Ukraine appeal organisers 'overwhelmed' by big-hearted Bay

Torbay Weekly

The organisers of a special appeal to help the innocent victims of war-torn Ukraine have been ‘totally overwhelmed’ by the generosity of big-hearted Torbay.

The appeal was spearheaded by Torquay jeweller David Rowe under the auspices of his Tormohun Rotary Club. It was also led by Paulina Wieczorek, the Polish manager of his Pandora shop in Torquay.

Within days of the appeal in the Torbay Weekly for various items and necessities for the Ukrainians, Mr Rowe had to politely appeal: “Please stop. We have been overwhelmed.”

He added: “We are having to curtail collecting (except for the groups we have already agreed with arriving during this week) as we are overwhelmed by the generosity of Torbay. Amazing.”

Paulina said: “We had an overwhelming response of donations after our appeal in last week’s newspaper. Our amazing Torbay community has come forward by not only offering donations but their time to help as well. All I can say is thank you!”

Now they are appealing for cash donations instead. David says: “Cash donations please. Cash is urgently needed.”

Donations can be dropped off at his businesses in Torquay town centre - Pandora Torquay and Conroy Couch Jewellers or at Devon Garden Machinery Kingskerswell.

David also revealed how he is donating personally. He says: “Gold has risen sharply in recent days. All scrap gold sold through Conroy Couch for the Ukraine appeal will be topped up by an additional five per cent . All monies collected will be forwarded to the Rotary Foundation for the Rotary Disaster Fund further topped up by 25 per cent in via Gift Aid.”

David started his cash appeal at the Torbay Business Forum breakfast at the Grand Hotel on Tuesday and raised more than £325 by asking people to put ‘cash in the glass’.

He has been staggered by the response generally and says: “One lady has knitted some 20 different clothes for hand-made dolls to put a smile on a few young girls’ faces.

“There have been so many helpers sorting the donations. Torbay Hospital, Mount Stuart also deserve a big thank you.”

Paulina says: “I watch the news on daily basis and I am horrified at what is continuing to happen. I am also extremely proud of how Poland has stepped up in helping refugees. So many Polish families have opened up their homes to people who had to flee and leave everything behind. Hospitals making room for all seriously or terminally ill patients including children who are desperate to be able to continue their treatment. The list of different help given goes on.

“We now would really appreciate monetary donations so that the help can reach those in need much faster and be more specific to the needs at the place and time.

“I am also proud to say that Pandora has also donated 1 million dollars to UNICEF in aid of children from Ukraine which is fantastic news.”

The details for donations are: Sort code 40-44-22; Charity account 51225138; Ref Ukraine