Fifers come together en masse in an amazing show of solidarity to deliver vital aid for Ukrainian refugees

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Since the start of the brutal Ukrainian Russian war last month, Fifers from all over the Kingdom have rallied in an amazing show of solidarity to deliver vital aid to Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression in their homeland.

Since the end of the Second World War, never before have so many people in Fife answered the call to support the people of a nation who have been mercilessly bombarded from their homes.

As the stream of refugees arriving in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries steadily rises, so has the outrage and disbelief of Fifers who have watched the horrors unfold through the screens of their televisions and smartphones.

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Hannah Morton decided to take action to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.Hannah Morton decided to take action to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
Hannah Morton decided to take action to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

At home, in Fife, people from all walks of life have sprung into action to collect aid.

From school children to community groups, compassionate Fifers have once again shown their true colours and rallied together to support others less fortunate.

Hannah Morton, a new mum and business support team administrator, had seen the surge of refugees at the start of the invasion and decided that it was time to take action.

She said: “When I first saw the news about Ukraine on the TV it was absolutely heartbreaking, seeing what these people are going through really upset me.

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Poland has received the majority of refugees.Poland has received the majority of refugees.
Poland has received the majority of refugees.

"These are people just trying to live a normal life like we are and all of a sudden they have everything taken away from them so I just wanted to help in any way I could.

"I was made aware of a lady who was collecting items for babies as there were a lot of families who had arrived in Poland with nothing. I’m a new mum and I just couldn’t imagine starting a new life with a new baby, with nothing, not even a nappy!"

Hannah said that the lady who she had seen collecting for babies was based in England, but she was determined to start a similar initiative from her home in Ladybank.

"As the lady was in England I thought that I could do something similar here,” she said. “I took to Facebook to ask the people in my community if they would like to donate items to help me support families fleeing the war.

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The amount of refugees from Ukraine has risen rapidly.The amount of refugees from Ukraine has risen rapidly.
The amount of refugees from Ukraine has risen rapidly.

“The response was massive, I was getting messages from lots of different people who I’ve never met before, everyone wanted to help and there were people coming to my door day and night with items to donate – everyone has been so kind and generous it was brilliant!

"Everyone wants to help in anyway they can, the sense of community spirit has been great and it’s apparent that people want to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

Six miles away, in the picturesque village of Falkland, Elizabeth Adams, owner of Fayre Earth Gift Shop, and her employee and friend, Alexa Stewart, decided to take a different approach to helping refugees.

Some of the aid that Hannah Morton collected.Some of the aid that Hannah Morton collected.
Some of the aid that Hannah Morton collected.

After a throwaway comment from Alexa about shaving their hair off to raise funds for Ukrainians, the pair have since raised almost £10,000 with a sponsored brave the shave!

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Elizabeth said: “At first I couldn’t believe that war had actually begun in Ukraine, so many people have said to me it could be us that this is happening to.

"As the stories that I heard got worse I had an immense feeling of helplessness, so we decided to organise an auction for UNICEF as it was a way to focus our energy and to feel like you are helping.

"It was when Alexa made the comment about shaving her hair off as a way to raise money that the idea came about.”

Alexa said: "It is absolutely horrific what these people are being put through all for the will of one man and his ego.

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After taking to social media, Hannah Morton was inundated with aid from people in Ladybank.After taking to social media, Hannah Morton was inundated with aid from people in Ladybank.
After taking to social media, Hannah Morton was inundated with aid from people in Ladybank.

"I had mentioned to our colleague that I would shave my hair off if I thought it would help to raise money for these poor people and the idea just snowballed.”

Elizabeth added: “In my head I thought that we would get to £1000, but on the first night within about an hour it had reached £690 and from then on in the total was going up by £1000 every couple of days, before we knew it we were just under £10,000, it has been amazing!

"All the cash that we have raised is going to the British Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal who are on the ground in Poland and Ukraine and we’re certain that the money will go to those who need it most.”

As well as individuals collecting funds and donations, community groups across the Kingdom have done what they do best – help vulnerable people no matter where they come from.

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Linton Lane Centre in Kirkcaldy is no stranger to helping others, and the Ukraine Aid Appeal is another worthy cause in the long list of campaigns that the much-loved centre champions.

Mandy Henderson, centre manager, said: “When the invasion first began, I was contacted by Polish families in the area to see if we could help with the appeal to send aid to Ukraine.

"It all started on the Sunday morning and we were completely overwhelmed with the response to our call for help.

"We didn’t realise it was going to get as big as it did, it escalated to the extent where we had to stop collecting donations as the we were swamped with the sheer amount that was coming in.”

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Mandy said that the community in Kirkcaldy stepped up to the call for support from Ukrainians without any hesitation whatsoever.

"The door was going all the time, the phone was ringing off the hook, and multiple other organisations were using the centre as a drop off point.

"There was a queue outside the building filled with people all wanting to help these poor people who have had to flee their own country.

"The community in Kirkcaldy is amazing, whenever we issue an appeal for help they always deliver and help no matter how small.”

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