A warm-hearted woman has formed a team to collect donations and send them to vulnerable people suffering from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since March, Ann Vickers, 55, from Woodthorpe, has been gathering humanitarian aid donated by philanthropists on a weekly basis.

Nearly everything from food, clothing, toiletry to medicine, is useful to Ann’s team and is amassed at a collection point at the Nottingham City Hospital.

Since the war began, 594 tonnes of necessities, on lorries and ferries, have made the 1715-mile journey to Poltava, Ukraine, where people are facing the worst time of their lives.

Supplies are gathered at one large room provided by the Nottingham City Hospital. Photo courtesy of the City Hub Ukraine

It all started in February when Roman Yuriychuk, a Ukrainian who runs Trident Security, posted on Facebook asking for assistance in filling up the vehicles with donations and sending them to Ukraine.

The request has reached Ann who then decided to help “without hesitation.”

She said: “From the bottom of our hearts, we just wanted to help.

“In Kyiv, the temperature is minus five degrees, and there are people sitting in their home, if they got a home, with no heating, no electricity, no light since the power is off for at least 12 hours a day.

“Since the project started, we’ve got more and more people messaged us from Ukraine and we have finally made contact with a woman in Poltava where we send our lorries to.

From Poltava, the donations were sorted and sent to different areas ranging from hospitals to orphanages where they’ve helped “hundreds of hundreds of children whose parents had been killed.”

Ann added: “When I heard their stories and the horrific things they witnessed, my heart just ached for them.

“Wherever they can reach our goods, we’ll send them no matter what it takes.”

Ann (right) and Roman Yuriychuk (middle) who came up with the idea of sending donations to Ukraine in February. Photo courtesy of the City Hub Ukraine

“When I was up in my sister’s apartment in Ukraine, I thought we’d be safe.

But after seeing the apartment block opposite us explode, I knew I needed to get out.”

A Ukrainian refugee IN NOTTINGHAM

Ann’s journey has touched the heart of one Ukrainian from Mariupol, one of the worst bombed areas.

The Ukrainian refugee living in Nottingham said that she is “more than grateful” for what Ann’s group has done.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I was one of the few who managed to escape.

“When I was up in my sister’s apartment in Ukraine, I thought we’d be safe.

“But after seeing the apartment block opposite us explode, I knew I needed to get out.”

The 32-year-old made her escape to Germany and was well looked after, but then had to find a new place to settle down due to a language barrier.

She said: “I don’t know any German, but I speak decent English.

“With my English and IT skills, the UK is where I decided to go because I believe I can find a job there.

“Thanks to Ann Vickers’ team, I’m now living with a host family in Nottingham and doing very well at the moment.”

Despite the long, ongoing battle, Ann said she will continue to help “as long as it takes.”

She said: “The City Hospital let us have this space so as long as we still have a collection point, we will keep doing this.

“Not only sending aid to Ukraine, but our team also supports the Ukrainian refugees here in Nottingham.

“I want to do it for them, to give them some hope.”

Ann created the City Hub Ukraine group on Facebook to further notify people about the ongoing warfare and what is required for donations.

To donate or learn more about the project, contact cityhubukraine22@gmail.com or visit City Hub Ukraine on Facebook for more information.

  • There were nearly 15.6 million border crossings from Ukraine to other countries (As of November 22, 2022)
  • There were 144,600 Ukrainian refugees in the UK (as of November 14, 2022)
  • A total of 6,595 civilian deaths (415 of them children) and 10,189 injuries, of which 755 were children have been attributed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (As of November 20, 2022)