Three van loads of emergency essentials leave Forres for Ukraine

A Polish family living and working in Forres have been staggered by the support they’ve received with donations from townsfolk for Ukrainian refugees.

Two vans leave Forres this morning (Tuesday) bound for Aberdeen where they unload onto trucks waiting to take support to Poland and Ukraine for the Red Cross.

When Arek Urbaniec and his auntie Justyna Skucińska decided to collect a few essentials to send to Eastern Europe, they never expected to end up with three vans filled so tightly they could hardly close the doors.

They were given the use of the new cafe The Dessert’s Shack on the high street as a collection point, and they started a Facebook group ‘Forres for Ukraine’. More venues joined to act as satellite drop-off points and Arek’s sister Aneta Urbaniec and family friend Pawel joined in to help with sorting.

Three vans full

They decided to take a van load on Saturday, so they could bring the van back for the another load. Arek’s friend offered the use of his van when they saw the parcels growing.

Aneta, who works at Clear Pharmacy, said: “All the donations had to be separated into categories. So we had separate boxes for each of the items, I mean we had boxes of pasta, rice, toothpaste, baby wipes, sleeping bags, children pain killers, tinned food and so on. We weighed everything and got them ready to load onto pallets and go to the right places.

“We got loads of help from Claire at The Dessert’s Shack and her mum, and couple more people over the last few days.”

The aid from Forres will go onto larger trucks bound for Poland and Ukraine today, Wednesday and Friday.

Aneta added: “It’s a great feeling to help and to do something good. And even though we were tired and gurney, the atmosphere was amazing!

Above: Inside the HQ – The Dessert’s Shack became the makeshift ‘sorting office’ as all items were categorised into boxes. Main picture: One of the vans fully loaded/The mountain of donations on day one. Pictures: Aneta Urbaniec and Justyna Skucińska

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