Ipswich thanked for generosity to refugees

Published:
16:00 16 April 2022



Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February there have been many appeals in Ipswich for help and funds to support the refugees. Much of that help has now arrived in the places that need it most.

Magdalena Chambers, one of the directors of the city‘s Polish community hub, visited her hometown of Ostróda this month.

She organized collections with Castle Hill Community Center Trust for a Christian camp that opened its doors to refugees.

So far three lorries full of aid from Ipswich have traveled to the camp and £8,500 has been collected.

Speaking to Magdalena, Bartech, one of the organisers, said the money Ipswich has raised will help refugees get through the winter.

“I want to say a big thank you to all of you from Ipswich. I’m impressed,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest collections we’ve had from anywhere in Europe .”

Seeing her hometown full of refugees was, according to Magdalena, “very moving”.

“There are around 150 refugees there now, including 100 children,” she said. “I’m also worried about my own family, because we don’t know how long this war will last.

“It is important that we continue to raise funds. Poles are generous and they are good at providing physical help, but they don’t necessarily have the funds to provide financial support.

Meanwhile, Edd Cottee and Dave Cole left Ipswich in a van donated by John Grose on April 8.


Edd and Dave visited a refugee camp in Poland near the Ukrainian border. They have met many people who have had to flee their homes and have seen for themselves how much of a difference their help will make.
– Credit: Dave Cole


Edd and Dave say they are exhausted from their trip, having covered more than 2,500 miles in four days.

Edd and Dave say they are exhausted from their trip, having covered more than 2,500 miles in four days.
– Credit: Edd Cottee


Edd and Dave said their visit to refugees in Lithuania and Poland had been “eye-opening”.

Edd and Dave said their visit to refugees in Lithuania and Poland had been “eye-opening”.
– Credit: Edd Cottee

They arrived in Lithuania two days later, bringing aid to Edd’s friend, Andy Davies, in the village of Alksniupiai.

They continued south to a refugee camp in Lublin, Poland, a town not far from the Ukrainian border.

“We had around £1,200 left in the JustGiving fund, so we went to the local supermarket. We ended up filling six carts,” Edd said.

“It was an extremely eye-opening experience. There was a time when we were driving to the border, and there were buses coming out of Ukraine to Poland, full of women and children.

“There were children looking out the window. Seeing him on the news is one thing, but seeing him in real life chilled me.

The next Polish Community Hub collection will take place on Sunday, April 24 at the Castle Hill Community Centre.

To donate, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/magdalena-chambers


Edd Cottee and Dave Cole appealed to the city to help find a van they could drive in Lithuania last month

Edd Cottee and Dave Cole appealed to the city to help find a van they could drive to Lithuania last month, and donated it to John Grose in Ipswich.
– Credit: Dave Cole


Edd and Dave's children attend the same primary school in Ipswich.  They have teamed up to organize an aid drive

Edd and Dave’s children attend the same primary school in Ipswich, and they have joined forces to organize an aid drive for Ukraine.
– Credit: Dave Cole


Edd says he and Dave visited local shops in Poland and spent £1,200 on supplies for a refugee camp near the border.

Edd says he and Dave visited local shops in Poland and spent £1,200 on supplies for a refugee camp near the Ukrainian border.
– Credit: Edd Cottee

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