Ukraine war: Yorkshire volunteer says refugees 'have nothing' as she launches fundraising appeal

A Yorkshire woman who has delivered vital supplies to the frontline of a refugee crisis said Ukrainian families are "frightened" and "have nothing".

By Abbey Maclure
Friday, 11th March 2022, 4:30 pm

Magdalena Timmins, who grew up in Przemyśl, Poland, which borders Ukraine, organised a huge collection of items in Leeds and across Yorkshire.

Three trucks full of clothes, toiletries, blankets, nappies, medical supplies and other essential items have been safely delivered to the border - and some supplies will be sent into Ukraine.

Magdalena was overwhelmed by the generosity of people across the region, who donated in their hundreds, and has now launched a GoFundMe appeal to continue her work.

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Magdalena Timmins, who grew up in Przemyśl, Poland, organised a huge collection of items in Leeds and across Yorkshire

The money raised will first go towards sending 100 beds to the border, as well as other supplies identified as in demand by organisations on the ground.

More than two million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion and there are growing fears that the total could double in the coming days.

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Magdalena, 31, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "They’re in a completely different country, they don’t know anybody and they’re frightened.

Magdalena praised the volunteers who have helped her collect and send supplies to Poland

"They’ve had to flee their homes and many came with one bag, they've got nothing else. They've lost their jobs, they've lost their lives.

"It’s horrendous for them and we’re doing everything we can to ease the pain.

"It might not be a great amount, with the scale of people in need, but even if we make a small difference, a drop in the ocean, it’s better than nothing.

"We’ve got fantastic people helping us - the volunteers, people helping in the warehouse, people donating things. It’s been amazing."

Ukrainian refugees are turning up to bordering countries with frostbite due to the cold and some have mental health scars after facing Russian bombardment, according to western officials.

One western official suggested such levels of displacement had not been seen globally for at least eight decades.

“The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) briefed us and other leading donors just last night,” said the official.

“As of then, their number of refugees had topped two million – they are at 2.2 million as of last night – but they are worried we could see four million over the next few days.

“These are unprecedented movements of people in Europe, or indeed probably anywhere else in the world.

“I would like to stress the sheer scale of this, which is something that we haven’t seen, certainly since the end of the Second World War, and that is a real challenge to us all.”

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