Supporting Ukrainian refugees in Poland

Matt Wilson, Chair of Common Change UK writes:

We have a close friend who is Polish but has lived in Britain for nearly 20 years. Her parents still live in Poland where they run a campsite with lots of small chalets. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February they began welcoming Ukrainian refugees and providing them with safe accommodation. As the site mainly operates for youth groups in the summer season, it was sat empty.

The resort is called Ostróda Camp and is 150 miles north of Warsaw, which is a similar distance from the Ukrainian border. Working with residents of the nearby town they rapidly adapted the cabins (providing better heating and bedding) and made room for over 180 refugees, mainly women and children.

The main need has been to keep everyone warm and well-fed, to entertain the children and to provide comfort and a shoulder to cry on for their anxious guests. The costs of food and gas/electricity are substantial and so we wanted to help with those costs. Thanks to the generosity of Common Change members and their friends we have so far been able to provide financial support of £3000. We hope to send more in the weeks ahead.

This week (30/05/22) I received an update saying that some of the ‘guests’, are moving on. Some have come here to the UK, as well as to Germany and Sweden. Others are making plans to return home to Ukraine, mostly those with homes in the north west of Ukraine and around Kiev. Indeed, around a dozen families have done so already. Right now 135 refugees remain at the camp, not quite feeling confident to return yet. Whether or not to go home is a tough decision to make as the Russian threat remains. It is expected that the camp will continue to host and support the refugees for many months yet.

If you can make a donation toward the costs of accommodating the refugees please use the form below. 

For further details feel free to drop me a line on: matt@commonchange.uk

Flag image credit: freepik.com/wwwslonpics