By Claudia Bradley
Essex Polish Society is gathering important items for petrified Ukrainian refugees this week.
Bring donations to Wolfson Court (by the North Towers), Flat 3.
The society are looking for:
- Clothes (unisex and all sizes): raincoats, jumpers, hoodies, tops, trousers, socks, underwear, hats, scarves, etc.
- Hygiene products: hand wash, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, diapers, sanitary products, baby wipes, baby powder
- First aid and health items: masks, hand sanitisers, plasters, bandages, paper towels, etc.
They will be collecting until Wednesday 2nd March between 10-11am.
Information from the @essexpolishsociety Instagram.
Zuzanna Tobiasz, the Marketing Officer for Essex Polish Society, explained how local Polish people in Colchester are also engaged in organising the donations.
They have received messages throughout the day from people wanting to donate; Zuzanna said, “The more the merrier.”
Speaking about how the university could help, she said: “I think there should be either one collection for the whole university or something like a fundraiser, because obviously money is also needed. So, if even the SU could do it, that would be amazing.”
“So far only the SU has spoken about [the conflict],” she continued, “and even then, we still do not agree exactly with what the SU says because the SU calls it ‘Russian Military Action’… We don’t believe it’s an action anymore. Right now, it’s a war.”
“We just want the university to understand,” she said.
Zuzanna is in her third year studying Marketing and Management.
Mentioning statements the SU made about financial and psychological help for students, she said that “this is not enough.”
Zuzanna discussed Poland’s response to the 377,000 refugees the country has taken in so far, with another 50,000 arriving every day.
She said: “I am so proud of my country. As of now, I am super proud of my government and what they are doing, the fact that they are united—and that they finally agreed on something. The Polish people, they are so happy to help, and they want to help.”
Comparing Poland’s response to that of Great Britain, Zuzanna shared: “Poland said that everyone who is Ukrainian didn’t even have to have their passport… Come to the boarder, say you’re a refugee, and you are welcome. And everything there—the polish version of the NHS, its free. Some insurance for cars, its free. Trains, and the whole public transport is for free.
“We are giving them everything,” Zuzanna said.
She continued: “I believe it should be way easier for people who have their families already here in England, for friends or families, to come here as refugees. I think the process is too complicated, especially right now.”
“Everything has to be ready fast,” she said, “because those people don’t have time.”
The Essex Students’ Union posted statements about the conflict on their Instagram, @essexsu .
The statements, titled “Russian Military Action in Ukraine”, read: “As Students’ Union, we condemn Putin and his government’s invasion on Ukraine and this unnecessary war.”
“We encourage you to reach out to our support services and contact us if there is anything we can do to speak up on the conflict and support our students,” the SU said.
They added: “We encourage you to educate yourself using reliable sources and those around you on what is happening. Donate if you can and get involved in ongoing initiatives to support the people affected.”
The SU Advice team: [email protected]
Student Services Hub: [email protected]