March 4, 2022 7.00 am This story is over 24 months old

Polish school in Lincoln receives millions of donations for Ukraine appeal

Donation appeal to raise more funds for transportation

The headteacher at Polish School Lincoln said they received millions of donations for their Ukraine appeal, as the first vans prepare to transport items to a charity in Poland this weekend.

It has been one week since Russia invaded Ukraine and attacks are intensifying on key cities, which has caused upset and anger to people across the world.

Aneta Smolarek who is the headteacher at Polish School Lincoln – Szkola Polska w Lincoln. Along with the support of her partner Derran Brown, volunteers at the school, and Ignite Church, she is trying to help those in need in Ukraine as much as possible.

Mass donations continue to arrive for the school, which is based at the Breakthrough Centre at Birchwood Library on Larchwood Crescent.

Aneta told The Lincolnite that on Thursday they have already received three times as many donations, with more still arriving.

They have two vans full of donations and are awaiting confirmation for a 7.5 tonne lorry to transport more to Poland this weekend.

The donations continued to pour in for the school’s Ukraine appeal.

Just a small portion of the millions of donations that Aneta and her team of volunteers have had to sort through over the last week.

The donated items will be dropped off at a charity in Poland called Ermed, for onward transportation to Ukraine.

The amount of donations to the school has exceeded expectations, so much so that Aneta has set up a fundraising page to extra transport to send items to Ukraine. The planned transport budget, raised by Ignite Church and volunteers, has already been exceeded and there are urgent medical supplies, baby products and food ready to send to Ukraine.

Donate to the fundraising page here

Aneta and her fellow teachers at Polish School Lincoln.

Aneta said it was too emotional to put into words how she feels about the situation in Ukraine as “it shouldn’t happen” but that she wants to “help others”.

She told The Lincolnite: “I wanted to help as we already have a community with contact at the school, and a network and connections with Poland and Ukraine. We also have children at the school with families in Ukraine.

“So many people have got involved and the donations are more than we expected, we are getting absolutely full. We no longer need donations of clothes, but medication and baby stuff, and batteries and power banks are a priority.

“The community (in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire) have been phenomenal. Parish councils, Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies, ASDA in Nettleham, Polish shops, GP surgeries, schools, local businesses and people have all been doing collections.”

Aneta Smolarek, pictured with her Partner Derran Brown, is the headteacher at Polish School Lincoln.

Preparing to load up a van with donated items.

Ignite Church Lincoln is working alongside Polish School Lincoln to gather supplies for Ukrainian families. They are looking for more drivers and volunteers to help due to the amazing response of the local community increasing the workload required.

Items can be dropped at the Breakthrough Centres in Lincoln – Boultham library (Monday and Wednesday 9am-4pm, Thursday 4pm-11pm, and Sunday 9am-12pm), and Birchwood library (Tuesday and Thursday 9am-4pm, and Sunday 9am-12pm). It is advised to only drop off donations in person and to not post them.

Polish School Lincoln have been amazed by the amount of donations.

Local businesses, organisations and individuals in Lincolnshire are also helping to collect donations in support of Ukraine during the invasion from Russia – see our rolling list of where you can donate items here.

Hundreds of people also gathered at Lincoln Cathedral on Sunday evening (February 27) for a candlelit vigil to show their solidarity with Ukraine.

Meanwhile, thousands of Ukrainian refugees will be given help and support from Freemasons in Lincolnshire, as well as throughout England and Wales, following a £50,000 grant to the British Red Cross.