Great Yarmouth donations on their way to Ukraine

The Railway Tavern Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. Trevor Saunders BEM and Paul Sandford,

Trevor Saunders BEM and Paul Sandford, organiser, at The Railway Tavern in Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Water, food and sleeping bags donated to a Great Yarmouth food bank have been collected and dispatched to a relief centre for Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

Supplies donated by Mandalay Wellbeing Community Interest Company (CIC) - which is currently based down Great Yarmouth's Victoria Arcade - were collected at Dereham's Railway Tavern on Wednesday.

The Railway Tavern Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. Trevor Saunders BEM. Pictures: Brittan

Trevor Saunders dropping off donations at The Railway Tavern Dereham. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Supplies from Mandalay Wellbeing included food boxes, sleeping bags and warm clothing, adding to the hundreds of donations received across the county.

Some 50 Rapid Relief Team food boxes - which contain items such as tinned fruit and veg, UHT milk and instant soups - will also be taken to Poland.

Trevor Saunders, manager of Mandalay Wellbeing CIC, said: "What a day it's been.

"It's been crazy. We managed to get three loads of really good stuff and we have received some government guidance.

"We'll be doing another load tomorrow which will be going out on Friday.

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"We're praying it will get there and we have been assured it will.

"Time is of the essence as who knows what could happen in the near future.

"I feel exhausted, but we'll go again tomorrow."

The Railway Tavern Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. Tom Campbell, Mortgage advisor. Pictur

The Railway Tavern Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. Tom Campbell, Mortgage advisor. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Volunteers at Mandalay Wellbeing will be collecting more donations from Tesco Caister on Thursday morning.

"I'm proud of what we have done," said Mr Saunders, 55.

"In the course of 24 hours, we went from wanting to do something to loading the stuff on a lorry bound for Poland.

"I'm just so happy it is going to people who need it the most. The current situation feels like the biggest thing imaginable.

"What else could we have done as an organisation?

"Thanks to the energy of the team, we found a way.

The Railway Tavern Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

The Railway Tavern Dereham collecting donations for Ukraine. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

"The items haven't made their way to Poland yet, so I feel we can't say we've done it at the moment. But we have done all we can.

"I hope it does make its way there.

"Thank you to everyone who helped and to all the people of Yarmouth who have donated to us for the past two years. 

"I'm certain they would want it there."

Mandalay Wellbeing CIC will be closing its current branch on Wednesday, March 9. The service will be relocating to The Priory Centre, but its foodbank will no longer be operational.