Business School students have joined forces with a local charity to help staff and students donate items for Ukrainian refugees.
The students put out an appeal on campus and have received bags and crates full of donations which were picked up by local charity, Hull for Heroes – for transportation to Poland last week. Items donated have included warm clothes, sanitary products, wet wipes, gloves, hats and sleeping bags.
After seeing the Hull 4 Ukraine Facebook group gather momentum and followers in just a few days, the group of students decided they wanted to facilitate donations of essential items on campus.
Logistics student Tom Bews, who has helped manage the project with Hull University Business School Student Society, said: “We have been really pleased with the response from staff and students to our appeal. By working with an established charity like Hull 4 Heroes – who already have efficient systems in place to get donations to where they are needed most – we have been able to react quickly and help support the refugees arriving in Poland from Ukraine and other areas in need of support.”
Hull 4 Heroes organise the transportation of donated items to Ukranian borders including Poland, Romania, Moldavia and Ukraine itself. The charity supports soldiers and hospitals as well as refugees.
Marketing student, Iwona Bojan, has also been instrumental in launching the appeal. She said: “As soon as I saw refugees leaving Ukraine on the news and coming to Poland – my home country, I knew I wanted to help.
“Seeing everyone in Poland doing so much – as basically every town in the area is hosting refugees – was inspiring and I knew I needed to do something too, something that change peoples’ lives.”
After making contact with Hull for Heroes to get the donations appeal on campus underway, Iwona returned to Tarnow in Poland to see how she could help there.
“Seeing refugees arrive at the train station in Poland was a moving experience. There are a lot of women and children – and they have been travelling for days.
“Fortunately, they are being well supported and seem to be receiving practical items and everything they need when they first arrive. And if the organisers run out of something – like nappies or other essentials – they put out a call on social media – and then it arrives!
“It was emotional to see. It really feels like everything is coming from the people. While governments and organisations are sending support, it really feels like the support is coming from the people themselves.”
Iwona is hoping to make a return visit to Poland to join her friends and relatives in supporting refugees. In the meantime, she is also planning a joint show of support from UK students for students in Ukraine.
“When I thought about how they must feel – and what might help them feel better – I realised it was about showing them there is still good in the world.
“We are a student community, they are all students – just like us – and I want them to show them we care about them.”
* To donate items for the appeal – please use the Derwent Café or Nidd Reception drop-off points in Hull University Business School.
Hull for Heroes would also welcome help from volunteers to help with the organisation of donations. Please visit their website to get in touch.