A POP-UP shop in Kenilworth taking donations to help refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine has been inundated with items in the space of a few days.
The shop in Talisman Shopping Centre, run by Ukraine Aid Relief Kenilworth, has seen residents and visitors alike donating hundreds of bags full of food, clothes and medicine.
The idea to help in some way came from Kenilworth businessman Doug Leaf and friends who are regulars at The Engine pub in the town – and rapidly grew into something much larger.
The group used their contacts in Kenilworth to secure a collection site at Castle Farm in Kenilworth, but they also needed a site with good footfall too.
Bill Wareing, owner of Wareing & Co, was contacted by Doug, and offered to let the organisation use the old Hays Travel unit as a base for donations.
Doug said: “My friends and I knew we had to try and do something to help the millions affected by the awful events in Ukraine. I’m a father of two, and seeing the suffering of young children on my TV was deeply affecting.
“The appeal was only a small idea to begin with, but my friends and I realised we had the contacts to get a proper operation in place.
“I’ve worked with Bill before and he was able to get us set up in Talisman Shopping Centre in no time at all, which was incredibly helpful.
“We’ve also had help from printers Emmersons Press who produced the banners for us, Coventry Construction Ltd who provided us with pallets and packaging, and removal firm Squab have helped us move the donations from the Talisman shop to Castle Farm where they will later be collected and taken to the front line. It’s been a real team effort.
“And it’s just been touching to see how well Kenilworth has responded to the appeal in such a short amount of time. We’ve had tonnes of donations. It’s just so heartening.
“The appeal’s success is testament not only to the businesses that helped set it up, but the desire of Kenilworth residents to help the Ukrainian people.”
Doug is encouraging anyone wishing to donate to prioritise medical items and toiletries like nappies, shampoo, painkillers and first aid kits when they donate.
A full list of recommended items can be found on the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UkraineAidReliefKenilworth
To donate, visit the store at 23 Talisman Shopping Centre between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.