Damian Wawrzyniak.Damian Wawrzyniak.
Damian Wawrzyniak.

Peterborough chef coordinates city aid effort to support people of Ukraine during invasion

A Peterborough chef has coordinated an aid effort in the city designed to deliver vital supplies to people in Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion.

Award-winning chef-patron Damian Wawryzniak, who runs House of Feasts in Eye Green, started a campaign last week to collect supplies to send a van to Ukraine but has since seen his efforts snowball into almost daily lorry pick-ups from the restaurant.

He has partnered with relief charity Ukraine Lifeline, who will provide the lorries needed to transport much needed supplies to the Poland Ukraine border.

Through Damian’s efforts, one van has already set off with plans for another three to leave on Thursday (March 3). Two lorries have also been filled up from donations taken to the restaurant, leaving on both Tuesday (March 1) and Wednesday (March 2), with plans already in place for a third to be filled on Thursday.

Among the items that are desperately needed are warm clothing, sleeping bags/duvets, nappies and general supplies for young children, torches and batteries, medication, hygiene products such as soap, hand gel, toothpaste and talcum powder, as well as non-perishable food items.

Damian has found himself overwhelmed with the amount of donations, that are currently being stored wherever possible inside House of Feasts.

Damian, who was born in Poland, the country to which many refugees of the war are currently fleeing, is further supporting the people of Ukraine by donating ten percent from each online sale to the Polish Red Cross, which is right on the frontline of the aid effort.

He is also planning to drive from House of Feasts to Dorohusk on the Ukraine/Poland border on Thursday. A JustGiving page has already raised over £4000 to support the 1309-mile supply drop. Any money left over will be donated to charities in Poland.

He said: “The support has been absolutely overwhelming. There has been an insane response from the community.

“I am totally shocked at what we have achieved in the last 48 hours. This was supposed to be a van with supplies for Ukraine but now we have managed to fill lorries and vans full of goods.

“The feeling is unbelievable and we are all so happy and fulfilled but we will keep going, keep packing and keep helping, there will always be the next lorry to fill.

“There are six of us, including myself, driving to Poland with toiletries, female and kids toiletries, shoes, medicines and military goods such as helmets, torches and bullet-proof jackets.

“I am a child of communists and I understand what this is. This is dictatorship and it shouldn’t be allowed.

To support Damian’s efforts, you can either drop off a donation to House of Feasts at 41 Crowland Road or donate to the JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/goodsdeliveryukraine.

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