This week, students at St Dunstan’s College in Catford, south London have been gathering and sorting donations for the refugees fleeing the current conflict in Ukraine.
The College community has been collecting donations for Lewisham Polish Centre, and families have been generously bringing in items such as thermal blankets, gloves, sleeping bags and mats. Donations have also included easy food items such as baby formula, food pouches, energy bars and MRE ration packs.
Following the collection, all of the items were gathered in the Great Hall. Students in the Senior School then came together to sort and pack donations ready to be transported by the team at Lewisham Polish Centre. The donations will be arriving at the Polish border in the next few days to help and support the refugees.
Speaking about the collection, St Dunstan’s Deputy Head Pastoral, Mrs Jade McLellan explained: ‘When we saw the horrifying images from Ukraine of families, predominately women and children, being forced to flee, we knew that the community would want to rally round and offer support.
‘The work of Lewisham Polish Centre came to our attention via social media after being promoted by some of our local MPs and councillors. Having held donation drives for Lewisham charities in the past, we knew that our families would give generously and would also give the exact items needed for the appeal.
‘Many members of the community have rallied round to give items, source packing materials and finally to pack up the items yesterday which we hope will be taken to the Poland/Ukraine border this week.
‘It was a truly heart-warming experience to see teams of 15–18-year-olds rolling up their sleeves and getting to work; a force of future humanitarian workers in action! As a team, we now turn our thoughts towards future fundraising opportunities and will remain in touch with local organisations who are supporting refugees overseas or indeed in the UK who may need our support.’
Alongside the collection for Lewisham Polish Centre, the College is also raising money for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Appeal. More than £2,700 has been raised so far.
‘We have been so pleased with the quick response, both to the collection and to our DEC Ukraine Appeal fund, which we have since launched to support the refugees,’ Mrs McLellan added.
Last week, the Headmaster, Mr Nicholas Hewlett, also hosted a special assembly following the Ukraine invasion. During the assembly, he paid tribute to the people of Ukraine and their courage as they faced this atrocity. ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Ukraine as they face this terrible development in Europe’s history,’ he explained.
See St Dunstan’s online listing here.