets. Volunteers are spending hours sorting through and boxing-up thousands of items for transportation.

“It has been fantastic to see first-hand community, business, voluntary organisations and statutory agencies all working together as a borough-wide approach and it is an amazing example of everyone finding a way to make a difference.”

The central hub is located at Turkington Windows & Conservatories, James Park, Mahon Road, Portadown BT62 3EH.

Ukraine Collection Portadown Co.Armagh 6 March 2022 CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

Trevor Turkington from Turkington Windows & Conservatories said: “We reached out to provide one of our warehouses to facilitate a drop-off point. We have been overwhelmed with the response and are delighted to work with multiple organisations to help those in need.”

Mr Turkington praised the swift work of the council in coordinating the donations.

He said they had been inundated with volunteers seeking to help.

Chris Slowey from Manfreight said: “When we saw what was happening in Ukraine, we wanted to help where best we could by providing the transportation of humanitarian goods.

“Working with the council to identify what was the most important goods to be moved, our team and key suppliers ordered support to help us get the first truck on its safe passage through Holland and Germany before arriving in Poland this week. We are going to send a further three trucks in the coming weeks to keep supporting the people of Ukraine.”

The council launched humanitarian support to assist the people of Ukraine who are facing unimaginable suffering. Following a council meeting last Monday councillors took a unanimous decision to respond to the escalating crisis and provide life-saving support for the Ukrainian people.

Thanks are extended to other business organisations who have provided much-needed packaging materials including JMC Packaging, CASPAC Armagh and Smurfit Kappa.

Essential items required:

Nappies (all sizes)

Baby formula

Non-perishable baby food

Baby wipes

Baby blankets

Baby carriers

Tinned and Dry Food

Thermal socks

Thermal underwear

Thermal blankets

Bed clothes (quilts, blankets and pillows)

Sleeping bags

Towels

Sanitary products

Soap

Shampoo

Painkillers

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Disposable tableware

Torches

Powerbanks

Batteries

Ear plugs

Disposable masks

Disposable gloves

Plasters

Pet food

Yoga mats

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