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Lorry full of donations from DMU students and staff starts the journey to help refugees from Ukraine


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Sacks full of clothing and boxes of medical supplies, food and toiletries have started their journey from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to the borders of Poland following a hugely successful campaign to help Ukrainian refugees.

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Philippa from DSU and Sunita from DMU Local with donations

DMU Local and the De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) launched an appeal seven days ago for goods to be dropped off at the Campus Centre to help refugees escaping the unprovoked invasion and subsequent bombings of Ukraine by Putin’s Russian troops.

Just five days later and donations had to be suspended due to the overwhelming generosity of students, staff and members of the public. Volunteers then helped sort through the masses of goods and box and bag everything to help the refugee crisis. 

Now a DMU lorry has been filled and driven to Loughborough’s Polish Social Club. A shipment will leave there on Saturday bound for refugee centres on Poland’s borders with Ukraine.

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More donated clothing is packed into the lorry

Sunita Patel, of DMU Local, said: “It has been amazing, but unsurprising, to see what our students and staff wanted to do to help. It has brought our community together for a shared cause.

“Since the invasion of Ukraine so many people at DMU were asking what they could do to help. Everyone wanted to play their part. Organising this collection and ensuring it reached Ukrainian refugees was the least we could do.”

Phillipa Manning, of the DSU, said: “I think it is amazing how everyone pulled together to help, from those who donated to the appeal to those who worked so hard to sort through everything.

“I saw how it brought people together. Some students who had never met before were helping pack goods and at the end of the day were saying ‘see you tomorrow’, ready to do it all again the next day if necessary.”

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Volunteers sorted through hundreds of items of clothing and toiletries

One of the students helping sort through the collections was Roze Arbaciauskaite. Roze and is from Lithuania and was passionate about doing what she could to help the people of Ukraine.

She said at the time: “If we do not help the Ukrainian people I genuinely fear Lithuania could be next. The war is having a huge impact on Ukraine and the surrounding countries.

“I believe we should do what we would like others to do for us and step into the shoes of those people who are suffering so much at the moment.”

As well as acting as a collection point, DSU has set up a space in the Campus Centre for students to meet and talk about the war in Ukraine.

Phillipa added: “Whether you are Ukrainian, Russian or on the borders, or have simply been affected by the daily news from Ukraine, there is somewhere here for you.”

DMU Local and DSU are currently closed to further donations while they wait for news from Poland about what items are most in demand to help the refugees.

You can contact DMU Local at local@dmu.ac.uk or message DSU at dsureception@dmu.ac.uk

Posted on Friday 11th March 2022

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