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Peak District Solidarity with Ukrainian Refugees in Krakow, Poland

Canon Tony Kaunhoven, Vicar of Bakewell, Derbyshire, and his wife, Rachel will be making their sixth visit to Krakow since April 2022 on June 11th 2024 for a week to deliver donated medical supplies, vitamins, toiletries, knitted woollens for children, and Lego, together with financial donations to support of five Community Initiatives/Projects set up by volunteers in February 2022 helping the 170,000 to 180,000 Ukrainian Refugees in Krakow who have crossed the border fleeing the war.

All the items are donated by local churches, schools, and individuals in Bakewell and the surrounding village communities who value not just the opportunity to support children and adults in their vulnerability and need, but to maintain links with those supporting them in Krakow through their work in providing accommodation, food, therapeutic intervention, employment and schooling.

A donor on receiving feedback on how their donation was used commented: “I could easily have contributed to a national appeal, but through the visits being made, I feel that I am supporting individuals I may never meet, but I can visualize, and feel that my donation is making a real difference in offering hope and reassurance that they are not forgotten.”

Tony and Rachel take as much as they can carry, flying at their own expense, and paying for their own accommodation in Krakow. On their last visit In November 2023 they delivered over 62kg of humanitarian aid, together with £4000 to distribute. Every penny is used and itemized by the groups who are immensely thankful for the care and compassion of the donors who have not forgotten them.

The five Krakow Community Groups supported include Pomocni Ukrainie, organising and delivering essential humanitarian and medical supplies to communities and troops in Ukraine on the front lines. Our November donations were delivered to Zaporizhia, Krivy Rhy and Kharkiv.

Peron 4 provides initial temporary shelter for refugees arriving in the city whilst helping to access in Krakow more permanent accommodation and support for people to settle and access work and schooling.

Zupa dla Ukrainy provides a Community Kitchen, a Food Bank and soup supplier to over 2000 Ukrainian people on their books. In Poland, children receive a weekly allowance from the Government, but the adults receive nothing.

What we are looking for

• Publicity – to show that as concerns focus on other world and national issues, here in this part of the Peak District the needs of Ukrainian people who are displaced, traumatised, and longing one day to return home are not forgotten through the small, but important support we can offer.

• Donations – We are wanting to take once again paracetamol, vitamins for adults and children, bandages (all sizes), dressings, plasters, gauze/ gauze sponges (all sizes), first aid kits, medical tape, hygienic wipes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, baby wipes,baby shampoo woollens, especially for children, Lego suitable for children 7+ upwards, complete, and in a box.

• Cash donations – Yes, we could send a van, donate to a large charity, send a bank draft – but to do this would be to miss the valuable opportunity of meeting people, listening to stories, offering support, being a reminder that the world has not forgotten and that it cares.

“Thank you for remembering us – it gives us the reason to continue our work, knowing that we share in this together, and that together, we can give help and hope to people who have lost so much.”

Canon Tony Kaunhoven


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