UKraine crisis: Edinburgh cafe owner ready to drive supplies to Poland after flood of donations

A cafe owner has vowed to drive to Poland if necessary to deliver essential supplies to Ukrainian refugees after being overwhelmed by donations.

By Jolene Campbell
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 7:40 pm
Piecebox cafe has gathered a van full of supplies for refugees
Piecebox cafe has gathered a van full of supplies for refugees

Piecebox cafe in Polwarth put out an appeal on it's instagram page on Sunday for items to hand over to the Edinburgh Ukranian Club, including baby milk and blankets.

The cafe said they have been overwhelmed by the response which has seen scores of filled bags donated in two days, including hand-knitted baby blankets.

Organisers of several appeals for the people of Ukraine said they have overwhelmed as the people of Edinburgh race to show their support.

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Owner Audrey Thorburn said she will do whatever it takes to make sure the essentials make it to the people who need them.

“I want to thank everyone for their generosity. The response to the appeal has been phenomenal. And we’ve still loads coming in. We’ve had one lady sit and hand-knit blankets for babies, big bags of stuff enough to fill my basement and it just keeps coming. We had another customer who handed us a cheque for £200. We gave it to the pharmacy across the road who are going to give us discounted supplies.”

"What we’ve got already is enough to fill a transit van. I know that the Ukranian society in Edinburgh has a lorry going over. But I know they are inundated. So if they are struggling for drivers or for any other reason. I will drive over in a hired van with my husband and another volunteer, take the ferry and get this stuff to Poland. If that’s what it takes I’m there.”

Schools have been collecting essentials including and will bring them to the cafe on Polwarth Crescent in the next couple of days.

Three regular customers have also volunteered to help sort through the stuff, pack it and label it.

The mum-of-one added:"It’s overwhelming how much people care. It’s frightening for everyone what is going on, especially younger mums. Can you imagine having to flee to another country with children? It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

The Edinburgh branch of the Association of Ukranians in Great Britain said it had been inundated with offers of support and help, including city residents ready to welcome Ukranian refugees who have to flee their home country following the Russian invasion.

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