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Scotland Supporting Ukraine: Volunteers driving from Kintore to Poland to deliver much-needed aid to refugees

Greig O'Donnell, representing Herd Hire and Jim Reid who provided the van and insurance, with John Fairclough and Amanda Richardson from Scotland Supporting Ukraine.
Greig O'Donnell, representing Herd Hire and Jim Reid who provided the van and insurance, with John Fairclough and Amanda Richardson from Scotland Supporting Ukraine.

Volunteers have set off from an Aberdeenshire town to deliver much-needed supplies to refugees in Poland.

Scotland Supporting Ukraine has filled a van with essential items to bring to refugees who have fled to camps in Krakow.

Donations have been made to drop off points all over Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, as well as being sent down from Orkney and Shetland, over the past six weeks.

In a van supplied by Jim Reid Vehicle Sales & Service, John Fairclough left from Kintore on Friday morning to begin the 1,500-mile journey to Poland.

The van was filled with donations of essential items to take to Krakow.

The retained firefighter, and one of the founders of Scotland Supporting Ukraine, first travelled to Poland in March to find out more about the situation in the camps there.

He said: “I had booked a week off work for the football as I was very optimistic about Scotland beating Ukraine. But when the war broke out, football took a back seat.

“I had the flight anyway so I decided to go out and see what I could do to help.”

Supporting refugees in the north-east

The dad-of-two volunteered for three days and said it was “overwhelming” to see the number of children with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

“The kids had nothing. It was very humbling, but I was overwhelmed by the situation,” he said.

Mr Fairclough filmed a video during his time volunteering and shared it on Facebook, which led to Amanda Richardson starting an Amazon wishlist, and the eventual creation of the volunteer organisation.

One of our founders John in Poland last week helping out with aid.This video was the fire in our belly’s to start the Amazon wishlist!!! #scotlandsupportingukraine #ssu #scotlandsupportsukraine💛💙💛💙

Posted by Scotland Supporting Ukraine on Saturday, 2 April 2022

Despite only forming six weeks ago, Scotland Supporting Ukraine has already established drop off points for aid across the north-east, and set up support groups for hosts in four areas in Aberdeenshire.

The first Peterhead drop-in session was held at the group’s hub on Thursday, where essential items have been collected for families over the past few weeks.

The volunteers are supporting Ukrainian families living in Scotland by providing them with a safe space to connect and ask questions, and sourcing any clothing and household items they require.

Scotland Supporting Ukraine founders and volunteers Amanda Richardson and John Fairclough.

“There are lots of people trying to help on a local level,” Mr Fairclough added.

“I kept in touch with people in Krakow who are sharing a live picture of what is needed. The situation is evolving all the time and the aid needed changes regularly.”

The organisation’s newest venture is Backpacks for Bairns, which involves them filling bags with much-needed clothing, toiletries and toys for children of all ages arriving in the area.


Donations can be made via the Scotland Supporting Ukraine Just Giving page

Oban sends porridge and Irn Bru to support Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline

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