Firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service answered an urgent call from the local community to help with relief efforts being channelled from Tyneside to war-torn areas of Ukraine.
This week firefighters from Newcastle Central Community Fire Station were at Newcastle’s Polish Centre on Maple Terrace in the City to help other volunteers load essential donated items on to relief trucks bound for their Eastern Europe destination.
The items include first aid kits, masks, tinned and dried food, clothing, sleeping bags, shoes, baby products and toiletries.
Helping with the whole process
Once the trucks were loaded up the transported goods were taken to a temporary storage base in Seaton Delaval, where they will later be distributed to their final destination point in Ukraine.
Firefighters from Tynemouth Community Fire Station were also on-hand in Seaton Delaval to assist with the receipt of the items once they arrived from Newcastle’s Polish Centre.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Peter Heath of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said:
“This is a moving example of how solidarity and community spirit being shown here in Tyne and Wear can help people in need nearly three thousand miles away in the Ukraine.
“We are proud of our firefighters and fire control staff who have assisted the community call for action, which represents our commitment for not only helping to keep people safe from harm in the North East but to also show empathy to other people who may require our assistance in other parts of the world.
“It’s a small part we have played in the overall scheme of the efforts to support people in Ukraine. But all of these small gestures and acts of kindness will hopefully provide some relief and hope to those suffering – showing that people care and are thinking about them.”
Mariusz Biziewski, a representative from Newcastle’s Polish Centre, said:
“The response from the Fire Service and the local community has been amazing and beyond our wildest expectations. Without the help of the firefighters we couldn’t have moved a fraction of the items that we have done today.
“It has been overwhelming. In total we’ve transported about four lorry loads of materials weighing approximately 100-tonnes. They will be greatly received by the people of Ukraine. The urgent supplies are to be dispatched to residents who are seeking refuge in Poland, and also to communities in Ukraine itself.”
TWFRS will continue to assist with the Newcastle Polish Centre’s donation appeal whenever possible.