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CEO raises £4k delivering aid to Poland

Words by Smiley Team

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, charities, organisations and individuals have gone above and beyond to support those in need. 

In mid-March, Kevin Ashley, CEO and founder of the learning management system, myAko, embarked on a journey to Kraków to bring aid to refugees fleeing Ukraine. Having partnered with Giant Digital and other small businesses across Hampshire, to set up the Ukraine Crisis Appeal, the team raised more than £4,000.

A van-load of supplies was purchased and taken across to Poland, along with other supplies donated by businesses across Hampshire and Dorset, plus from the local community. This included much-needed items, such as tinned food, sanitary products and first aid kits.

The donations were raised through an online page which was launched on March 8th. By March 19th, Kevin and his team had arrived safely at the refugee centre in Kraków, where volunteers were ready to accept the aid. Some of the aid remains at the centre, whilst the rest has been transported directly into Lviv, Ukraine. Kevin and his team stayed to help sort and pack aid for the Ukrainian people. 

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Speaking about his volunteering, Kevin said: “The aid centre was providing food and receiving donations from all over Europe.

"We also helped unpack a van from Italy that arrived about an hour after ours. The young people involved are inspirational and so focused on getting aid back into the country. The young leader managing this centre is only about 21 years old and has stopped his university studies to help manage the centre. Despite not having any experience in undertaking this type of work, the centre is open 24/7, accepting aid and helping refugees. As we left early Sunday morning, more aid was due to arrive from the UK late that evening.”

To date, myAko’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal has raised a total of £4,019. The entire team is incredibly grateful to all the small businesses, local communities, friends and families who kindly donated, not just money, but potentially life-saving aid.

Donations still needed

Still keen to receive donations at any of their drop-off points, myAko’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal asks for any of the following: • Baby formula, vests and baby blankets • Babies bottles and teats • Disposable nappies, Sudocrem • Calpol and wet wipes • Sanitary wear • Bottled water • Dried goods • Tinned food with pull tops • Torches and batteries • Candles and matches • Shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes • First-aid kits and plasters • Individual dressings • Bandages and gauzes • Surgical gloves and masks • Thermal blankets • Energy bars • Toilet paper and paper towels • Cough medicine, burn ointment and disinfectant ointment • Towels • Duct tape and permanent markers • Disinfectant. 

"I’ve been asked several times why we are doing this and the simple answer is because we care," said Kevin. "For me, it’s not just about business, it’s about making a positive difference, no matter how small. The people of Ukraine did not want or start this war and they need our help.

"Every penny counts and makes a difference. We will be looking to make a further delivery in the next couple of weeks, so please donate if you can. Even a couple of cans of soup and some soap makes a difference. I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, everyone who has contributed. We have experienced some incredible kindness from people of all ages. Thank you all for your support.”

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Anyone interested in making a donation can do so on Kevin's dedicated donation page.

DONATE ITEMS: If you have items you're able to donate, drop-off points for donated aid can be found on the website


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