A DAY IN THE LIFE
This is where we normally feature one of our own wonderful volunteers – there are over 80 of them! We couldn’t do what we do without them. However, this month, we’re featuring someone who is doing something very out of the ordinary and totally voluntarily, travel agent Sally Chambers. Sally is also our featured private hirer of the month.
Sally, of Greysouthen near Cockermouth, is one of the team running Baltic Holidays. She approached us to hire the Kirkgate for a special fundraising quiz night at the Kirkgate in November to raise money for humanitarian aid to Ukraine. We’re delighted to be able to help and hope that November 6 will be not only a fun night out for everyone but also a big success in getting much needed assistance to people suffering in the war.
Sally tells us what it is all about:
‘Normally, as a travel agent, I send people to Ukraine on tailor-made tours to the magnificent cities of Lviv, Kyiv, Odesa, or skiing in Bukovel. But since Russia invaded Ukraine my Ukrainian tour guides have been arranging humanitarian aid rather than sightseeing tours. My Polish tour guides have seen tourist numbers dramatically drop and have been focused on welcoming and supporting their guests from Ukraine fleeing for safety.
‘We have set up a wonderfully effective grassroots operation for aid – I collect items or donations here in Cumbria, ALL of these go direct to Krakow in Poland either physically by truck thanks to Bay Search & Rescue in South Lakes, or by bank transfer to our good friend who is a city councillor in Krakow and doing an awesome job of running aid trips into Ukraine.
‘Earlier this year our aid was supporting Ukrainians in Poland, now it is going directly into Ukraine. There is no middleman, no warehouse where it gets delayed, it goes straight to those who need it most. Recent trips have been to Izium which was newly liberated – aid was handed out to incredibly grateful people in the streets, young and old.
‘I am regularly updated about what is most needed. Currently, our focus is on general essential aid (food, toiletries, baby items), vitamins, incontinence pants and bed mats for the elderly, infirm and wounded soldiers. We also have a very nice project A Thousand Happy Faces. The team in Krakow recently took goodies for 200 displaced Ukrainian children in Lviv, including special sweets, treats, crisps and pop. They all have basic food supplies, but these treats have disappeared from their lives. It also tells them that the world has not forgotten about them. Their smiles said it all and the aim now is to take goodies to a thousand (hopefully more) children in Ukraine.
‘Local support has been tremendous, what a great community we are lucky to live in. Let’s help make A Thousand Happy Faces for the children of Ukraine! Bring your spending money as the bar will be open, snacks available and there’ll be a fundraising raffle too of course!’