A week on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, generous Cowal and Bute locals have been giving what they can to help displaced Ukrainian refugees.
As thousands leave their homes in cities across Ukraine, heading towards the borders of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, relief efforts across Europe have been instigated to help those who are in desperate need of clothing, food and money.
Drop-off points have been located across Scotland, particularly in Glasgow, as locals have used contacts in neighbouring countries to send over the needed aid for the fleeing Ukrainian people.
However, there have been difficulties in Dunoon regarding identifying a clear drop-off point, yet this hasn’t stopped the effort of Cowal locals giving what they can to the crisis.
One woman has asked for baby boxes for Ukrainian infants, which will provide essentials for newborn babies who are crossing the borders with their parents or guardians. Her efforts were noticed across social media, as many donated baby food, clothing and hygiene products to her Edward Street home, before she travels to Glasgow to drop the boxes off at an official drop-off point.
Over on Bute, one local man is also using his contacts to help send over needed aid, as he is working in collaboration with local businesses to help set up drop-off points across Rothesay.
RW Mcmillan has a contact near the Polish border who is requesting the help of Brandanes.
Along with other volunteers and local gift shop The Brave and The Beautiful, he has organised drop-off points across the town where locals can donate needed items which will be sent directly to his contact who is near to the Polish border with Ukraine.
They are asking for items such as sleeping bags, warm clothes, thermo boots, ex-military camouflage gear, basic medical supplies, antiseptic dressings as well as winter clothes, tinned food and toiletries.
So far, there has been an overwhelming amount of donations as the people of Bute are generously helping as much as they possibly can during these dark times. Drop-offs from Tuesday to Thursday have been very busy, as donations have been flying in, with volunteers commenting that they are ‘blown away’ from the kindness of Bute locals.
There is still time to donate what you can, as drop-offs will remain heading into the weekend, with volunteers kindly asking if people can stick to what is needed on the list.
As of now, there still isn’t an official drop-off point in the Cowal area for locals to donate.
However, The British Red Cross shop on John Street has advised that they have seen locals sell older unused items of clothing, and then donating the money raised towards the Red Cross – who will then donate the money directly to the Ukrainian cause.
Adding to this, coffee shop Coast Coffee has been proactive in doing what they can to help Ukrainian people.
They have introduced a ‘Pay it forward’ method, which allows customers to donate a price of a coffee, and at the end of the week, Coast Coffee will donate all money collected to the UN Refugee Agency, as well as adding 10 per cent of their weekly takings to the total.
Dates for drop-off points in Rothesay are: Friday March 4, shinty hut 11.00am – 1.00pm. Saturday March 5, shinty hut 10.00am – 1.00pm, Rothesay Golf Club 11.00am – 2.00pm. Sunday March 6, shinty hut 10.00am – 12.00pm.