A Polish social club in Balham has been flooded with donations for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, and is appealing for volunteers to help sort and transport them.
The White Eagle Club saw queues round the block as individuals sought to donate clothing, toiletries and other supplies, which will be sent to Poland for refugees there.
The news comes as Russia continues to launch heavy air strikes across the country and more than one million Ukrainians have fled the country.
Kate Frovola, 26, the club’s communications manager, said: “It’s an initiative organised by Polish clubs, so it’s the Polish community that started it, and now it’s grown to a much wider initiative where a lot of people are getting involved locally.
“It’s amazing to see how its growing and it’s growing very fast. We’re very humbled by the support that we’re getting and its incredible to see the community unite.”
Jane Lyde, a balloon company owner, heard about the initiative from a neighbourhood WhatsApp group.
She said: “I was listening to the radio and I got really upset hearing about what was happening in Ukraine. Someone said they’re looking for volunteers so I came down.
“The community spirit is overwhelming. Everyone is here working for the same thing, it’s wonderful.”
Jackie, a retired P.E teacher from Croydon, added: “It’s been an absolute privilege to be here.
“When you watch what’s happening on television and how it’s unfolding over there, we have and they don’t. That’s why I’m here.”
Parker Henpel, 21, a Kings College London student, heard about the donation point via social media.
He said: “I’ve gone to protests and donated, but I wanted to actually feel like I’m doing something.”
The United High Commissioner for Refugees has reported that people fleeing Ukraine to Poland have to queue for miles, some waiting for up to 60 hours in freezing temperatures.
The White Eagle Club Facebook page posts regularly which supplies and volunteers are required.
To volunteer at the White Eagle Club visit 211 Balham High Road, London SW17 7BQ.
Volunteers are welcome Monday to Saturday 9am-9pm and Sundays 10am-5pm.