Farnham boxing club sends shipping container of aid to Ukraine

FARNHAM and surrounding villages have once again mustered a huge emergency response – this time in support of war-torn Ukraine.

Countless aid collections, fundraising events and peaceful protests have been organized by concerned members of the public, groups, businesses, sports clubs and schools.

And the first batches of donations have already made their way to Poland and across into Ukraine, to support those both fighting and fleeing from the Russian invaders.

Farnham and Waverley councils have also made public displays of solidarity with Ukraine, and MP Jeremy Hunt has demanded in a letter to the prime minister that the UK do more to support, and accommodate, civilians caught up in the crisis.

Perhaps the quickest to mobilize this week has been the Atomic Boxing Club, at Brambleton Hall in Wrecclesham, having already sent one shipping container of vital aid to Ukraine – and with more to follow.

Owner of the club, and boxing coach, Shane Carrington served for 24 years in the Royal Engineers before leaving the army to set up the family-run club last year.

However, old habits die hard, and Shane found it impossible to watch the situation unfolding in Ukraine without doing something about it.

So he contacted a few old army chums, and put the word out in the Atomic club community that he was collecting items to take out to Kyiv.

The donations quickly piled up in the boxing gym – ranging from military-grade leather boots and sleeping bags to syringes, needles, tourniquets and bandages – and are still flooding in from all quarters.

A committed team of volunteers have been busy boxing these essential supplies, and the first container was dispatched over the weekend – in partnership with a group of Ukrainians living in the UK.

A second batch of supplies – this time focusing on items such as Calpol and nappies for families fleeing Ukraine in Poland – will be sent from Brambleton Hall this week.

Shane’s wife Sarah told the Herald: “The community really want to do something, and we wanted to give them that opportunity. It’s something really small compared to what Ukraine is going through, but it’s been nice to do something to help. It’s been crazy how much people have given in such a small time.”

Sarah added the only issue facing their supply chain to Ukraine is a shortage of drivers, as the only thing needed more than aid in Ukraine is fighters.

“The lorries are making it into Ukraine okay,” she said, “but are often not allowed back out again because the drivers are of fighting age. So they are trying to find more drivers.”

Other collections for Ukraine have been organized by David Lloyd Leisure Club in Monkton Lane, Nuffield Health in Weybourne, and many smaller businesses and groups across the town – with Farnham Help for Refugees to host a further aid collection tomorrow (Friday) at St George’s Church , Badshot Leah.

Two marches for Ukraine have now taken place in Farnham town centre, organized by the new ‘Farnham Stands with Ukraine’ Facebook group, and a peaceful protest was organized by sixth form students at Frensham Heights School last Friday.

However, “an area where we definitely need to do more”, said MP Jeremy Hunt after co-signing a letter to the prime minister this week, “is on support for refugees”.

The MP added: “Surely we should match the EU’s three year visa? 1.7 million Ukrainians have now fled and no one could possibly argue they do not have good cause.”

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