Diss comes together to support Ukraine refugee crisis
Businesses and schools from across the Diss Express area have been pitching in with donations to support the humanitarian crisis facing people in Ukraine.
Since last week, Diss-based removal company Colemans had taken in dozens of boxes of donations, which they packaged up before sending them off to the Ukraine/Poland border.
Accounts manager Jordan Coleman said: “We have all seen the pictures in the news.
“For me it was the Ukrainian journalist pleading to Boris Johnson to impose a no-fly zone – hearing her desperation made me want to do something.
“I knew that we could get our donations directly to Ukraine.”
“It’s real things going to real people. Rather than people making financial donations, people in Ukraine haven’t got the shops to buy stuff, so we’re sending over things hey have actually asked for.”
Every box was accompanied by a message of support, designed by pupils at Diss Church of England Junior Academy.
Headteacher Jo Cerullo said designing the messages had created an outlet for pupils at the school – 30 per cent of whom have family in Eastern Europe.
She said said: “We have talked about what’s happening and some of our children are worried and they feel helpless so it’s important we give them an outlet.
“It needed to be something that is practical and useful.
“They have got family in Moldova, Romania, Poland, whose businesses have had to close because they are near the border and can hear shelling.”
Other schools also lent their support, too. All Saints Primary School, in Winfarthing, collected enough nappies, sanitary products and toiletries to fill three cars, before they were taken to The Junction Hair Salon, in Diss, before making their way across the continent.
Elsewhere, Diss and District Rotary Club partnered with Diss Waveney Rotary Club amassed more than £7,500 over just two days of collecting donations along the high street.
“Everybody wants to help in some way,” said Diss and District secretary Richard Pither.
“Usually, when we’re out holding buckets, you can see people crossing the street to avoid us. This time, they were crossing the street to approach us.”