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

Alanna with her niece Amy with some of the many items the Oban Help Ukraine group have sent. Supplied by Shuna/Alanna Mackenzie.
Alanna with her niece Amy with some of the many items the Oban Help Ukraine group have sent. Supplied by Shuna/Alanna Mackenzie.

An Oban voluntary group is fuelling troops and families on the Ukrainian frontline with porridge and Irn Bru.

Thanks to an outstanding effort from a small team of volunteers, a pallet will soon be delivered to the country.

The Oban Helps Ukraine group has already sent power banks, Irn Bru, dog food and steel-toe-capped boots to help aid the Ukrainians in the war against the Russian forces.

Alanna with her helper Amy, Supplied by Shauna/Alanna MacKenzie.

It is thanks to the letter writing skills of one volunteer Alanna MacKenzie, from Oban, that the group has secured so many different products from across Scotland for the cause in Ukraine.

Alongside receiving support and fundraising from people locally, Alanna has been writing letters to businesses across Scotland.

After her latest success, Alanna, 30, who by day works in the town’s Green Shack, said: “Another cheeky email answered amazingly.

“78 boxes of Hamlyns of Scotland’s Scottish porridge oats. That’s 702kg. Thank you so much Hamlyns.”

But that wasn’t the super fundraiser’s only success this week, on Friday she wrote on the group’s Facebook page: “So the lovely people at USB2U who gave us 406 power banks after email request, reached out to me and asked me if I wanted more.

“For the cost of shipping they sent me 11 more boxes and if I counted correctly this time they sent another 1,673.

Barr’s Irn Bru provided a pallet of cans. Picture Shauna and Alanna MacKenzie

“That’s more than 2,000 power banks they’ve now given us to send to Ukraine. Amazing donation. ”

Asked for the secret behind her success, she told The P&J: “I am just cheeky.”

As well as oats she has also been sent 20kg of handmade orange fudge from Aldomak Stewarts, four pairs of safety boots from Toolstream, 48 battery-operated lights from Lights4Fun, dog and cat food from Land of Holistic Pets, Nairn’s oatcakes and crackers, as well as DuckTape UK, and Barr’s Irn Bru among the many donations.

Not only is the hard-working group sending much-needed help to the frontline, it is also going above and beyond in the Argyll town to make sure refugees rehomed in the area are being well supported.

Shauna MacKenzie, one of the group’s founders, said it wanted to do all they can to help those from Ukraine.

New Oban shop providing essential items for refugees

Oban Helps Ukraine has even set up a “no cash” shop where refugees, who have settled in Oban and the surrounding area, can come and shop for new or nearly new essential items and treats, provided by the people of the town.

The free shop in Oban. Picture by Shauna and Alanna MacKenzie.

Thanks to donations and cash from locals, the volunteers have been able to help with refugees when they arrive in town in the form of vouchers. It has even helped with the costs of bringing people from Europe to the area.

The group has been sending items to Ukraine by post, as well as organising lorry loads of deliveries to the war-torn country.

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