Communities pull together to collect donations for Ukrainians affected by Russian invasion

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Norwich.
Many people in the UK are trying to support those in Ukraine Credit: ITV Anglia

Donation points set up to send aid to Ukrainians trapped by the Russian invasion have been receiving packages from across the country, as people in the UK look to help.

Truckloads of donations are being sent to support those caught up in the invasion, with more than 600,000 people already displaced and major cities under attack.

In the UK, offices, homes and churches from Norwich to Northampton have been opening their doors as people arrive with donations.

Alla Irodenko said she had to act when she heard from her family and friends in Ukraine.

“I had phone calls begging for anything we can send them, for baby formulas, military equipment, anything we can provide them, first aid kits” she said. 

Miss Irondenko is now organising the collection point at St Olga's Ukrainian Catholic church in Peterborough, which has had hundreds of donations from far and wide.

“I can’t keep track. People from all over England are coming,” she said.

Louenna Hood's home has opened up to donations Credit: ITV Anglia

The response has been replicated elsewhere.

Louenna Hood, from Newmarket, has opened up her family home to donations. 

Boxes, bags and piles of supplies fill every spare space. A haulage company has teamed up with Miss Hood to deliver the goods to the Polish and Ukrainian border next week. 

Miss Hood said she thought “everybody just really really wants to help”. While horrendous images are being broadcast globally “everyone is just grateful to be able to do something”, she added.

And it is not just people’s homes accepting donations - workplaces are getting involved too.

OneAgency, a digital marketing company in Norwich has turned into a makeshift drop-off point for people in the city wanting to donate medical supplies, which are wanted at the border.   

They started by asking their own staff to donate medical goods, but things “rapidly escalated” according to Jessica Benstead, the company's office manager.

“Within an hour and a half of being at work this morning 10 people called to see if they could bring donations along," she said.

"That is on top of hundreds of items given by staff. We’re expecting the phones to keep ringing.”

Miss Benstead added it had been “wonderful to see everyone pulling together”.

People have event taken to the streets of places like Cambridge and Northampton holding peace vigils.

Others have travelled to large cities like London, to protest outside Downing Street and the Russian embassy.

The UK government said it had committed £220m to help Ukraine, made up of £120m of humanitarian aid and £100m to bolster the Ukrainian economy and reduce its reliance on Russian gas imports.