How this community group is giving aid directly to Ukraine from Birmingham

People for People in Stockland Green are supporting the people in Poland and Ukraine who have not been reached by other organisations

People for People is a grassroots community organisation based here in Birmingham which is working hard to provide support for the people of war torn Ukraine. They are indirect contact via telephone with people in Ukraine and Poland who say they have not received humanitarian aid.

For some of those involved the crisis hits quite close to home because their family live in the country which is being forced to deal with the Russian invasion.

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BirminghamWorld went along to St Mark’s Church in Stockland Green to find out more.

Magdalena Zielinska, Co-Founder of People for People

Magdalena Zielinska, Co-Founder of People for People, says: “So here at people for people, we collect donations for Ukraine. What makes us, I guess, different from other charities or groups that do that is that our donations go straight to Ukraine. We thought there was going to be just a few people and you know, maybe a few sleeping bags, but we ended up sending three vans to London the following day.”

People for People at the Concert for Ukraine

“We keep hearing that it’s better to donate money and to support known charities, - the biggest charities. But we also know that the help from charities doesn’t get everywhere. We keep getting phone calls from people, both in Ukraine, and in Poland, who are in places where no humanitarian aid is being delivered.

“So we’ve worked directly with the Ukrainian community here in Birmingham to find out what’s the most needed. And obviously, because we are not a big charity, we don’t have any overhead costs. So we’ve worked with the Ukrainian community that basically fund all those transports going to Ukraine. So it’s members of the community chipping in together to cover the cost of petrol. So it’s all grassroots. It’s not - we’re not an organisation. So I guess that’s what makes us stand out.”

Roman Oleksyk, Co-Founder of People for People

Roman Oleksyk, Co-Founder of People for People, says: “Emotionally it’s quite difficult because my mum’s still there. I talk to her, she’s like, I’m not going anywhere. For me It’s quite difficult. Emotionally, obviously, Because I’m trying to help as much as I can. But I personally still always want to do more. And everybody sorts of, you know, they understand that it’s close to you and and they really try to be helpful, you know, they’re like if you need anything - give me a shout. Because some people cannot help financially. Some people don’t have enough time, but everybody tried to help somewhat, somehow you know.”

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