Ukraine girl's appeal for a bed as Stratford sends out camping stoves to help war-torn country
A STRATFORD fishing shop has sent a vital shipment of camping stoves to help Ukrainians.
Martyn Edwards, of Stratford Fishing and Outdoors, said the portable stoves and two generators will be delivered directly to people who need them when they reach Ukraine.
Millions of Ukrainians have been left without power or running water after Russian airstrikes damaged or destroyed 40 per cent of the country’s energy grid.
Business secretary Grant Shapps said Ukrainian energy companies are “working tirelessly” to repair damaged infrastructure but more energy equipment is “urgently” needed and called on British businesses for help.
Martyn, whose shop is in Timothy’s Bridge Road, has been a distributor of British angling products in Ukraine for the past 15 years and works closely with the team at charity Aid for Ukraine.
The stoves were paid for using customers’ cash donations into a shaker tin on the shop counter.
A Worcester angling society also chipped in, donating two petrol generators and five portable cooking stoves, while members of Stratford Inner Wheel club made a selection of colourful, hand-knitted animals including mermaids for the children.
Stratford and south Warwickshire residents are also being encouraged to play a vital role by taking part in the charity’s ‘Become Santa’ scheme, backed by the Herald.
Aid for Ukraine, which operates out of Stratford and Leamington, has strong links to nuns at the Congregation of St Joseph who have thrown open their doors to children and their families seeking shelter from the war. The charity is helping more than 600 children affected by the conflict and shared online what they would like for Christmas.
These include a five-year-old girl who has wished for her own bed, as she shares with her parents at the moment. And a 12-year-old boy who is a talented piano player has asked for an-88 key keyboard, new or pre-owned to help him practise and improve his skill.
What to choose for a child can be found via the link below and once it’s bought it can be taken to one of the drop-off points in Stratford, Banbury or Leamington. One of these is Stratford Fishing and Outdoors.
It will be collected from there and on Monday, 12th December, a lorry will deliver the gifts and other crucial supplies to the nuns, who will make sure every child has a present to open at Christmas.
The charity’s other supporters include Polish Centre secretary Dawid Kozlowski and Ukrainian businessman Alexander Pochkun, who has close ties to Stratford.
Once gifts have been opened, the nuns and children will make ‘thank you’ cards, which will be sent back to gift-buyers in the county.
Mr Kozlowski said: “We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone for their help and support they are showing to our charity and people in Ukraine.”
For information about how to donate, see www.belveder.co.uk.