This is a human catastrophe and raises the question as to what can we do, are doing and what can be done now?
Who on earth would have thought that such a catastrophe would be happening in the 2022, a world still reeling from a pandemic and with the shadow of world wars resurfacing after decades of relative peace in Europe?
Our Ukrainian ‘New Scots’ recount conversations they have with loved ones hiding from and living under cover of combat: “What’s making it worse is they can hear all the noises but don’t know what’s happening above them. I was talking to my sister and she was asking me what was going on.”
History is watching us. The Scottish Government has its hands tied in terms of immigration and asylum but has called for a relaxation of rules to address a humanitarian disaster and the refugee situation.
Westminster has been slow to act whilst people die, people walk with belongings in a bag, and largely women and children make desperate journeys to avoid the physical and psychological impact of war.
This tidal wave of people need help, now. If we can, now once more is the time to be the good Samaritans that donate (money or items), volunteer and to do what can be done.
At the time of writing, in and around Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency we have drop-off sites near Fraserburgh at 31b High Street, Inverallochy, (Monday to Thursday from 12pm to 1pm and 6pm to 7pm), and in Banff at the Co-op on Bridge Road, (open every day, 7am to 10pm).
In Peterhead there is Duncan and Todd Opticians, (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) and nearby there is a site at Shirley’s Space in Crimond and at Longside church hall (Wednesday 1pm to 3pm).
Meanwhile, if you wish to make a financial donation, an secure online platform is now available within the local Stella’s Voice charity at: https://stellasvoice.org.uk/ukrainedonations.
This may not be an exhaustive list of great volunteering, so check with drop off sites and groups near you.
Thank you, with all my heart.