When the war in Ukraine began in 2022, we decided that as a company we were in a position to try to make a small difference.
“When people arrived in Poland they were stressed and lost. They didn’t know what to do, where to go or what to apply for. So, our main thing was to coordinate people and help them at the train station in any way we could, whether it was sourcing a free SIM card or buying clothes.”
Olena, Maris Database Manager
Working with Olena, our Database Manager who came to the UK from Ukraine five years ago, we navigated the varied information coming from the country and its border states to try to work out the best way in which we could help.
When we saw the monumental efforts in Poland, we decided that’s where we needed to be. A small team flew out to provide financial, emotional and practical support to mothers and children fleeing Ukraine, ranging from guidance navigating their next steps to purchasing food shops, buying clothes and arranging accommodation.
Continuing the mission
We dubbed our small mission crew a Force 4 Good, and since that initial visit we have flown out to Poland on two more occasions.
We have provided children with toys, books and educational activities, and have continued to support Ukrainian families that are currently in sponsor homes across Surrey. Here, we provide financial support and practical advice as they navigate their way through uncertain times.
Keeping in Touch
Olena in particular remains in touch with many of the individuals and families we were able to help on our trips to Poland.
She says: “I still communicate with those people we helped and every Sunday they text me just to say, ‘happy Sunday, God bless you’, or at Easter time I got a lot of messages saying thank you”
In addition to the work we have done as a company, Olena has made huge personal contributions to support friends and family in Ukraine.
Thankfully, her loved ones are currently in a town that’s been largely unaffected by the war. However, they do host many refugees, struggle with supplies and have loved ones who have gone to the front line.
“A friend there organises humanitarian help and three of my best friends are soldiers. One went to the front line when his daughter was two months old and is still there, so my family help where they can, buying and sending military clothes like bullet proof vests and boots.
We send food parcels of things that will keep, and we’ve bought two cars so far because one of my friends is an officer and he works in the artillery. He needed a car to get injured people straight to hospital the cars don’t last long there.“
“Before the war I always thought if I earned some money, I would buy a bag or something I liked but this is our reality now and material things just aren’t important.”
A Force 4 Good also supports ongoing charitable causes and gets involved where help is needed or requested.