Kirkcaldy's Polish community springs into action to deliver aid to Ukrainians fleeing Russian war

The Polish community in and around Kirkcaldy have answered a call to help support their brothers and sisters fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

By Darren Gibb
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 1:07 pm

From community centres, schools, businesses, and churches, Polish people from across the Kingdom have rallied together to deliver vital humanitarian aid to their neighbours in the east European country as the Russian onslaught intensifies.

As fighting rages on for the seventh day it is estimated that more than 660,000 people have already fled abroad, with Poland bearing the brunt of the migration receiving an estimated 450,000 Ukrainian refugees according to the country’s Deputy Interior Minister, Pawel Szefernaker.

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Wojciech Krawczyk and Maciej Wrobel outside their tool shop in Kirkcaldy. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

in Scotland, Poles have answered the call to action to help refugees in their home country as well as those still in Ukraine trying to escape to safety.

Maciej Wrobel, co-owner of My Home Tools on Kirkcaldy High Street, said: “We never believed that Russia would invade Ukraine.

"They have been in the Donbass region for eight years but to invade the whole country we thought that it would never happen.

A member of staff sorting aid donations at Jezyk the Hedgehog store.

"I have family who stay close to the border with Ukraine, it is less than a one hour drive and when I speak with them they are telling me that there are thousands of refugees there.

"These people don’t have much with them as they had to leave everything behind – they only took what they could carry.”

Maciej said that his family and their neighbours have been giving shelter to Ukrainian refugees.

"Lots of Polish people are helping. They are opening up their homes and giving beds to these poor people,” he said.

"Myself and my business partners, my wife Iwona and Wojciech and Joanna Krawczyk, saw the appeal for aid on a Scottish Polish community group on Facebook and had a discussion on how we could help and then started a collection point for aid at our shop in Kirkcaldy.

"We have been overwhelmed with the response so far. We have been inundated with support from people in the town wanting to help – we will continue to collect aid for as long as it takes.”

Further along Kirkcaldy High Street, Polish grocery store Jezyk the Hedgehog is also collecting aid for Ukrainians displaced by the fighting.

Owner of the store, Aneta Bury and her team have been busy organising countless boxes of aid donated by generous Langtounians.

She said: “It was a shock when we first heard that Russia had invaded Ukraine, we never anticipated that this would happen.

"Two of my employees actually got involved with the aid appeal first and we provided the space for donations to come in to the store.

“After taking to social media to tell people that we were accepting aid we were flooded with support.

"In one day we had a full van and car to be delivered to collection points in Edinburgh and Glasgow – the donations are still coming and we’re having trouble keeping up!

“Poland and Ukraine have good relations and the Polish people are standing in solidarity with Ukraine – everyone is chipping in wherever they can.”

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