Army vs Navy Rugby Fans Help Ukraine

One of the most notorious rugby matches in the Twickenham season, The Army vs Navy, took place on April 30th and proved to be very lucrative for the Ukraine appeal. Cathy Cooper was on hand to grab a piece of the action…

The Prosperity Ukrainian restaurant in Twickenham started receiving donations back in late February with a handful of volunteers. It is now a major hub in south west London for providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and also opens its door most Sundays to welcome any families or individuals who have arrived in the UK and need advice with schools, work etc. 

On the day of the Army vs Navy, Andrew – a friend of Prosperity – kindly loaned the forecourt of his house near the stadium to erect their stand and banner. For several hours it was buzzing with activity, selling trinkets and collecting funds.

When helpers turned up, including myself and Sara from Poland, we were told to get out into the crowd. We stood in the middle of the surging fans (many in fancy dress!) waving flags and shaking buckets full of coins and notes. 

Some stopped for a chat and told us we were doing a great job but I did overhear someone say, “You do wonder where the money goes…”.  

Well, I can tell you the money goes on hiring lorries and drivers. Tim, a regular volunteer, calculated that since the operation began, almost 1,000 tons of aid has been sorted and transported directly to refugee centres, orphanages, hospitals and the army. The equivalent of 8 Boeing 747 jumbo air freighters.

Thanks to the very generous rugby fans, several more trucks will be wending their way to Ukraine filled with donations from our community and beyond to help those who need it most. Slava Ukraini!

Cathy Cooper

Twickenham Photographer

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