In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, an independent country that borders both Russia and the European Union. Many thousands of Ukrainians have been displaced, finding refuge in countries across Europe, including the United Kingdom. Many thousands more have been trapped inside Ukraine, taking refuge in underground shelters, schools and anywhere that might be safe from the war raging around them. Their plight was desperate, with little access to food and other necessities to sustain life. One resident of Southwell, Magdalena Wasiewicz, who has family in both Ukraine and Poland, immediately set up an appeal for humanitarian aid to send into Ukraine via her family's transport company in Poland. Magda's efforts received a massive boost when Romo, a Nottingham-based international fabrics company, offered a warehouse in Kirkby-in-Ashfield in which to receive, sort, pack pallet and despatch the aid donations. The warehouse was subsequently inundated with donations of goods - including food, nappies, female hygiene products, medication, clothing, bedding, wheelchairs, pushchairs and much more - from far and wide.
Magda's family funded the transport of everything to Poland and then for it to be distributed to towns and cities in Ukraine, including Bucha, Kyiv and Kharkiv. Southwell & District Lions raised and donated funds towards the transportation costs, while a number of members spent many hours at the warehouse helping to sort, pack, pallet and load the donations. Below are some of the images of the Lions and others at work.