As you know we Masons were involved in that effort, indeed if it were not for Richard W and his hastily convened loading crew we would have had severe difficulty loading the last truck. However with their help, it was loaded and left on time. All in all it is estimated that we collected and sent to the distribution centre in Warsaw some £2m worth of humanitarian aid. Aid was dropped off at Acorn Fisheries in cars, in bags, boxes, by bike and on foot from all over N. Somerset. All of it had to be sorted into basic types: clothing, food, medical, baby goods (there were a huge amounts of nappies), sanitary goods and equipment such as tents, torches & sleeping bags, and I must not forget to mention large amounts of pet food. Sorting was carried out by the small group of volunteers centred at Acorn Fisheries. Adrian and Bev donated their time and facilities and used their extensive ‘old boy’ network for practical help and funding for fuel etc from the outset. They worked tirelessly and often late into the night.
As the international effort has ramped up in Ukraine so the need for ‘local’ aid and support direct to Ukraine has somewhat reduced. The focus of the local effort has now shifted from sending help to Ukraine, to that of looking after the needs of Ukrainian refugees in N. Somerset. VANS (Voluntary Action North Somerset) an independent charity that champions the voluntary sector and volunteering across North Somerset is coordinating charitable efforts across the county. VANS were instrumental in obtaining resources which would otherwise have been beyond the capability of the small group at Acorn Fisheries, not least of all by arranging, free of charge a storage lock-up in Weston-super-Mare and a whole warehouse in Clevedon. The warehouse is now the reception point for donations and for sorting them for onward delivery to the point of need, wherever that may be.
Would you please pass on my personal thanks for the support in time and effort Somerset Masons have given to this very worthy cause – it makes me proud to be called a Mason.
W.Bro. G.W. Reed
Lodge Marine 232EC