Council on board for Ukraine mission

Sussex Removals

Lewes District Council is supporting the campaign set up by Sussex Removals to ship urgently needed supplies to refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The local removal firm set up Sussex Aid to help enable local donations and their transport to a refugee centre in Poland.

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: "The news coming out of Ukraine gets worse by the hours, as one bloody atrocity after another is revealed in the wake of the retreating Russian army. It is heart-breaking and deeply upsetting to see these horrendous images of murder, mayhem and destruction on the streets of a European neighbour.

"So many people in the UK want to help and I'm proud that Lewes district is no different. With so much support from residents, Sussex Aid is able to make a real difference and the whole team deserves great credit and our heartfelt thanks."

With the response from the public and many local organisations exceeding all expectations, the council has provided the team with 20 wheelie bins that are being distributed to business, residential homes and schools, all keen to fill them up with vital supplies before being collected and taken to the campaign warehouse for sorting. Kevin Miller, a refuse vehicle driver within the council's Environment First team, has also been helping by driving the supplies to Poland.

Councillor James MacCleary, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council and Newhaven town councillor, said: "I met with Alice Backhouse from Sussex Removals recently and she explained what products are most needed and how refugees are arriving at the border with Poland, before their further onward journey. In addition to families, the donations are also being distributed to a nearby orphanage where lone Ukrainian children are being sent.

"It was unimaginable that anything like this could happen in Europe in 2022, yet Putin's bloody war has caused millions to leave their homes and thousands to die at the hands of his armed forces. When this tragedy is over the governments of the world must unite in bringing the Russian president to the Hague to answer for the war crimes he has committed."

Non-perishable food, hygiene essentials and infant/childcare products are all urgently needed. A full list of what can be accepted and other details are available at www.sussexremovals.com

Alice Backhouse, from Sussex Removals, said: "I must thank all those who have generously supported our campaign, it's genuinely uplifting to see local people show such kindness and consideration for others in greater need.

"We intend to maintain this supply route for as long as possible and need help with fuel and ferry costs to ensure this can happen. A Just Giving page has been set up for anyone who can contribute."

Cabinet Member, Councillor Julie Carr, has also been providing hands-on support at the depot getting vans ready for the long journey to Poland. She said: "I was only too pleased to lend a helping hand to load up the vans and sort through the wonderful donations received from residents. When such horrors are being revealed in Ukraine, it restores your faith in humanity to see how friends and neighbours in the district are doing what they can to help."

If you would like to donate, please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sussexremovalsaidtoukraine