“WE WANT the people in Ukraine to know that the UK is with them, we have not forgotten them.”

That’s the sentiment from organisers of newly formed group - Help from Bournemouth to Ukraine - who have sparked a tidal wave of donations from across Dorset. 

The group, who were set up on Friday night, took to Facebook to request donations and have since received more than three warehouses full of items including baby goods, bedding and food.

Karol Swiacki, organiser of Help from Bournemouth to Ukraine, said: “We have a history as Polish people with Russia. 

READ MORE: Ukraine: Bournemouth residents protest Russian invasion

“They occupied our country and we fought them in the second World War and they destroyed half of Poland - so we know how it feels for Ukrainians now because we have been there.”

Bournemouth Echo: Just a handful of donations at Food PlusJust a handful of donations at Food Plus

He added:

“To be honest it doesn't matter in this moment - everybody across Dorset is going and helping just the same - they haven’t had this experience but they’re helping.

“It’s fantastic.”

Karol explained how after seeing the news of Russia’s invasion he was compelled to help in any way he could and reached out to his friend Daniel Sulimierski to start collections.

Daniel Sulimierski, owner of Food Plus, the main collection point in Boscombe, said: “We want to fight, we want to help them but we can’t go because we’re too far away. 

“But a lot of people in Eastern Poland are already there - they have travelled to Ukraine to help.” 


Bournemouth Echo: Donations at Food Plus in BoscombeDonations at Food Plus in Boscombe

Fearful of a war in Europe if Russia is able to take Ukraine, Daniel explained how friends of his had already gone to fight. 

Daniel said: “If we don’t stop him [Putin] in Ukraine I know that in five years time I will have to travel back to my country to fight - there will be no choice for us.

“There are two million Ukrainians already living in Poland and my friend dropped two of his friends at the border,” explained Daniel. 

“He had tears in his eyes as he watched them say goodbye to their five-year-old daughter.” 

A satellite donation point has opened at the Parkstone Delicatessen where a warehouse has been filled with donations that keep on coming. 

Krystian Andizejewski from the deli said: “The people of Ukraine are suffering so much and we need to help them.

“If we needed help, they would help us and that’s just how it is - especially for the kids.”

Bournemouth Echo: Karol Swiacki and Castlepoint management at the Argos storeKarol Swiacki and Castlepoint management at the Argos store

The group has also secured the old Argos shop and warehouse at Castlepoint Shopping Park as a storage base and drop-off point for donations. 

Karol said: “We are helping how we can.

“We will be victorious if we all work together.

"A united Europe will destroy Putin.

“It’s a crazy world we’re living in but we have hope.”