A mountain of aid is bound for Poland as Renfrewshire reacts to refugee crisis

Vans packed to the hilt with essentials will head to Poland as Renfrewshire opens its heart to Ukrainians in crisis.

The mercy convoy is being spearheaded by a family run builders merchant and is among valiant efforts sparking into action.

And JW Grant’s Paisley headquarters has already been swamped with a mountain of aid delivered by concerned Renfrewshire people.

The firm’s IT manager Andrew McLellan is the appeal coordinator and he said: “We could not just stand by and do nothing.

“Look at what is happening out there, it’s terrible.”

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The Grant convoy of large Ford Transits and Luton vans will head out next week to deliver the aid for the refugees in Poland.

Within hours of the company launching an appeal, the first deliveries were arriving at the Love Street base.

Polish agencies have requested specific items and Paisley staff have been bringing goods in from other branches.

Bags of love – JW staffers Jessica Grant, Andrew McLellan, John Morrison, Melannie Thompson, Johnny Martin and Fiona Smith

Andrew said: “The people have answered our plea and at the moment I am trying to hire a third van.

“We cannot take our own big trucks as there would be issues and delays with operators licenses and tachographs.

“We just want to get out there as quickly as possible and have drivers willing to go.

“We are getting nappies, toothbrushes, clothes, paracetemol, batteries and sleeping bags.

“It is heart-warming and we are so grateful.

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“Items are arriving at all four of our branches and we are bringing them into head office in Paisley.”

All goods must arrive at the JW Grant base by Saturday morning.

Couldn't Just Stand By - Andrew McLellan and Melanie Thompson
Couldn’t Just Stand By – Andrew McLellan and Melanie Thompson

The firm, which employs 95 staff, was founded in 1968 by John Wilson Grant.

Renfrewshire Live and Paisley Daily Express readers can help with:

• Blankets / Sleeping Bags / Towels

• Torches

• Batteries

• Pain killers

• First Aid Kits

• Jackets / Coats / Boots

• Nappies

•Baby Formula

• Shower Gel / Toothpaste

• Power Banks and

• Sanitary Products

Meanwhile Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands is collecting donations at his office in Renfrew.

The SNP man posted on Facebook that after speaking to Renfrew councillor John Shaw about the Polish community in Renfrewshire mobilizing support he wanted to do something to help.

He said: “To aid in collecting these donations I have offered my office on Hairst Street in Renfrew as a drop off point to allow easier collection by the volunteers, my office is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, though will be closed on Thursday of this week.”

Explorers and Scouts from the 2nd Johnstone Scout group are collecting donations tomorrow evening at Fordbank Primary School between 6.30pm and 9pm.

They are looking for items including formula, baby food pouches, nappies, soap, sanitary products, sleeping bags, camping mats, blankets and bottled water.

Staff at Paisley coffee shop Bianco Nero are donating all of their tips to charities helping in Ukraine and are also collecting donations They posted on Facebook: “We as a business believe we can make a change. We believe – as our big community we can make a change.

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“Thank you all in advance”

AG Theater School in Johnstone has also held a collection that will end tomorrow evening. They posted: “Literally blown away with the amount of donations we got tonight.

“Having posted at lunchtime I can’t believe the kindness and generosity of our AGTS Family.”

AM Garage in Paisley also held a collection to be sent to Poland which has stopped as they were inundated with donations.

*Are you fundraising, gathering aid or driving out to Poland for Ukraine? Let us know by sending a message to [email protected] and we will share your appeal.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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