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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Aid truck prepares to leave Northern Ireland destined for Ukraine

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ne of several collections of aid donated in Northern Ireland is due to set out across Europe.

Paul Doherty, founder of Foodstock in west Belfast, said their donations were bolstered by a shipment from Co Armagh on Tuesday evening that a number of schools had been involved with collecting.

He described the aid including many priority need items such as baby food, food, nappies and toiletries.

“Our mission now is to get that to people in Ukraine as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.

“We’re going to hit the road, we have a 40-foot container headed towards the Romanian border with Ukraine. We’re going to meet with NGOs on the ground and distribute these items to people who are fleeing Ukraine.

“There is a real movement of people going towards this border region of Romania and that is where we are hearing there is a real need and that’s why we’re prioritising it.

“It’s quite a frightening prospect (going near a warzone) but we’re committed and we want to see this job done.

“We have seen a lot of generosity and a lot of good will from people in Belfast and across Northern Ireland, and now we want to get that aid to people. We have seen the scenes of TV of the distress and what people are going through out there, and we just want to help. It’s people looking out for people.”

Paul Doherty (left), founder of Woodstock in west Belfast and SDLP MLA Justin McNulty offloading donations (Liam McBurney/PA) / PA Wire

Earlier, an east Belfast restaurant owner told how she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people after she began collecting items for those caught up in the humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion of Ukraine.

Monica Rawson, originally from Poland, runs the Smokey Deli in east Belfast which has been transformed into a store for items which will be shipped out to help refugees fleeing Ukraine.

Ms Rawson said she first made the appeal for donations after she was left “heartbroken” by the scenes in the war-torn country.

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