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Stratford's appeal to help Ukrainian schoolchildren by donating basic kit



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SCHOOL pupils in Stratford are being asked to help Ukrainian students who have been forced to flee their country by donating basic equipment needed to continue their studies.

Huge numbers of Ukrainian children have been given homes in Poland, but the sudden surge in students has put a massive strain on the Polish educational system. Polish schools are desperate for basic equipment such as backpacks, pencil cases and stationery (pens, pencils, crayons and notebooks) as well as craft materials and an appeal has been launched in Stratford to help with supplies.

The Polish School Donation Project is an initiative set up by Cllr Kate Rolfe and Cllr Cohl Warren-Howles under the Stratford Support Group umbrella, the initiative formed at the start of the Covid pandemic to help residents with shopping, prescription collections, and foodbank deliveries.

Cllr Warren-Howles told the Herald: “There is a massive demand being placed upon neighbouring countries with Ukrainians seeking refuge. The school systems cannot cope and are unable to provide the adequate equipment due to the sudden influx of children.”

She added: “Of those who have managed to escape the atrocities, some young Ukrainian refugees are now attending school in Poland. After all the horrors they have witnessed, school is a welcome place of safety and refuge. We want to help with the essential things they need in order to fit in and lay down new roots.”

The two councillors have contacted schools in the Stratford area to see if schoolchildren can help.

Cllr Warren-Howles added: “If they are able to donate any school items on the list, we would be very grateful but we’re not collecting food and drink and we are not asking parents to necessarily go out and purchase these items. We would ask if they or their children have any of these items at home that are in good condition and can be spared, they would be gratefully received.

“Our own schoolchildren are also suffering as a result of the war and some feel incredibly helpless. By getting involved in a project like this, they hopefully will feel that they are doing something positive to help. We will be very happy to talk at an assembly to explain how our project will help those in need.”

The project is also supported by Morrisons supermarket in Stratford where there is a collection point for school items.

Cllr Warren-Howles said: “We are working together with Northampton Town Council who have launched a donation drive calling for urgent school supplies. Northampton has a large Polish community and have contacts in the Polish school system. They have engaged a logistics company that transports the vital equipment to the schools in Poland. All of the school donations we collect will be taken to Northampton and from there will make their way to Poland.”

For more information, email Cohl.Warren-Howles@stratford-tc.gov.uk or Kate.Rolfe@stratford-tc.gov.uk.



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