Mansfield church overwhelmed with community donations as supplies reach Ukraine

Members of a Mansfield church have expressed their thanks for the community’s generosity for Ukraine as their aid convoys reached the war-torn country.

Volunteers at the Old Meeting House Unitarian Church have been working tirelessly to sort and package donations which have been heading out to Ukraine each week.

Led by the church Minister, Rev Maria Pap who hails from Eastern Europe herself, the church and its congregation have been donating hundreds of items each week, with the first lorries reaching their destination earlier this month.

The church has been overwhelmed with donations, and sought help from students at West Nottinghamshire College, who have spent their spare time helping to package donations and load up vehicles with boxes full of supplies.

Mansfield Old Meeting house Ukrainian Appeal. Minister Maria Pap.

Rev Pap said: “We are very grateful because the students’ help made a real difference.

"It made the process much easier, and I think it’s a learning process for the students too – a learning process about what’s happening in the world.

“We shared an exhilarating feeling of trying to help people in need.

"We are so far away from the conflict that our options are limited – but it’s really important to do what we can at this time, and make sure that people who are affected get help and support.

West Notts college foundation studies level 1 group help pack boxes. Daniel Ekoma, Mijde Ezzatt, Mya Garin and Abbie Sui-Bell

"This is the personal touch.”

Pauline Smith, trustee of the chapel, says she was initially shocked at the volume of donations and offers of help, with companies, schools and nurseries all offering to help arrange donations.

She explains: “We couldn’t believe how many people came forward.

Our pews were packed full of boxes from Dave Straw butchers in Shirebrook, shoppers at the Four Seasons, and even a Kinit and Natter group came forward to offer their help.

Volunteers Christine Wright and Kath Faulkner.

"We are so grateful for all the help boxing everything up, especially the college students and those from REAL Education.

"They have been so wonderful and we have even been learning how to write the donation types in both Ukrainian and Romanian to help volunteers at the other end.

“We know that some of our donations have reached their destinations already, so it’s great to know they are already helping those who need it.”

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Mansfield Old Meeting house Ukrainian Appeal.

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