A UKRAINIAN woman has sent a letter to thank a business that regularly sends aid to help refugees.

Armishaws Removals, a company that operates in Somerset with a depot in Wincanton, said yesterday (April 4) the woman, Sofia Kobilnyk, sent a letter “describing part of her journey to safety”.

The company has been gathering donations from Somerset residents and Sofia said she wanted “to express my gratitude” for the help refugees received. 

Chard & Ilminster News:
The company has been sending aid to the Polish-Ukrainian border regularly

She said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the entire indescribable support that we are receiving from you.

“It is difficult to express in words how crucial your help is. I’m a mother of a 5-year-old daughter, which whom I have stood for almost 24 hours on the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing during the first day of the war.

“There were a lot of people standing there with me, and fear was all that could be sensed in the air.

“Standing there I knew that a couple of kilometres ahead was my sister, on the Polish side of the border, and that there was safety waiting for me.

“However, many of the women that stood next to me with their children had no one waiting for them, they did not know where they would sleep or if they would have something to eat.

Chard & Ilminster News:
Ukrainian children thanking Somerset for the donations

“They did not know if they would be able to wash their children. Sometimes the women did not have enough strength to carry their bags with them and would leave them on the pavement.

“Some of them only took very small bags with them as they had no time to pack themselves nor their children.

“After a while a lot of people had nothing to drink, and some began to lose consciousness.

“When the night has come, that is when we began fearing the most, as it was very cold, temperatures were falling below 0 degrees, and we were all still on the Ukrainian side of the border.

Chard & Ilminster News:
A woman showing a message sent along with the donations

“The children were crying out of cold, tiredness, and out of fear of not knowing what would happen to them.

“There were drones flying over us – now I think that they were belonging to the press or to the police, but then I was afraid of them, I was thinking only about possible provocations or bombardment.

“When I crossed the border, I was very happy to see my sister waiting for me with hot tea, it was already after almost 24 hours that we managed to cross it.

“There was a lot of help waiting for everyone that was crossing. I knew that now, thanks to the good people that were helping, Irina, who was crossing the border with her newborn child next to me, will now have somewhere to sleep as well as food to eat.

“At that moment I was calm as I knew that all women crossing the border will receive help. Your hearts are enormous, thank you very much, each one of you.”

So far Somerset based Armishaws Removals have sent 15 pallets and a further two vehicles of aid (approximately seven tonnes in total) to areas in Poland that are helping displaced Ukrainian refugees, thanks to the kind donations of people from all walks of life - schools, village/church groups, families, individuals, sports clubs, toy companies.

Armishaws founder and Director Lloyd Armishaw said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who has sent donations.

“The speed at which people have rallied to help has been amazing, it’s not just old unwanted clothes, people are shopping for items, companies have collected money from staff to buy food and toiletries, some donators have travelled considerable distances to our depots to deliver boxes of aid.

“We’re thankful to every one of them. Sofia’s poignant words show their donations really are making a difference and it’s why we’re continuing to send aid.” 

Armishaws' appeal can be found here, https://www.armishaws.com/ukraine-appeal/ 


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