North West donate 'overwhelming' amount of supplies for refugees fleeing war in Ukraine

A couple from the Isle of Man have set off on the thousand mile journey to Poland to deliver supplies collected on the island for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict with Russia.

Nathan Cafearo and Sally Brennan are driving a van across Europe, hoping to reach Germany tonight before crossing into Poland.

The couple say just 24 hours after putting an appeal out for items to the Island they have been inundated with donations.

Nathan said: "We put the post out asking for supplies and donations and the post went viral and we’ve had maybe five or six van loads of donations so far.

"We had a lady yesterday who went to one of the camp shops and brought every single sleeping bag in the whole shop and they’re in the van."

Sally added: "The support and generosity from the Isle of Man residents has been overwhelming. We’d probably get about 10 van loads with what we've been given."

The pair say they felt compelled to do something as they both have friends in Kyiv who are trying to get out of the city and across the border.

They wanted to help in whatever way they could, so are hoping to meet their friends in Poland.

Nathan Cafearo says the response to a plea for donations have been overwhelming.

Sally said: "I’ve been in contact with the friend that I used to work with a few years ago and for the last month or so she’s been providing me with updates about everything that’s going on and it’s just heartbreaking.

"It’s terrifying, they’re sat in their apartment buildings watching rockets fly past their window, they don’t know where their loved ones are.

"We just thought if they can at least get across the border and we can get them somewhere safe it’s the least we can do."

Supplies will continue to be collected across the island and another van will leave for Ukraine at the weekend.

Correspondent Elaine Willcox has spoken to volunteers are a Polish church in Preston who are stockpiling essential supplies to send to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a Polish community in Preston has stepped up to help Ukrainian people who are fleeing the Russian invasion.

At St Maria Goretti Church, lots of supplies - including clothes, food and medicine - are being stockpiled before being shipped out.

"All of these donations will be going directly in Ukraine", explains Natalia Soloducha, who has been the spearhead of the operation.

"The Polish and British community have a big heart. I'm really surprised, I didn't expect this massive donation.

"It's absolutely amazing what people are doing - everybody is thinking about Ukraine and thinking about what is happening. This whole situation must end, it has broken my heart."

Tetyana's daughter has just arrived in the UK after fleeing Ukraine. Credit: ITV News

The daughter of volunteer Tetyana Modrzejewska has just arrived in the UK after making the dangerous journey from Ukraine.

"It took her 25-hours to get from my hometown in Ukraine to Warsaw, the capital city of Poland", said Tetyana.

"In Ukraine, I have my mum, my brother, his wife and my nephew - the closest people to my heart."

She continued: "They are defending the country. They have this patriotic spirit that is in our blood. People here [in UK] are incredibly generous, they are kind."

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