At Bredon School we were deeply moved by the humanitarian crisis that has been unfolding in Ukraine. A call to action resulted in our community pulling together and launching our Bredon School Appeal. The campaign led by Jill Blakeney and Lucy Hodkinson, sought to organise a collection of emergency supplies that would be transported to the Polish/ Ukraine border, to support families in crisis. A donation station was set up in Pull Court and items soon started to flood in over the following two weeks, from very generous parents, pupils, members of the local community and staff.
Kind parent Vid Blakeney provided the transport in the form of a large truck and Bredon School financed its passage to the heart of the crisis on the border between Poland and Ukraine. Vital items and medical supplies were donated in abundance and the overwhelming generosity saw much needed blankets, sanitary products, nappies and medical supplies to name but a few filling the van to bursting.
Pupils were quick to come up with some money making initiatives with blue and yellow bracelets going on sale in reception and a ‘guess the number of sweets’ competition with all funds donated to the British Red Cross Appeal. Tom M (Year 13) additionally sold over a hundred delicious cakes to pupils and staff which were very kindly baked by his mother.
Pupils gathered in the early morning and the excitement of happy chatter filled the air as a human chain was formed to pass the aid from one end of the school to the waiting van. It really was an impressive sight to behold and as each item was passed down the line the van quickly filled with the urgently needed supplies.
On Friday 18th March our driving team Vid Blakeney, Jaroslaw Krampikowski and Steve Bridges, were up with the birds to set off for Poland at 5.30am from Bredon School. One of our Year 11 pupils Hal B also accompanied the trip to support the delivery of items and capture the trip through photography and videography for the school.
The initial part of the journey down to Dover was successful, however this was followed by a challenging Ferry journey to Calais, on the day the P&O ferry crisis transpired! However, the team managed to successfully reach Calais. Driving tirelessly day and night, through France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and finally reaching Poland. Our Bredon School sponsored van travelled in convoy with a second vehicle, a pick up truck that was sponsored by The Midlands Polish Community. After an initial night in The Netherlands, the whole team stopped for a second night in Bydgoszcz, in central Poland. This was so that the second van could deliver the donations from the Midlands Polish Community, to a Special Educational Needs Boarding School.
Jaroslaw and Steve then stayed at the Boarding School for a much needed break, whilst Hal and Vid continued on to Medkya on the Polish border, where they delivered their donations to the refugee camp. When Hal and Vid arrived at the Polish border they were met by a sea of aid tents, marquees, boxes and temporary plastic fences surrounding the ‘put-up’ refugee site. Many organisations and representatives from all over the world were there providing support. They quickly got to work as the aid needed to be sorted into categories, to assist different groups of refugees and their families as quickly as possible.
The moment our Bredon School van arrived the doors to the van were opened and a group of representatives came over to help unload the vital donations. Each representative was from a different charity and in search of different items. Fortunately, each box had already been labelled by our team at Bredon School with our donations helpfully written in English, Polish and Ukrainian so they were easily identified and sorted into categories.
A female representative was collecting items; for families, sanitary products, nappies and baby items. She quickly spotted a box of baby milk powder within our donations and said ‘I have a new mother with a newborn baby, that needs this immediately.’ The powdered milk was then taken away hastily to help the new mother and her baby. This signified just how valued our donations were, the sense of urgency was very evident. Among the representatives was an American Fireman, who was also in search of specific items for his charity. The refugee camp encompassed support from all over the world and we felt exceptionally proud to be part of the cause. Thank you so much to everyone who donated items so generously to our Ukraine Appeal. Your kindness really has made a difference.