A SMALL community with a big heart has played an important role in helping Ukrainian nationals affected by war.

The kind hearted people of Cleator Moor donated almost £200,000 worth of essential supplies.

Residents rallied around to provide clothing, food and toiletries to the people of Ukraine who had to flee their homes after coming under attack from Russia in February.

Nina Albertelli, the manager of Wath Brow Hornets Gym, was instrumental in pulling together the donations after being introduced to Polish born Bart Mikolajczyk, a Primary Care paramedic in Copeland, who was aware of Ukrainians directly in need of aid in his homeland.

They set about organising donations to be left at the Flimby headquarters of engineering firm Forth - but it soon became clear that there wasn’t enough space in the office there and the kind hearted company opened up a larger area at its warehouse in nearby Leconfield Industrial Estate to accommodate all the items.

News and Star: AMAZING: Donations from the Cleator Moor CommunityAMAZING: Donations from the Cleator Moor Community

As a result of community effort, 1,236 boxes of donations were sorted, packed, described, tagged and delivered to Poland in 10 van loads.

It is estimated that more than £192,000 worth of items were delivered.

The goods donated included 154,000 meals, snacks and baby milk and1,170 sleeping bags among many other items.

As the vehicles were about to depart the town, they were blessed by the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, who was visiting the county for the first time since enthronement, and the Bishop of Carlisle the Rt Rev James Newcome.

The Archbishop said: “When I visited Cumbria, I witnessed vans laden with goods and medical supplies that were being driven to a refugee camp for Ukrainian people in Poland. The community had really come together and responded to the needs of others.

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“We may think what difference does my contribution make, but everything we can give or do to help others shows them that someone cares, someone is thinking of them and they are not forgotten.

"We have it within our power to show love and kindness where we can, recognising we are one humanity.”

Nina added: “Watching the war in Ukraine was heartbreaking for me. My family are from Italy and I was thinking if this was happening over there, I would want to help so I thought why wouldn’t I want to help Ukrainians.

“With the help of the community, an army of volunteers and drivers, we were amazed to have sent 10 vans full to the rafters of supplies at an estimated cost of £192,000.

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