Picturesque village

Fifes rally en masse in incredible show of solidarity to deliver lifesaving aid to Ukrainian refugees

Not since the end of the Second World War have so many people in Fife answered the call to support the people of a nation who have been mercilessly bombarded from their homes.

As the flow of refugees arriving in Ukraine’s neighboring countries continues to grow, so does the outrage and disbelief of Fifers who have seen the horrors unfold through the screens of their TVs and smartphones.

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Hannah Morton decided to act to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

Back home in Fife, people from all walks of life have stepped up to collect aid.

From school children to community groups, the compassionate Fifes have once again shown their true colors and stepped up to support those less fortunate.

Hannah Morton, a new mum and Business Support Team administrator, had seen the influx of refugees at the start of the invasion and decided it was time to act.

She said: “When I first saw the news about Ukraine on TV it was absolutely heartbreaking, seeing what these people are going through really moved me.

Poland took in the majority of the refugees.

“These are people who are just trying to live a normal life like us and all of a sudden everything was taken away from them, so I just wanted to help in any way I could.

“I was informed of a lady who was collecting baby items because there were many families who had arrived in Poland with nothing. I am a new mum and I just couldn’t imagine starting a new life with a new baby, with nothing, not even a diaper!”

Hannah said the lady she saw collecting for babies was based in England but was determined to start a similar initiative from her home in Ladybank.

“As the lady was in England, I thought I could do something similar here,” she said. “I took to Facebook to ask people in my community if they would like to donate items to help me support families fleeing war.

The number of Ukrainian refugees has increased rapidly.

“The response was massive, I was getting messages from lots of different people I had never met before, everyone wanted to help and there were people coming to my door day and night with items to donate – everyone was so kind and generous it was brilliant!

“Everyone wants to help in any way they can, the sense of community spirit has been great and it’s obvious people want to help others who are less fortunate than us.”

Six miles away, in the picturesque village of Falkland, Elizabeth Adams, owner of Fayre Earth Gift Shop, and her employee and friend, Alexa Stewart, decided to take a different approach to helping refugees.

Part of the aid raised by Hannah Morton.

After an offhand comment from Alexa about shaving their hair to raise money for Ukrainians, the couple have since raised nearly £10,000 with a brave sponsored shave!

Elizabeth said: “At first I couldn’t believe the war had actually started in Ukraine, so many people told me it could be us if it happened to us.

“As the stories I was hearing got worse, I felt a huge sense of helplessness, so we decided to hold an auction for UNICEF as it was a way to focus our energy and feel that you were helping.

“It was when Alexa made the comment about shaving your hair as a way to raise money that the idea was born.”

Alexa said: “It’s absolutely awful what these people are going through for the will of a man and his ego.

After taking to social media, Hannah Morton was inundated with help from locals in Ladybank.

“I had mentioned to our colleague that I would shave my hair if I thought it would help raise money for these poor people and the idea snowballed.”

Elizabeth added: “In my head I thought we would come to £1,000 but the first night in about an hour it had reached £690 and from then on the total went up by £1,000 every the two days before we knew it were just under £10,000, it was amazing!

“All the money we raised goes to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal who are on the ground in Poland and Ukraine and were confident the money will go to those who need it most. “

In addition to individuals raising funds and donations, community groups across the Kingdom have been doing what they do best: helping vulnerable people, wherever they come from.

Linton Lane Center in Kirkcaldy is no stranger to helping others, and the Ukraine Aid Appeal is another worthy cause in the long list of campaigns that the center champions highly valued.

Mandy Henderson, director of the centre, said: “When the invasion started, I was contacted by Polish families in the area to see if we could participate in the appeal to send aid to Ukraine. .

“It all started on Sunday morning and we were completely overwhelmed by the response to our call for help.

“We had no idea it was going to get this big, it escalated to the point where we had to stop collecting donations as we were overwhelmed with the huge amount coming in.”

Mandy said the community of Kirkcaldy answered the call for support from Ukrainians without hesitation.

“The door kept opening all the time, the phone kept ringing and several other organizations were using the center as a drop off point.

“There was a queue outside the building full of people who all wanted to help these poor people who had to flee their own country.

“The Kirkcaldy community is amazing, every time we put out a call for help they always deliver and help no matter how small.”

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Alexa Stewart and Elizabeth Adams before brave shaving for Ukraine.
Alexa Stewart and Elizabeth Adams in the shop window after the £10,000 head shave.
Linton Lane Center manager Mandy Henderson is coordinating aid efforts in Kirkcaldy. Photo: Fife Photo Agency.
The Linton Lane center in Kirkcaldy was overwhelmed with supporters eager to help.